A Brighter Future for the Environment with LEDS

If you watched the opening ceremony at Olympics 08 you say LED lights on show. In a world placing high demand on energy resources, such events initiate innovations in sustainable products. LEDs are now available here that can empower you to contribute to a sustainable future .

LED Lighting Offers a Brighter Future for Green Smart Buildings

The property sector is regulated to lead reduction in energy usage and CO2 emissions for new buildings and retrofits. To achieve these reductions the sector meet  Section J of the Building Code that specifies a maximum lamp power density level in Wm2.  Smarter clients and tenants are aware energy costs will continue to increase  and are demanding higher standards than those set out in Green Smart requirements. Lighitng is an efficient way to help meet these standards, as lights contribute to high energy usage and heat generation. Popular technologies, halogens and metal halide lights, are inefficeint in converting energy to light, with most energy (90%+) converted to hear. LEDs reverse the energy demands and generate 96% light and 4% heat.

LED lighting is one way to enhance good building design, meet new environmental standards, including CO2 emissions, saving energy, lowering maintenance costs and air conditioning loads.

LED lighting has been here for some time, but overseas examples show how they can now deliver their potential right here now. Suitable for both indoor and out in offices, shops, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, hostels, gardens, pathways, car parks, building exteriors etc. They suit anywhere halogen, metal halides or most fluorescent lights are used, and LEDs can readily replace halogens in retrofit situations.

Design options have improved. Traditionally in a room 6m x 4m over 12 halogens of 50W each were installed. This would generate an illimination power density ratio of 25, in excess of Section  J Code level 10. In comparison, a 10W LED woudl achieve a power density ratio of 5. This allows the designer more scope in lighting as well as the obvious energy and heating savings.

LED Lighting - the key benefits:

  • significantly reduce energy usage (produce 96% light and 4% heat),
  • lower CO2 emissions (90%+ compared to halogen and incandescent lights),
  • less heat from lights means less demand on air conditioners,
  • help meet Green Smart energy targets and Section J of the Builing Code,
  • have a long life measured in years not months (up to 100,000 hours) significantly reducing maintenance costs,
  • offer a wide range of colour combinations and remote control,
  • are non-toxic and disposal is safe.

The Facts

LED deliver 100% of their energy as coloured light compared to incandescent bulbs that need to eb filtered to produce a colour, and by contract wause 90% or more in light blocked by a filter. Incandescent bulbs also waste 80-90% of their energy on heat generation to reach the temperatin for which they are  designed. Halogens are no better and contribute to fire risk becuase heat is concentrated in such a small area.

The new 10W LED now produces enough light to replace the 50W halogen, albeit with a narrower throw angle. This requires setting them apart by 7-800mm to give the area a similar luminance.

Unfortunately, the consumer has been educated to believe wattage equals brightness, in reality wattage equals power. LEDs are very efficient at projecting light, unlike incandescent or halogen lamps. In realit a 50W halgen is a 45W electric heater producing 4% light and 96% heat.

LEDs emit little or no spherical light, so it is not accurate to compare lumen-per-watt tables as these take into account all light emissions. A very rough rule of thumb is 1 LED watt is approximate to 4 or 4.5 incandescent watts, i.e. 4 LED watts = 45 incandescent watts; but this does vary by bulb and colour (e.g. cool white is higher, warm white is lower) and manufacturer. Remember this is focused, monochromatic light.

For designers and users alike, LED lights are most adaptable in commercial fit-outs where high light focus and dramatic effects are required. In these environments, LEDs are much easier to work with and enhance the designer’s input, providing more options to create the effect required. No more just placing halogen lights every metre. LEDs do need careful thought, but help to create a new light dynamic in any space. LEDs provide flexibvle design optiosn with a choice of sizes from 3mm to 25mm screw and bayonet .

At the top end of the scale LEDs are replacements for security lighting. There are several models available now, in particular 1800 lumen and 2400 lumen only require 30W and 72W respectively. They last much londer (up to 100,000 hours), and  can be programmed to produce over 1.6million colours, as well as significantly  reducing the power consumerd and resultant CO2 emissions.

So not only can designers create lighting more sympathetic to the mood, clients make significant savings on maintenance replacement costs of incandescent, or halogen alternatives.

LEDs produce their light in a narrow beam, from +/- 12 degrees to +/- 50 degrees, determined by the multi-chip arrays and high-flux LED chips, and the reflector design. LEDs are now available in virtually any colour of the spectrum. They produce a monochromatic intense light. The specific wavelength of the light depends on the difference in energy levels as well as the type of semiconductor material used to manufacture the LED chip.

One complaint about LEDs is cost. It is more expensive to install LEDs instead of halogen, low-energy efficient fluorescents or incandescent globes. However, even after a short time clients get pay back from the investment in energy and maintenance savings. Cost models are available for the developer to verify this.

LEDs give tenants or owners significate gains with less power, less air conditioning, eliminate fire risk, lower CO2 emissions,and significantly, annual maintenance costs. LEDs have a life of 55,000 -100,000 hours compared to 1 to 6,000 hours for halogens. Longer life means no blown globes, waiting to be changed.

LEDs offer new design options and the ability to meet and exceed Green Smart codes for commercial buidlings. leds-r-us has the largest range of LEDs for residential, commerical and public spaces, inside and out and can advise, design, supply and install.

For more information go to www.leds-r-us.com.au 1300 308 823

Prepared by Niche Solutions