Category: Research

BPA Report Characterizes Non-Residential Lighting In The Pacific Northwest

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) published their Non-Residential Lighting Northwest Market Model report, this Summer. The report provides a characterization of the non-resi lighting market (commercial, industrial, & outdoor).

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) published their Non-Residential Lighting Northwest Market Model report, this Summer. The report provides a characterization of the non-resi lighting market (commercial, industrial, & outdoor).

Image: Bonneville Power Administration

In addition to the charts and graphs below, here are some interesting findings:

  • >150 million lamp/fixture sales
  • 50% of the 2021 installed regional lighting stock is LEDs
  • Total lighting power consumption has decreased 20% compared to the 2015 baseline, because of LED replacing less efficient legacy technology. The only application that showed growing lighting power consumption was indoor agriculture.
  • LED penetration rose from less than 10% of stock in 2015 to 50% of stock in 2021 — representing approximately 46 million additional LED lamps and fixtures entering the install stock.
  • The largest individual application in the model (by consumption, lamp count, etc.) is ambient linear. This application represents overhead and ambient lighting, which linear fluorescent fixtures have traditionally dominated.
  • The most dramatic trend
    over the analysis period has been the shift from 32-watt
    T8 linear fluorescent lamps toward TLEDs. TLEDs have increased from 2% of the stock in this application in 2015 to 32% of the ambient linear stock in 2021, representing a growth of nearly 17 million lamps.
  • In 2015, the outdoor sector significantly outpaced the commercial and industrial sectors in LED adoption. However, as LEDs have become more widely adopted, the penetration of LED by sector has evened out, with all sectors having an LED penetration of approximately 50% in 2021.
  • The model indicates that LED luminaires are a bright opportunity for highly persistent savings.

The BPA 2022 Non-Residential Lighting Northwest Market Model report executive summary can be downloaded here.

All images: Bonneville Power Administration

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A Look At The Color-Mixed White LED Future

In February 2022, the US DOE released its 2022 SSL Research & Development Opportunities report. While the report covers many promising directions for SSL R&D, one of the most significant evolutions predicted for LED light sources is the shift from phosphor-converted white LEDs (PC-LED) to color-mixed white LEDs (CM-LED).

In February 2022, the US DOE released its 2022 SSL Research & Development Opportunities report. While the report covers many promising directions for SSL R&D, one of the most significant evolutions predicted for LED light sources is the shift from phosphor-converted white LEDs (PC-LED) to color-mixed white LEDs (CM-LED):

  1. Image: US DOE 2022 SSL R&D Opportunities

    the PC-LED is based on a blue LED pumping yellow and red wavelength optical down-converters (typically phosphors) to produce white light, and

  2. the CM-LED approach uses primary colors that compose a red, green, blue, and amber (RGBA) LED combined to produce white light.

The PC-LED architecture is the dominant white light architecture used for LED lighting today. It has three major advantages: simplicity (only one LED type), temperature robustness (the InGaN blue LED and YAG phosphor down-converters can operate at relatively high temperatures), and color stability (the fractions of red, green, and blue source colors are determined during manufacture by the phosphor optical density and are relatively stable over time).

Over the past decade, luminous efficacies have more than doubled, from ~85 lm/W to approximately 185 lm/W. The principal reason has been improvement in blue LED efficiency, although progress has also been made in phosphors (efficiency and wavelengths to maximize spectral efficiency) and package efficiency (optical scattering/absorption). Despite these improvements, there is significant remaining potential for improved efficacy. Luminous efficacies of approximately 250 lm/W at the prescribed operating conditions are believed to be practically possible for PC-LEDs.

For the color-mixed architectures, an upper limit of 325 lm/W is considered achievable with greater breakthroughs in the technology. While the performance potential is high, today’s efficacies are much lower than the PC-LED approach due to the inefficient green and amber direct emission LEDs (known as the ‘green gap’).

While LED emitter materials have improved rapidly over the past decade, there are still key technological challenges that are limiting further improvement. The low efficiency of green and amber direct emission LEDs constrains the performance of color-mixed LED systems.

The full 2022 SSL R&D Opportunities report can be downloaded here.

Image: US DOE 2022 SSL R&D Opportunities

 

Image: US DOE 2022 SSL R&D Opportunities

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2022 State of the Cannabis Lighting Market Finds Record LED Usage

Cannabis Business Times released the seventh-annual “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” report. Results from the 2022 report demonstrate the increasing usage of LED lighting technology across all growth stages of cannabis cultivation. For the first time ever, at least 70% of study participants from commercial indoor or greenhouse operations with supplemental lighting used LEDs in cannabis propagation, vegetation and/or flowering stages.

Cannabis Business Times released the seventh-annual “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” report. Results from the 2022 report demonstrate the increasing usage of LED lighting technology across all growth stages of cannabis cultivation. For the first time ever, at least 70% of study participants from commercial indoor or greenhouse operations with supplemental lighting used LEDs in cannabis propagation, vegetation and/or flowering stages. The report also demonstrates an increase in LED usage by more than 50 percentage points since the study’s first year in 2016.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

The report details the connection between lighting solutions and plant growth across all stages—propagation, vegetation and flowering. Key findings from the report include:

• 83% of participants list energy efficiency as the top benefit of using LED lighting. 

• 46% of participants considering implementing or retrofitting with LEDs cite lower power usage as the top purchasing driver.

• 53% of participants named “light intensity” the top factor driving their light purchasing decisions for flowering—up 13 percentage points from last year.

• 47% of growers cite the importance of fixture-dimming capabilities and allowing for greater lighting flexibility, up from 36% in 2021.

• Among study participants representing non-LED-powered operations, 30% plan to add LEDs for flowering within the next 12 months.

• 51% of growers are interested in exploring side, inter-canopy, subcanopy or other lighting in addition to top lighting. 

There are 19 states that have legalized adult-use cannabis, and the majority of states have legalizedmedical cannabis. The 2022 “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” study was conducted by ReadexResearch. Participants included North American cannabis cultivators. View the full report in Cannabis Business Times’ October issue.

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Nearly All Mental Health Disorders Correlate With Circadian Rhythm Disruption

University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers conducted a thorough examination of peer-reviewed literature on the most prevalent mental health disorders and found that circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) is present in nearly all of them. However, correlation is not causation, so it is not clear if the mental disorders cause circadian disruption, if circadian disruption causes mental disorders or both in a positive feedback loop.

University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers conducted a thorough examination of peer-reviewed literature on the most prevalent mental health disorders and found that circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) is present in nearly all of them. However, correlation is not causation, so it is not clear if the mental disorders cause circadian disruption, if circadian disruption causes mental disorders or both in a positive feedback loop.

Pierre Baldi, UCI Distinguished Professor of computer science, and Amal Alachkar, neuroscientist and professor of teaching in UCI’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The most common mental disorders were found to correlate with circadian disruption, including: anxiety, autism, schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, ADHD, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, food addiction, and Parkinson’s disease.

Circadian rhythms are intrinsically sensitive to light/dark cues, so they can be easily disrupted by light exposure at night, and the level of disruption appears to be gender-dependent and changes with age. One example is a hormonal response to CRD felt by pregnant women; both the mother and the fetus can experience clinical effects from CRD and chronic stress.

The researchers explored the interplay of circadian rhythms and mental disorders with gender. For instance, Tourette syndrome is present primarily in males, and Alzheimer’s disease is more common in females by a ratio of roughly two-to-one.

Age also is an important factor, according to scientists, as CRD can affect neurodevelopment in early life in addition to leading to the onset of aging-related mental disorders among the elderly.

To address causal attribution, the UCI-led team suggests an examination of CRD at the molecular level using transcriptomic (gene expression) and metabolomic technologies in mouse models. The researchers believe that if the experiments were conducted in a systematic way with respect to age, gender, and brain areas to investigate circadian molecular rhythmicity before and during disease progression, it would help the mental health research community identify potential biomarkers, causal relationships, and novel therapeutic targets and avenues.

This project involved scientists from UCI’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Department of Computer Science, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics; as well as UCLA’s Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center. The National Institutes of Health provided financial support.

You can read the full article published in the Nature journal Translational Psychiatry, here.

 

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Researchers Use Infrared Light To Wirelessly Transmit Power Over 30 Meters

A research team from Sejong University in South Korea has demonstrated a new system which uses infrared light to safely transfer high levels of power. Laboratory tests showed that it could transfer 400 mW of light power over distances of up to 30 meters.

A research team from Sejong University in South Korea has demonstrated a new system which uses infrared light to safely transfer high levels of power. Laboratory tests showed that it could transfer 400 mW of light power over distances of up to 30 meters. This power is sufficient for charging sensors, and with further development, it could be increased to levels necessary to charge mobile devices.

Distributed laser charging works somewhat like a traditional laser, but instead of the optical components of the laser cavity being integrated into one device, they are separated into a transmitter and receiver. When the transmitter and receiver are within a line of sight, a laser cavity is formed between them over the air—or free space—which allows the system to deliver light-based power. If an obstacle cuts the transmitter-receiver line of sight, the system automatically switches to a power-safe mode, achieving hazard-free power delivery in the air.

Now that they have demonstrated the system, the researchers are working to make it more practical. For example, the efficiency of the photovoltaic cell could be increased to better convert light into electrical power. They also plan to develop a way to use the system to charge multiple receivers simultaneously. Read the full article here.

 

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Study Finds Care Home Falls Reduced 43% By Changing Light Spectrum & Intensity

The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (JAMDA) recently published a research study showing long-term care facility falls were reduced 43% by changing light spectrum and intensity throughout the day for residents.

The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (JAMDA) recently published a research study showing long-term care facility falls were reduced 43% by changing light spectrum and intensity throughout the day for residents. In four long-term care homes totaling 758 residents, investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led by Shadab Rahman, Ph.D., MPH, and Leilah Grant, Ph.D., of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, studied whether changing the intensity and spectrum of lighting across the day — which impacts neurocognitive processes such as alertness, mood and sleep — can reduce the rate of falls in elderly care-home residents.

In the homes, specifically, the short-wavelength (blue) content of ambient lighting was changed dynamically across the day and night at two sites, with fall rates at these sites then compared to the fall rates from the two other control sites, where the intensity and spectrum were fixed throughout the day and night. Overall, the researchers found a 43% reduction in the rate of falls for those who were exposed to the dynamic lighting versus those who were not.

“The ability to significantly reduce the rate of falls in long-term, care-home residents by implementing a relatively low-cost, passive, environmental intervention such as changing the spectrum and intensity of lighting throughout the day as a preventative strategy has major implications for improving health and well-being in this at-risk population,” said Rahman, the corresponding author of the study.

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for older adults (age 65+) in America. Since current interventions to reduce falls are multifactorial and require significant time and resources, pushes have been made to find alternative low-cost and low-burden solutions.

The full author list for the research study is:

  • Leilah K. Grant, Ph.D.
  • Melissa A. St. Hilaire, Ph.D.
  • Jenna P. Heller, BS
  • Rodney A. Heller, BS
  • Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.
  • Shadab A. Rahman, Ph.D., MPH

The research article is published here.

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LiFi Can Now Work Around Corners And Be Securely Coded To End Devices

LEDs Magazine recently reported that engineers from Cisco are now claiming that light-based communications, known as LiFi, is gaining the capabilities to work around corners and be securely pre-coded to end devices.

LEDs Magazine recently reported that engineers from Cisco are now claiming that light-based communications, known as LiFi, is gaining the capabilities to work around corners and be securely pre-coded to end devices.

Li-Fi, or light fidelity, is a technology that uses modulated light waves from LEDs or lasers to transmit data. It is like Wi-Fi in that it provides wireless internet connections, except where Wi-Fi uses radio waves (RF), Li-Fi uses visible light or IR.

The IEEE has been working on a standard for Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) as a way to intentionally redirect radio signals in complicated deployments. A research paper in March, whose authors include LiFi pioneer Dr. Harald Haas, claim that RIS-equipped Li-Fi environments ‘can lead to enhanced physical leader security’ in several different ways. For example, an RIS system can detect intruders, and then emit artificial noise in the intruder’s direction as a jamming technique. RIS elements can be pre-coded in a way that only legitimate users can decode, the authors state.

LiFi RIS can create a wireless network that only works with designated devices, allowing for an ‘intentional’ approach to network design. Radio waves don’t offer this type of precision.

The full article can be read here.

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CLTC Launches New Color Lab

The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at UC Davis has established “The Color Lab” in collaboration with the Center for Mind and Brain. The new color lab will explore the impact of discrete color spectra on stress, mood, and alertness.

The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at UC Davis has established “The Color Lab” in collaboration with the Center for Mind and Brain. The new color lab will explore the impact of discrete color spectra on stress, mood, and alertness.

A recurring question asked by building owners during human-centric lighting design is “which light colors should I use to optimize the space for the well-being of occupants?” Today, there is little data to support the use of specific light colors for increased wellness; however, with commercially available color-tuning lighting technologies, answers to this question and more are now being researched.

The Color Lab will be available to all UC Davis researchers and partners interested in studying the interactions between discrete spectra and humans. Partners from The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis and the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences are already collaborating with the team on the circadian implications of discrete spectra via the Davis Circadian Protocol. This work is supported by Toyota-Boshoku America. More information is available here.

 

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Researchers Use Light As Chemical Reaction Input To Convert Methane to Methanol

Scientists have developed an efficient new way to convert methane into methanol at room temperature. The technique could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a much cleaner way to make green fuels.

Scientists have developed an efficient new way to convert methane into methanol at room temperature. The technique could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a much cleaner way to make green fuels.

An interesting question is whether this type of chemical process could create a new category of lighting for industrial inputs. This would not be about visually lighting a chemical plant. It would be an industrial input, analogous to horticultural grow lights being an input to commercial agricultural facilities. This could have all kinds of implications for customized spectral tuning, durability requirements, etc.

The conversion of methane to methanol at room temperature is especially important because methane is 34 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 is, even though humans emit much more CO2. Industrial waste methane is typically burned in flares, which creates CO2 emissions.

For the new study, researchers at the University of Manchester and Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a new technique using a metal-organic framework (MOF) as a catalyst. These structures are extremely porous, and in this case, those pores contain a variety of components that each play a role in the catalytic process.

Exposing the MOF to sunlight triggers a chemical reaction that converts the gaseous methane into liquid methanol, which can then be easily extracted from the water.

In this case, the components held in the MOF absorb the light and generate electrons, which are then passed on to the oxygen and methane flowing through, causing them to combine to form methanol.

You can read the full article here.

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IDA Releases 2022 State of the Science Report On Light Pollution

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) released the “Artificial Light at Night: State of the Science 2022” report, earlier this month. It is a high-level overview of the best scientific understanding of how artificial light at night affects the nighttime environment. It finds the world transformed by electric light in less than 150 years since its introduction.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) released the “Artificial Light at Night: State of the Science 2022” report, earlier this month. It is a high-level overview of the best scientific understanding of how artificial light at night affects the nighttime environment. It finds the world transformed by electric light in less than 150 years since its introduction.

IDA’s goal in issuing the report is to empower dark-sky advocates and the public with reliable, factual, understandable information about light pollution. “State Of The Science 2022” condenses the current scientific consensus on how artificial light affects seven key topics:

  • the night sky;
  • wildlife and ecology;
  • human health;
  • public safety;
  • energy use and climate change;
  • social justice; and
  • a discussion of the emerging threat from light pollution caused by objects orbiting the Earth.

Where gaps exist in the science, the report highlights them as targets of future research. Read the full report, here.

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