LED and other technologies have revolutionized the lighting industry. We now have more options, more value, less energy use, and more synergy and integration in our lighting ranges than ever before. We all know LED lights use vastly less electricity and last a great deal longer than incandescent and CFL lights, but here are some interesting things you probably didn’t know about LED and other lighting technologies.
1. LEDs are all about visibility
There’s one main reason LEDs use approximately 80% less energy than incandescent/halogen lights: they use all the electricity to generate visible light. Well, that sounds pretty obvious, I hear you say, but the key word here is ‘visible’. All the light that comes from an LED is at a wavelength we can actually see; there is no wastage.
I’m sure you will have never seen this advertised on the box, but incandescent, halogen and CFL lights produce mostly light we can’t see. That is, only 15% of the energy becomes physical light, the rest is heat, infra-red, ultra-violet, and various other by-products that are not visible light. Therefore, the driving force in the LED revolution is the massive improvement in efficiency.
2. Insects don’t much like LEDs
Bugs love porch or verandah lights about as much as Kim Kardashian likes a camera. This is one of the consequences of the IR and UV light that is produced by fluorescent and incandescent lights. LED light, while not completely eliminating the attraction (bugs still like the normal light too), will greatly reduce your bug and moth problem. Probably also a better option than the bug zapper in the corner interrupting your peaceful dinner playlist. Ahh, the serenity!
3. LEDS go easy on their surroundings
Another advantage of LEDs not emitting IR and UV radiation is how gentle they are on paintings, manuscripts, and pretty much everything really old. Museums and art galleries around the world were early adopters of LED. The UV and IR of previous types of light fittings actually damage centuries-old paintings and materials, which is why they were never brightly lit and would remain in darkness when the art gallery or museum was closed. LED means they can not only light them brighter and for longer, they also have control over color temperature, and all while protecting and preserving these valuable artifacts.
Tip: In most cases, an experienced lighting designer will tick all the legal building code boxes, while also designing a home’s lighting to be efficient. They will generally have a wider range of fittings in their arsenal and will be able to better light a room without over-lighting it, while adding creatively to the decor or motif, and introducing to you the wonderful benefits of dimming, sensors, schedules, and lighting control.
4. Dimmable LEDs are getting smarter
Throughout the evolution of humans, sunlight has always been the clock that determines our sleep routines, or ‘circadian rhythms’. Science has proven many times over that artificial light can offset this internal clock and can actually prevent us from falling asleep. Experts recommend dimming lights leading up to bedtime, and using warm light rather than cool light, simulating a sunset.
Luckily LED lights can be dimmed, and new technology is emerging that lowers the colour temperature of the light as it is dimmed down. Imagine the light is on full and looks natural, then the further you dim it down towards off, it becomes warmer and warmer like a sunset. Install these appropriately named ‘Sunset Dimming’ lights in the bedroom and lounge room, and you’ll be a lot closer to a great night’s sleep and improved wellbeing.
5. LED Lighting sensors have evolved
Hard data is not readily available but many experts estimate that 40 per cent of our lighting bill comes from unoccupied rooms. The parents reading will certainly relate to the regular ritual of turning off all the lights in rooms not being used. The answer to this dilemma is to install lighting sensors. You’re probably familiar with them for outdoor floodlights, but sensors can be used inside as well.
For rooms like pantries, laundries, and utility rooms, sensors can be installed instead of a switch. In other rooms, you may not have the sensor turn on the light, but the greatest advantage of sensors is they can run a timer to turn off the light. Therefore when someone leaves a room, after a predetermined time of 5 or 10 minutes, the light is turned off. If you re-enter the room before the light goes off, then the timer is re-triggered and starts again. Essentially, empty rooms will automatically turn off the light after a set amount of time, saving energy, money, and your sanity.
6. LED Lights can adapt to the daylight
It’s very common in new office buildings to utilise ‘daylight harvesting’, and it’s quite an amazing technology. Essentially, a designer will nominate the light level required in an open space up front. Light level sensors are installed throughout, then when the daylight coming through the windows is less than the designated light level, lights are automatically turned on and are dimmed to a level that brings the ambient light up to that pre-determined level.
On a bright, sunny day the lights may be dimmed to 5 or 10 per cent; on a cloudy or rainy day the lights may need to run at 80 or 90 per cent, so overall we are using way less energy. The main benefit after energy saving is consistency of light level. The person occupying the room may not even be aware the lights are dynamically changing brightness to compensate for any loss of daylight. Daylight harvesting is now beginning to be used in homes, particularly in rooms where consistent lighting is useful, such as kitchens, laundries, studies, garages, and workshops.
7. LED Lighting systems are becoming pretty amazing
Technology can be a beautiful thing, and when it saves energy as well as significantly improving the functionality and liveability of your home, it’s well worth considering if you’re building a new house. Full lighting control systems such as BMS – Building Management Control (you decide which switches control which lights), more flexible (change your mind, change your programming), and more beautiful (dimming, mood lighting, architectural lighting).
Systems like these can also add convenience (one switch can set a global scene such as ‘All Off’ or ‘Welcome Home’), can be safer (sensor lighting and integration to alarm systems), thrifty (use less electricity and extend bulb life), and smarter (you can control all your lights from smartphones and iPads). Lighting can also be integrated with mechanical systems, irrigation systems, window treatments, air conditioning, ceiling fans and your audio/visual system.
8. LED Lights can be voice activated
Expanding on the technology and lighting control systems mentioned above, did you know you can control your lights by talking to them? Apple, Google, and Amazon all have systems with voice control that can respond to your verbal commands. This technology doesn’t just apply to homes with significant investment in full lighting control systems, but can also be implemented by just installing several compatible smart bulbs from partnered manufacturers. So get excited, saying ‘Lights on’ as you walk into your home and getting an instant result is here, right now.
Are you looking to efficiency LED solutions for your home, your office or any other type of building? Just contact us at [email protected] or phone no. +40 722 241 231