Month: January 2017

Study: LED Lighting Can Preserve Natural Taste of Milk

New LED lights that are being installed in milk display cases across the country do more than just reduce energy bills — they also help milk taste better, Virginia Tech…

virginiaNew LED lights that are being installed in milk display cases across the country do more than just reduce energy bills — they also help milk taste better, Virginia Tech researchers have found.

The exposure to certain light changes the flavor profile of milk. Milk fresh from the dairy should taste sweet and rich but when people describe milk that was exposed to conventional fluorescent lights, they used words like “cardboard,” “stale,” and “painty.”

Researchers found that while the new LED lights reduce those negative profiles, there is still work to be done in packaging to ensure milk tastes like it did back when a milkman delivered freshly pasteurized milk to your grandmother’s doorstep.

“We want to help figure out ways to return to the fresh taste of milk that our grandparents experienced when it came straight from the dairy,” said Susan Duncan, a professor of food science and technology in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Milk is delicious and nutritious and we want to find ways to protect both of those characteristics to help the industry and provide an even better product to consumers,” said Duncan, who is also the associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and an affiliated researcher with the Fralin Life Sciences Institute.

Duncan’s findings were recently published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

Milk consumption has been decreasing for several decades, and Duncan said that the lighting used in retail display cases that change the taste of milk may be one of the factors for this decline.

One of the nutrients in milk — riboflavin — oxidizes when it is exposed to fluorescent lights. This reaction not only causes the taste to change, but can also reduce the nutritional content of milk.

Duncan’s tests show that when milk is stored in the traditional translucent plastic jugs, these reactions can take place in as little as two hours. Opaque milk packaging that protects riboflavin and other nutrients from lighting helps to deliver that fresh, sweet, rich taste.

Duncan conducted a series of tests at the Virginia Tech Sensory Evaluation Laboratory that showed the new LED lights leave milk with a more satisfactory taste that consumers prefer over milk that has been exposed to fluorescent lights.

“Our target is to bring a smile to your face when you drink milk,” she said.

However, Duncan said, more work still needs to be done on packaging to protect flavor profiles even further. Every milk-drinking experience should deliver that positive experience.

If the traditional HDPE translucent jugs are used, milk is more likely to undergo oxidation and have its flavor changed. But her tests show that when light-blocking pigments in HDPE or plastic PET containers were used, the flavor wasn’t changed as dramatically and consumers thought the milk tasted fresh.

Though improved packaging costs more than the traditional jugs, Duncan said the cost is worth it to maintain the best flavor of milk.

“The research that is being done around this new lighting gives us momentum to explore other ways that we can preserve the natural taste of milk,” Duncan said.

Funding for this project, targeted to make your life better, comes from check-off money from the dairy farmers through the National Dairy Council, as well as support from the USDA Hatch program and the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station at Virginia Tech.

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Product Monday: GeoPak LED Outdoor Architectural Wallpack by Hubbell Lighting

Hubbell Lighting’s GeoPak architectural LED wallpack series is now available in a wide variety of made to order configurations through the Hubbell Outdoor Brand. With a compact housing, it is…

Hubbell Lighting’s GeoPak architectural LED wallpack series is now available in a wide variety of made to order configurations through the Hubbell Outdoor Brand. With a compact housing, it is designed to mount over entrance/exit ways and along perimeter walkways. It is offered in three geometric shapes: Radius, Trapezoid and Quartersphere.

Three wattage ranges from 15W to 30W, various control options, and Type II, III and IV distributions with zero uplight. Capable of replacing up to 175W HID luminaires, with a similar footprint enabling easy retrofit. Integral battery backup options. Five powder coat standard finishes plus custom color options. Wet Location Listed to UL924 and UL1598.

Click here to learn more.

geopak

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Color Study Challenges CRI

Below is one of my contributions to the January issue of tED Magazine, the official publication of the NAED. Reprinted with permission. A study recently published in the journal Lighting…

Below is one of my contributions to the January issue of tED Magazine, the official publication of the NAED. Reprinted with permission.

The room and objects used for the color study.

The room and objects used for the color study.

A study recently published in the journal Lighting Research & Technology explored human preference related to light source color. The results challenge the ability of the color rendering index (CRI) metric to predict human preference and the ability of today’s energy-efficient lighting to satisfy preference.

Color vision is highly dependent on three factors: the eye, the object viewed, and the spectrum of the light used for vision. CRI is the traditional metric used to evaluate how well light sources render colors. It expresses how accurately a source renders colors compared to an ideal reference source. For many commercial applications, the industry recommends a minimum 80 CRI.

CRI has always had its limitations, which the proliferation of LED lighting accentuated. In 2015, the Illuminating Engineering Society proposed TM-30, a new method for light source color evaluation.

TM-30 proposes three tools:

• Fidelity Index (Rf) (0-100 scale): an alternative to CRI that uses 99 color samples instead of CRI’s 8-14.
• Gamut Index (Rg): a measure of average color saturation. This metric complements the fidelity index.
• Color vector and distortion graphics. These valuable graphics depict hue and saturation changes, or gamut shape. They show specifically what colors have increases or decreases in saturation. Colors that have an increase in saturation will visually pop.

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) used TM-30 and CRI to investigate subjective impressions of color quality, specifically normalness, saturation and preference. They hypothesized:

• As Rf increases, colors would be judged as more normal.
• As Rg increases, colors would be judged as more saturated.
• Greater saturation, specifically reds, are more preferred.

Twenty-eight people with varying ages and gender evaluated a variety of objects under different lighting conditions. The object colors presented a range of hue, saturation and lightness. The room was lighted to 20 footcandles and a constant 3500K correlated color temperature. The light sources had varying combinations of fidelity and saturation.

As expected, Rf is a good predictor of how normal colors appear. Rg is a good predictor for saturation. However, alone they are not good predictors of preference. A light source with the same Rf and Rg values can produce different impressions. That’s because Rg is an average indicator of saturation, and participants specifically showed a distinct preference for saturated reds.

The preference for saturated reds is interesting in light of the fact most energy-efficient lighting does not saturate reds. Additionally, many of the most favored sources in the study had CRI values under 80. Because CRI is biased against saturated reds, manufacturers engineer light sources that achieve a good CRI but less-preferred gamut shapes.

Click here to learn more.

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The City of Aalborg Wins 2016 City.People.Light Award

The city of Aalborg, Denmark was awarded the first prize of the 14th annual City.People.Light award for its innovative “House of Music Area” urban regeneration project. ÅF lighting, the company…

The city of Aalborg, Denmark was awarded the first prize of the 14th annual City.People.Light award for its innovative “House of Music Area” urban regeneration project. ÅF lighting, the company that designed and executed the project, was also awarded during the ceremony on 4th of November 2016 in Seoul, South Korea.

The “House of Music Area” is part of a larger renovation project that was geared towards transforming the Aalborg waterfront from an industrialized zone into a vibrant university city and buzzing cultural hub. The design embraced the local heritage of the site and used stakeholder analysis to ensure the space was not only attractive, but also inviting to local residents, students and visitors to the city.

“In the new space, lighting intertwines with the natural backdrop of the waterfront creating a unique landscape throughout the day and even at night,” said C.F. Møller, the project’s landscape architect. “The space is adaptive and dynamic ensuring the perfect environment is created no matter the event, exhibition or season. This is achieved through tailored lighting solutions.”

The international City.People.Light award was created by Philips Lighting and LUCI, the international network of cities on urban lighting, in 2003. Over the years, it has honored multiple cities for their sustainable urban development projects that utilize light to enhance the environment and lives of local citizens.

Click here to learn more.

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Study: Architects Want More Digital Support, Good Advice, Transparency from Manufacturers

Architects are calling on manufacturers of building products and materials to advance their digital capabilities, as well as their ability to consult and advise customers in the many phases of…

Architects are calling on manufacturers of building products and materials to advance their digital capabilities, as well as their ability to consult and advise customers in the many phases of construction projects, according to a study published by The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The Architect’s Journey to Specification assesses the cultural, technical, and informational influences in the choices made by America’s building design professionals. The research into the preferences, habits and attitudes of architects in their roles as specifiers of building products also shows that transparency and knowledge sharing are critical to influencing choices about products to be used.

Key findings

Improved websites.
Architects want product websites that are clear, concise, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. They also want easy access (no sign-up to view product information) and access to detailed information, including building information models and objects.

Focus on education.
Architects are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their license. Manufacturers can capitalize on this by creating and offering online and face-to-face educational programming that qualifies for continuing education credits. Beware the product pitch disguised as education. Relationships have been damaged over such miscues.

Be an expert. Architects want to talk to manufacturer representatives who know technical information about the product. Manufacturers should prepare your sales force to be highly knowledgeable about their products—and arm them with specifications for those products.

Be proactive. Architects see manufacturers as important influence agents in specification phase of a project. Their time is typically very limited, so manufacturers should prepare their sales teams to understand the customer’s pain points first. That can help lead to a larger discussion about new product lines.

Be transparent. The more open a manufacturer can be about the specification for a product, the more loyalty and trust will be fostered with the architect. This will translate to greater market share, as architects start to look at the manufacturer as an extension of their project teams.

The 49-page report is available as a stand-alone purchase or as a companion to an online data dashboard for business planning and market insight. A special executive summary is available for download. Contact AIA at 844.432.1242 or partnership@aia.org.

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LIGHTFAIR International 2017 to Feature Expanded Curriculum

LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) 2017 offers an all-new Conference curriculum spanning the spectrum of contemporary theory and practice. The Conference program includes 77 courses totaling more than 190 education hours at…

lightfair

LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) 2017 offers an all-new Conference curriculum spanning the spectrum of contemporary theory and practice. The Conference program includes 77 courses totaling more than 190 education hours at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center May 7 – 11 (Pre-Conference LIGHTFAIR Institute: May 7 – 8; Trade Show & Conference: May 9 – 11).

Highlighting the Conference are two leading-edge Forums that will explore some of the newest advancements in the industry – IoT & Smart Lighting Forum and Light & Health Forum. Each all-day forum is comprised of six one-hour sessions that delve into the innovative developments driving the industry forward. Sessions will be available as a package or à la carte.

The IoT & Smart Lighting Forum on Wednesday, May 10 explores the benefits of connectivity that drive lighting and technology ahead. Session topics include connected lighting, intelligent building, facility design, cyber security and city impact. This forum complements the 2017 launch of LIGHTFAIR’s IoT Pavilion and Intelligent Lighting Pavilion on the trade show floor.

The Light & Health Forum outlines the impact of light on biological health and well-being and addresses current issues such as the potential for blue light as a hazard. This forum also takes place on Wednesday, May 10 and sessions cover research, circadian light, blue light, independent living facility design, 24-hour lighting environments and hospital lighting.

New tracks in the Conference include Core Knowledge, Design Strategies, Intelligent Lighting and Connectivity and Professional Development. Core Knowledge courses introduce attendees to a topic or tool to which they have limited exposure. Design Strategies courses explore the design process and how we communicate intent and document design. Now that the lighting industry has been introduced to the Internet of Things (IoT), the Intelligent Lighting and Connectivity track is intended to go from “we can do that” to “here’s how to do that.” Professional Development courses address the business and entrepreneurial aspects of the lighting industry. The continuing tracks are: Applications Research, Inspiration and Design Tools and Technologies.

LIGHTFAIR will continue to offer 60-minute sessions which offer a shorter course length while covering some of the industry’s most relevant topics such as horticulture design, LED investment, experiential design, lighting control systems, sport broadcast lighting, city lighting, parking facilities and circadian lighting.

LIGHTFAIR 2017 will offer simultaneous Spanish and Portuguese translation services for eight of its most popular seminars.

Click here to learn more.

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Product Monday: Focus Wall Slot by Focal Point

Focal Point’s Focus Wall Slot is a low-profile perimeter luminaire that fully conceals the indirect optics, creating the appearance of a floating ceiling while illuminating walls. Infinite lengths combined with…

Focal Point’s Focus Wall Slot is a low-profile perimeter luminaire that fully conceals the indirect optics, creating the appearance of a floating ceiling while illuminating walls.

Infinite lengths combined with the ability to create patterns with 90° inside or outside corners provide flexibility in design, bringing depth and visual interest to unnoticed areas of commercial spaces. Designed for easy installation and maintenance, and to accommodate restricted plenum ceilings, the roughly 6-in.-tall rough-in steel housing contains a separate LED light module that can be snapped in at any stage of the construction process. The housing assembly is engineered with built-in adjustability, accommodating variations in finished dimensions of the spaces.

Various lumen outputs and color temperature options provide customization for various applications.

Click here to learn more.

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Focus Wall Slot from Focal Point on Vimeo.

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2017 IES Illumination Awards Accepting Submissions

Submissions are now being accepted for the IES’ 2017 Illumination Awards program via the Illumination Awards portal. The deadline is February 17, 2017. The entry fee is $125 per project….

iesSubmissions are now being accepted for the IES’ 2017 Illumination Awards program via the Illumination Awards portal. The deadline is February 17, 2017. The entry fee is $125 per project.

Click here to submit a project.

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BIM and the Future of Lighting Design

An article recently published in LUX reflects on the role of lighting design in Building Information Modelling (BIM), which is evolving past a 3D construction modeling system to include all…

An article recently published in LUX reflects on the role of lighting design in Building Information Modelling (BIM), which is evolving past a 3D construction modeling system to include all services, including lighting. This opens the possibility for BIM to become a new collaborative tool for design teams.

From LUX:

Typically, the lighting design for a building only comes along once the building design is ‘frozen’; everyone has agreed where the walls and the ceiling are going and – if we’re lucky – where all the furniture will be placed. At this point it’s possible for the lighting designer, who might be a manufacturer, to produce the layouts and the supporting performance data. It is the system that we all understand and we know the drawbacks to it.

But that traditional approach brings its own problems. A ‘frozen’ scheme can be unfrozen at any point, requiring a late re-visit to the scheme; manufacturers often find that they’re just one among a number of other manufacturers, with no guarantee that all of the time taken in developing the scheme will result in an order; worst of all, a successful scheme, costed and approved, can still be lost due to ‘value engineering’.

LUX says:

The BIM approach will be different. The higher level of engagement required by the members of the project team will create an inherent flexibility within the process. This will make design changes more organic to the process. The productivity benefit comes from directly supporting design development – a far cry from the phonecall that would once inform designers of major changes.

Click here to read more.

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What’s New in LED Drivers

Below is my lighting column published in the January issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission. The majority of LED lamps and luminaires feature an electronic driver that performs the…

Below is my lighting column published in the January issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

The majority of LED lamps and luminaires feature an electronic driver that performs the same basic function as a fluorescent ballast. The driver converts AC supply voltage to DC and drives current to the LED source.

In the traditional lighting aftermarket, electrical distributors select a compatible ballast based on the type of lamp in the luminaire. Form factors and other attributes are standardized. In relatively rate cases, the ballast is dimmable, requiring a ballast compatible with the selected dimming method.

In the LED market, as with fluorescent luminaires, distributors typically select a luminaire with its manufacturer choosing the driver. After installation, the driver may be replaced in the field when it fails if the luminaire is serviceable. This can be more challenging than replacing a ballast for several reasons, including non-standardization of form factors, wide range of driver-LED module pairings, and short product cycles.

“While LED drivers perform a similar function to electronic ballasts, they are not the same,” says Kevin Boyce, Director of Product Management, Universal Lighting Technologies. “More information is needed to select the proper LED driver replacement than was required in electronic fluorescent ballast replacement.”

Driver types

Drivers may vary in regards to output, safety rating, input voltage, programmability, temperature rating, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and form factor.

The industry typically categorizes drivers as constant-voltage or constant-current. Constant-voltage drivers operate LEDs requiring a fixed voltage (typically 12 or 24VDC), popular for applications where the LED load is unknown, such as sign and track lighting. Constant-current drivers (e.g., 350mA, 700mA, 1A) operate LEDs requiring a constant current, and are used in the large majority of LED general lighting. Good performance depends on matching output current and voltage to the LEDs.

Besides output characteristics, the industry also evaluates drivers based on input characteristics. The larger majority of drivers are universal (120-277V, 50-60Hz), but some are fixed or single voltage. The driver must be compatible with the supply voltage.

Drivers may be rated as Class 1 or Class 2. The majority of indoor LED products use Class 2 drivers, which simplifies luminaire construction. The majority of outdoor LED products use Class 1 drivers, which operate more efficiently when high light output is required.

The majority of LED products is dimmable and designed to operate with 0-10V and/or digital (e.g., DALI) controls.

Trends

LED drivers are technically advancing as the LED lighting market matures and the technology continues to evolve.

“There are many trends that driver manufacturers are looking into,” says Ethan Biery, LED Engineering Leader, Lutron Electronics. “Incremental improvements in efficiency, variations in size and wattage, increased connectivity options, multichannel drivers for support of color-tuning applications, and drivers integrated directly into light engines.”

Programmability: Drivers may be programmed or tuned (typically at the factory) to set the maximum output for the LED load. This allows precise pairing of the driver and LED module and resulting light output and wattage. A majority of drivers used in indoor luminaires are tunable. Most in the outdoor market are not, though Boyce says demand is growing.

“The industry is moving towards tunable drivers, which allows for luminaire manufacturers to reduce the number of LED drivers they use,” he says. “This also allows distributors to stock fewer LED drivers, though it does require the distributor to tune or set up the output of the LED driver to the requirement of each luminaire. Conversely, some LED driver manufacturers offer quick-ship programs of factory-tuned drivers to alleviate the distributor of the responsibility to tune the drivers.”

In addition to the programming maximum output, some drivers offer programming of dim levels and dimming curves.

Color tuning: As demand for color-tunable lighting such as tunable white products increases, driver manufacturers are investing resources in products to support that market. Says Biery, “New technologies are beginning to deliver multichannel tunable drivers for LED lighting that allows the color to be adjusted almost infinitely to deliver the perfect color temperature for any application.”

Flicker concerns:
Flicker concerns have focused industry attention on the driver, its interactions with dimming controls, and metrics that can be used to evaluate and compare drivers. These metrics are likely to be released this year.

“The LED driver plays a very significant role in delivering flicker-free, high-quality dimming performance,” Biery notes. “Recommend digital drivers whenever possible, as they generally use more robust filtering components and are less prone to noise and external interference that can cause flicker. Simpler, less expensive, less complex drivers generally have fewer filtering components and use analog instead of digital circuitry, making them more prone to undesirable modulation in their output and to external electrical noise sources, which can manifest as flicker.”

Replacing the driver

The goal of driver replacement is that the new driver provides the same functionality as one it is replacing. The new driver’s characteristics must match the replaced driver. This is critical as mismatching can cause operating failure or performance and/or safety issues. Further, with the majority of luminaires, the driver is installed in the luminaire, requiring a form factor allowing installation. Many commercial luminaires permit field replacement, with some featuring quick disconnects for easy servicing. However, a lack of standardization can make finding the right replacement driver challenging.

“There is little effort being put toward standardization of LED driver form factors or technical capabilities,” Biery says. “The number of options demanded by fixture makers is too great. The best advice for distributors who want to stock drivers is to work with a quality manufacturer who demonstrates a commitment to having short lead times as well as supplying products with a long product lifecycle.”

In 2016, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) published LSD 74, Considerations of Field LED Driver Replacement. This whitepaper provides recommendations for driver replacement.

If using the same manufacturer’s driver, replacement can be simple. Send the model number and programmed current level (on the label or on a second label) to the luminaire or driver manufacturer. If using a different manufacturer, determine the LED module’s rated current; the manufacturer may provide a list of suitable replacement drivers. If the type of LED module is unknown, take a photograph of it and submit it to the driver manufacturer. If using a tunable driver, note the programmed current typically does not transfer from one manufacturer to another, so tuning can be difficult to replicate.

Finally, be sure that the replacement driver is a quality product made by a reputable manufacturer. “Characteristics of high-quality LED drivers are high efficiency, high reliability and stable output,” Boyce says. “Due to the long life of LED modules, all replacement drivers should be high-quality.”

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