Lighting

Lighting is one of those fundamental human needs – and nowhere more so than in the workplace.

This page and the pages linked from it are designed to provide some ideas and perhaps inspiration but mainly to show you that I understand the subject and may be able to help you improve the lighting in and of your business.

So, there are pages dedicated to:

Lighting is developing so fast at the moment it is no wonder many clients are confused about what to replace and when.  

Can I just say that if your lighting is more than 10 years old the decision is very simple – REPLACE IT NOW – energy costs will be slashed and lighting quality markedly improved.

What makes lighting good or bad – or even terrible?

I was going to say that none of this is rocket science but in truth some of it really is – however, I am not going to dwell on the complicated stuff – my aim is to interest and engage you, make you think a little more about those shiny things illuminating your workplace and maybe look to make some improvements.

By the way – just so I can get this out of my system:

Lamps Light – Bulbs Grow – please call them lamps – it shouldn’t bug me but it does

Why should we be concerned about energy and lighting?

Over 58,000GWh (giga-watts that is) of electricity is used every year to light the UK which is around 20% of all the electricity used in this country – so yeah, lighting is important and I have found that there are some serious energy and money savings to be achieved by using lighting more effectively. 

“Good lighting improves productivity”.  Take it away and we cry out for it.  Give us too much and we close the curtains or put on shades – I even surveyed an office once where one guy had to wear a baseball cap at his desk to protect himself from the glare coming off the lights over his desk!  Get it right and it brightens the workplace stimulating occupants.

“Around 30% of office workers under standard down-lighter systems rate them as uncomfortable”.

“Dimming control over workstation lighting improves motivation and accuracy”.

“People who are more satisfied with their lighting rate the lit space as more attractive, are happier and are more comfortable and satisfied with their environment and work”.

These are some of the findings of the “Light Right” Consortium whose Chair, Ron Lewis is quoted as saying “Lighting does matter, we have sampled major US Corporations and found a strong connection between lighting, productivity and its overall value to businesses”.

Lighting doesn’t have to be mundane or merely functional – and yes I am speaking with my Energy Consultant’s hat on here – I can help create working lighting environments that stimulate your staff and maintain their enthusiasm for your business premises.  We can use accent lighting in more than just the Board Room and Reception to create visual “honey-pots” and importantly we can utilise cool colour output as close to daylight as possible to provide a natural and visually comfortable work-space.

“Light is the key to well being” – said Le Corbusier – one of the pioneers of modern architecture.

 So Stewart – why are LEDs so bright and so much more efficient than conventional lights?

Well thank you for asking a very intelligent question – I shall try to answer with my customary aplomb – and also without blinding you with science (helps me get it too).

We are talking about Scotopic Lumens – which is a measure of what we actually see as opposed to what the absolute measure of light outputs tell us we should see – it is a far more accurate representation of the amount of light humans perceive than the conventional black box stuff which frankly is pretty meaningless and often mis-interpreted and mis-represented. There is a simple formula:

Pupil Lumens = Photopic Lumens * Scotopic Correction Factor

all sounds good so let’s put this information into some hard facts:

Source of light Watt Lumens

Lumens/Watt

(Photopic Lumens)

S/P Ratio 

(correction factor)

Pupil Lumens Pupil Lumens/Watt
Low Pressure Sodium 250 32500 130 0.23 7475 30
High Pressure Sodium 250 27500 110 0.62 17050 68
Metal Halide 400 36000 90 1.49 53640 134
T8 Flourescent (3000K) 36 2800 78 1.13 3164 88
LED 15 2100 140 1.9 3990 266

 

So, although in terms of their lumens per watt fittings like the horrid orange SON we find in workshops and warehouses are extremely efficient it is clear from the table above that in terms of what we actually see they are pretty blummin’ dull – and the orange colour output makes defining colours and textures almost impossible.  Sadly they are not even cheap!  By contrast a 15W LED is almost 10 times visibly brighter than a 250W SON – which is why LEDs have tended to be light you look at rather than light you see by – all that has now changed however – check out LEDs.

Full spectrum LED is the way forwards folks – no question about it.