Thursday, 12 December 2013

How We’ve Helped 21 Principal Hayley Hotels Across the UK Reduce Their Energy Consumption….

The LED Specialist and our sister company Lightsave Fuller Read, Philips preferred supplier for their LED products helped our client, Principal Haley Hotels and Conference Venues embark on an energy saving initiative.

Principle Hayley Hotels and Conference Venues operate an eclectic collection of hotels across the UK. Venues range from Gothic manor houses to slick city centre hotels to purpose-built conference and training venues. To adhere to the company’s strong sustainability policy and keep in line with standards laid down by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the Principal Hayley Group has laid out a number of initiatives to reduce their environmental impact.

Principle Hayley, compares daily energy consumption with the same day of the previous year, this has established a high level of energy-awareness amongst their staff. Any anomalies identified through these comparisons are flagged up to senior staff and fully investigated meaning Principal Hayley venues are achieving maximum energy efficiency.

A major challenge when reducing the lighting energy consumption was that lighting varies a great deal from one site to another. Lightsave Fuller Read had to find a light source which would complement the unique character of each building whilst keeping energy consumption to a minimum.

Due to his wealth of experience with lighting before joining Principal Hayley, the companies Head of Property Management, Gregor MacNoughton had already identified Philips LEDs as the light sources that would meet his essential yet varied criteria. “I worked closely with our lighting supplier Lightsave Fuller Read to identify the areas where upgrading lighting would deliver a sensible return on investment, and with which lamps.”

Lightsave Fuller Read’s Alan Kilford explains how he tackled this project: “We looked at areas that were using light sources of over 20w and burning for more than 12 hours per day. Lamps within this group would provide a payback within two years based solely on energy consumption. The areas encompassed in this project included: restaurants, bars, corridors, kitchens and back of house areas. Philips’ Master LED range was ideal for this roll-out project as the lamps offer, long lamp life, a range of beam angles, a good colour rendering index and the company boasts excellent technical support.”

After each area had been identified, Alan was faced with the task of selecting the most suitable LED lamps for each individual setting. The nature of the buildings and the previous lighting meant the new Lightsave Fuller Read recommended light sources ranged from 7w replacements for 50w GU10 halogen lamps through to LED tubes to replace fluorescent lamps in kitchen and back of house areas.

Completion of this lighting project has resulted in Principal Hayley significantly reducing their installed lighting electrical load, energy costs and associated carbon emissions. The long life of Philips Master LED lamps means maintenance and replacement costs of lamps are significantly reduced. The lighting upgrade is expected to yield an overall reduction in energy consumption of 10% in the next 12 months.

The lamps used in this project can all be found at our website or call our office to speak to one of our informed, friendly sales executives 0118 950 7125. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

EU Eco Design DIM2 Directive Explained…

Over the past few years, the LED lighting market has faced a number of problems; manufacturers have made false claims, poor quality LEDs have given inconsistent performances, product information has been inaccurate and to top it all off there was little to no legislation controlling these issues.

Due to increasing concerns that LED lighting may not deliver the expected performance, the European Union have introduced the Eco Design DIM2 directive. This new piece of legislation hopes to enable customers to make informed choices when purchasing LED and directional halogen lamps.

In order to achieve this, minimum performance standards for both LED lamps and directional halogen lamps have been set. Regulations have also been put into place to make product information more accurate and transparent, meaning packaging is now a useful and more reliable indicator of performance. These changes to packaging mean the product information displayed on the box is similar across all suppliers ensuring customers can chose the most suitable option from a range of manufacturers.

The benefits of this new directive can be best demonstrated through outlining which common problems they will eradicate in the LED lighting market. A source of disappointment for many customers is a painfully obvious inconsistency in colour appearance. It has now been stipulated that colour variation should be hardly noticeable to the naked eye, and that colours should be represented in a vivid and natural way. To achieve this, manufacturers must undertake rigorous quality control methods. Due to the expense of enforcing such precise quality control, cheaper LEDs often fall short, showing a greater variation in colour. For instance, poor quality control is indicated when packaging indicates a colour temperate range-  for example 4000-4500k, a precise colour temperature-  for example 2700k implies a high level of quality control has been enacted.

Since the directive has come into effect manufacturers are required to clearly state on packaging, energy efficiency, luminous flux in lumens, colour temperature in kelvin, lifetime in hours, number of switching cycles, lamp dimensions in millimetres, beam angle in degrees and energy consumption in kWh. These changes will ensure that lamps for different manufacturers can be easily compared giving customers confidence in the product they are purchasing.

To ensure customers are able to trust that the stated lumen output is reliable and that the wattage equivalent given is accurate, the following performance requirements have been laid out; directional lamps including spots and reflectors must meet a specified lumen level to be able to claim they are a replacement for certain wattage. After 6,000 burning hours, 95% of lamps must survive and maintain at least 80% of their initial lumen output and 95% of lamps must survive for at least 1000 hours.

After these new regulations were announced earlier in the year, Philips has gone above and beyond to ensure the new guidelines are met. Their DIM2 compliant packaging is easily recognised by its purple colour; they have also introduced an improved spot and reflector range which meet the new wattage requirements. They offer a lamp for every socket, with product ranges for all types of applications. Despite these changes, Philips has managed to maintain the look and feel of their lamps meaning customers will hardly notice the difference.

Although not all of these new regulations received a glowing reception, it is widely acknowledged that the Eco Design DIM2 regulations will greatly improve the LED lighting market, giving both customers and wholesalers such as ourselves, the information needed to make accurate and appropriate selections. The enforcement of these measures aims to broaden the use of LED lighting, reducing consumer’s energy and maintenance costs as well as their environmental impact.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Public support for changes to the UK’s WEEE regulations…

In a recent 23 question government consultation, public support was given to the changes proposed to the UK’s lamp recycling regulations. The changes aim to make recycling of lighting and electrical goods cheaper and fairer.
Within the 256 responses, overwhelming support was shown for measures intending to fix the loophole in the current WEEE system. The system at present allows middlemen to make huge profits at the expense of producers. The government presented four options to fix these flaws; one proposed option backed by half of the respondents was to match up recycling schemes with individual waste collection facilities.
Many LED products being sold today are used to replace gas discharge lamps, which then have to be recycled. Because of this, 84% of respondents showed support for the proposal to bring LED’s into the same WEEE category as gas discharge lamps.
In order to comply with the new European WEEE Directive, the UK regulations are being updated. The soon to be finalised revised regulations will address lamp recyclers and manufacturers concerns about the costs associated with the system. 
Nigel Harvey, CEO of lamp recycling scheme Recolight, believes: “The strong levels of support for changing the WEEE system give the government a powerful mandate. This proposal will benefit the lighting industry and its customers, by avoiding the risk of an unfunded fluorescent lamp waste stream.”
It is believed these new regulations with come into effect at the start of 2014.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Top Tips for Selecting the Right LED Light Source

Buying an LED lamp  appears to be a difficult and confusing task. there are many variations of LED lamps on the market but which one is right for you? Here we take you through the key criteria for LED lamps. 

Firstly, colour temperature consideration is crucial! Lighting installations whose colour temperature varies will emit an unsightly patchwork of colours. 

Quality of the LED lamp is indicated by numerous features; the information on the packaging of the lamp is a key indication of the manufacturers confidence in the colour temperature consistency. Ranges of colour temperatures e.g. 4000-4500K suggest poor quality control, contrastingly lamp packaging offering precise colour temperature e.g. 2700K indicates high quality control.

Selecting a high quality LED is especially important when purchasing white LEDs, these use a similar mechanism to fluorescent lamps using blue LEDs which excite a phosphor which in turn emits white light. Top quality manufacturers will have invested heavily in quality control during each step of this process, checking everything from colour consistency of the blue LEDs to the consistency of the phosphor coating.

A key difference between LEDs and incandescent lamps which one should bear in mind is, with incandescent lamps there is a clear correlation between wattage and light output. This is NOT the case with LEDs, lumen output is a much more meaningful point of reference than wattage when selecting an LED lamp. 

However, it is important to watch out for manufacturers quoting a misleadingly high figure; this may be due to them quoting the lumen output of the raw LED before it has been incorporated into the lamp. Quality manufactuers will quote relaisic figures!

LEDs are able to acheive the required lux levels from a lower lumen package than incandescent lamps demonstrating less light wastage and more effective lumens. This occurs because LEDs are directional and therefore do not rely on the luminaires optics to direct light to where it is needed. 

There is some debate about how the term "lifetime" is characterised. Lifetime is a slightly ambiguous term, some LED lamps are claiming unusually high lifetimes of 10,000 hours plus. While this may be true for the LED alone, the LED does not operate alone, it operates as part of a system. Poor management of this system may result in shorter lifetimes, so questions must be asked about how the LED system will operate as a whole when considering an LED's lifetime.