Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Philips Light Up The Festival of Lights

Philips Colour Kinetics LED connected lighting transforms the banks of the River Rhone.

Philips Lighting collaborated with French artist Severine Fontaine, to create the centre piece for the 2014, Lyon Festival of Light. The world famous Festival of Lights in Lyon, France is the world's principal creative lighting display event. This year the show ran from the 5th-8th December.  

The six minute, centrepiece show, spanned 80 metres of the River Rhone's banks. The phenomenal centrepiece, named "Incandescence" celebrated the importance of light in human development. 

"Incandescence" took six years to create, it featured nine illuminated domes, shaped like incandescent light bulbs.Each dome was the size of a small family car. The six minute show explored the symbiotic relationship between the human race and light. The iconic incandescent light bulb was used to represent the historic relationship between humans and artificial light, exemplifying it's often forgotten impact on human development. 

"Incandescence's" co-creator, Severine Fontaine said: "I chose to work with Philips, which is a prestigious partner, providing high-quality and high-tech products that enable spectacular light effects. The Philips technology allowed me to explore and create emotion, working light with great delicacy as if it were a musical score. Philips provided more than just products, the team also bought passion that allowed me to realize my concept and light scenario in optimal condition for the artistic quality of the art work."

Monday, 8 December 2014

The future for lighting: Smart Lighting

The sale of home lamps that can do everything is about to be turned on, according to a new research report, lamp vendors will sell nearly a quarter of a billion smart lamps each year by 2020. 

Smart Lamps as they are commonly being known as, are LED lamps that connect to digital networks and can therefore perform in a variety of innovative ways. Some of these include; users being able to remotely switch their lamps on or off and change the brightness or colour from the comfort of their sofa or from around the world through apps. Whilst some smart lamps have been developed to flash when they detect smoke or intruders, to pulsate music and respond to other sounds and to light up inside the house when your car arrives into the driveway or turn your key in the lock. 

Smart lamps are associated with smart home controls similar to the Nest by Google and with the newcomer the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) or 'Internet of Everything' (IoE) which is the concept that all the planet's objects can communicate with people as well as each other. The common example of this being the fridge that detects a shortage of beer and promptly orders more to replenish its stocks. Smart home controls are will be able to do these things as they are already built around LEDs, which in addition to emitting light also act as an electronic chip. 

Most LED lamps on the market are not yet 'smart.' Whilst they offer energy savings of 80% or more compared to traditional light sources and are said to last over twenty years most lamp producers have not yet teamed this technology with intelligence. But this is changing, Philips have created the Hue lamp which can change to any desired colour as well as many other features. 

As prices start to drop and developers begin to standardise wireless controls, shipments will rapidly increase. GE have annoucned their smart lamp, 'Link' which will be sold for about £10, closing the price gap between smart lamps and non-smart LED lamps. 

The ABI said in a local press release that,' annual smart bulb shipments are set to increase to 223 million by 2020, achieving a total installed base of over 400 million.' This is a huge increase on the 2.5 million units that the ABI research said sold in 2013.
ABI practice director Malik Saadi has commented that, 'Because of the additional dimensions smart lighting brings to the consumer lifestyle, including lighting automation, and because of its carbon footprint efficiency, this industry will rapidly become one of the key technologies that could bring IoE closer to consumers.' 

The move towards connected smart lighting is attracting other industries into home and commercial lighting. Internet companies are poised to play a big role and even the automobile industry is on the convergence trail, with BMW recently announcing street lighting combined with an electric car charger. This begs the question, which industry does smart lighting really belong to? How likely is it that Google will become the next owner of the lighting profession?

Friday, 5 December 2014

Evaluating Light Output: How many Watts is that LED?

When looking to define the output of a light source most people will look for its wattage. Traditional incandescent lighting has made it a rule that a 100 watt lamp will output more light than a 60 watt lamp. This is because all incandescent lamps use the same filament material which is heated to the same temperature, so the only way to increase the light output of these lamps is to increase the wattage. This is one of the main reasons why incandescent lighting wastes so much energy. 
However, LED light sources are much efficient at converting watts to lumens. Each material which can be used withing LED sources themselves has its own light extraction efficacy. For this and other reasons, two different LED sources can consume the same wattage but different lumen outputs.  Therefore watts can not be used as an index of light output in LED light sources. 
Evaluating the 'brightness' of LED sources for each situation requires you to think differently about lighting. A 60 watt incandescent lamp emits a total light output of roughly 800 lumens, but the light is equally emitted in all directions. When you're reading at your office desk, your book does not receive all the 800 lumens from your desktop lamp, nor should it need to. 
The most important measurement is delivered light. According to the IES ( Illuminating Engineering Society) serious reading requires 500 lux on the page. Many linear LED under-cabinet fixtures and task lights can deliver this level of light whilst consuming far less than 60 watts. 
So, wattage is no longer a relevant measurement to understanding the light output of a lamp, you might want to consider this when choosing which LED  lamp you require. 

Please visit www.theledspecialist.co.uk to see our full range of LED lighting. 

This blog post has been adapted from Philips' evaluating light output: technical brief. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lux Award Winners 2014.

The lighting industry's top manufacturers, most daring clients, innovative technologies and most awe-inspiring installations were honored last week at the Lux Awards 2014.
The ceremony took place in East London in the Troxy with nearly 1,000 lighting proffesional attendees making it the biggest ever lighting awards event in the UK. 
This year's Lux Awards winners included some amazing innovations and  top class projects.
Winners were chosen in 16 categories including the brand new international category, as well as retail lighting, industrial lighting, interior and exterior luminaires, innovations in the areas of light sources and controls, and the coveted Lux Person of the Year category. The chosen few were presented with a unique trophy made of recycled lamp glass.
Last weeks blog explored the lighting project of Sainsbury's nationwide and the lengths that Sainsbury's were going to to meet their energy saving targets. Now the awards have all been announced and presented with Sainsbury's winning not one,  but two awards. 

Sainsbury's won the Retail Lighting project of the year at the Lux Awards 2014. The judges commented that, 'it would be hard to see another retailer bettering this project, the supermarket chain has clearly put enormous thought, time and attention into its LED lighting roll out.' . You can watch a video about this project below.

They also won the Client of the Year award, the judges said that, 'The supermarket chain boasts probably the most knowledgeable and experiences end user lighting team in the UK.' 

Lux winners were also Debenhams for the best outdoor lighting project of the year and Philips for the best outdoor luminaire  as well as many others. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sainsbury's Uses LEDs Nationwide.

Sainsbury's has been considering LED technology for about seven years, first for their refrigerator lighting and later on for feature lighting and car parks. Overtime as the LED technology has developed, the supermarket giant has been considering it for more and more applications. 
Last year was a huge advancement of this. Sainsbury's opened its first all LED store in a brand new hypermarket in Leek, Staffordshire. This store consumes about 60% less energy for lighting than comparable stores thanks to the GE 'Blade' fitting, Nonetheless, this is still only one store.
However as of this year, Sainsbury's has made LED lighting the norm and the store in Leek is no longer going to be an exception.
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury's sustainability boss says the energy-efficient lighting is 'one of the most important technologies that we have introduced over the last three years.' All the major supermarkets have been dabbling with LED lighting but the scale of Sainsbury's decision and the sheer amount of attention that they are paying to lighting, makes it a cut above the rest. 
Simon Waldron, who joined Sainsbury’s last year as electrical engineering manager, says: ‘My role is to make it 100 per cent LED. But the real challenge is to go LED while maintaining look and feel. Customers are used to walking into a Sainsbury’s store and recognising the brand, and a change in lighting is a big visual element that could impact that.’
Sainsbury's  has already built five new stores that are using 100% LED lighting, and replaced traditional lighting in over 100 more. By the end of the year a total of 100,000 LED fittings will have been installed across the Sainsbury’s chain, reducing electrical load by 56 per cent (so far). The new lights are expected to pay for themselves in less than five years. 
As a result of the project, Sainsbury’s has made its way on to the Lux Awards shortlist in three categories: retail lighting, recycling, and client of the year.
The company’s lighting team has picked LED equipment from a range of manufacturers to come up with systems for new stores, old stores, big stores, little stores and everything in between. The project covers not just sales floors but also cafes, car parks, petrol stations, offices, back-of-house storage areas and distribution centres.

And to make sure each solution was exactly right for its needs, Sainsbury’s has in many cases developed products in tandem with its lighting suppliers, or requested custom versions of existing products. Dextra supplied a bespoke flat panel, GE developed its original 'Blade' product specifically for Sainsburys in addition to a semi-recessed version.In addition to this, JCC supplied its SkyTile LED panel in a previously unavailable colour temperature. ‘We don’t just take the first product we look at in a catalogue,’ says Waldron, ‘we work with manufacturers to come up with the ideal solution for each area in the estate. Generally we don’t take no for an answer. That’s not being arrogant, but we can always push manufacturers to come up with non-standard solutions that work for us.’
Sainsbury's massive LED lighting upgrade is part of a £1 billion energy-saving project known as Project Graphite – a reference to the carbon emissions that it aims to prevent.
The supermarket industry is more than competitive ever due to the rapid rise of cheaper stores such as Aldi and Lidl. Sainsbury's is hoping that a more sustainable approach and all the benefits that are attached to it. The team have calculated the total cost of owning the LED fittings for their whole lifetime, not just how many years it will take for the lamps to have paid for themselves.
Sainsbury’s aim is to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, compared with a 2005 baseline. And because it’s building more supermarkets at the same time, the reductions at each site will have to be significantly higher than that.
The new Sainsbury’s that opened in the centre of Wolverhampton in July is a prime example of what’s being done. The £60 million, 6,700m2 store contains LED luminaires from Dextra, GE, Holophane, JCC, Nualight, Philips, Thorlux and Zumtobel (as well as plentiful daylight through the skylights). It uses about 60% less energy for lighting than a comparable store with traditional lighting.
Its a long while since LED light fittings were recognisable by the grid of glary blueish dots. When choosing manufacturers for this project, Sainsbury’s insisted on four key elements, the first of which was that there be no compromise on the current look and feel of the fittings. The other things suppliers had to offer were energy efficiency, no component replacements for 10 years, and proper recycling of old luminaires.
One area where Sainsbury’s has been particularly clever is the attention is warranties, working with each manufacturer to get the correct warranty to make sure that minimal maintenance would be required for the life of the fittings. Sainsbury’s writes its own warranties with manufacturers, usually asking for five-years’, covering both labour and parts.

Sainsbury's worked with the recycling scheme Recolight, which our sister company, Lightsave Fuller Read, also works with. By the end of this year Sainsbury's will have recycled over 220 tonnes of old lamps and louvres.Whilst recycling their old lamps they are also refurbishing over 60,000 luminaire carcasses that would have otherwise been sent to the scrap yard. 
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Sainsbury's and replace your lighting with energy saving LEDs, please go to our website, www.theledspecialist.co.uk. We stock GE and Philips lamps, two of the companies that were involved in this vast energy saving project as well as many others.

Start your own energy saving project now with the Led Specialist!

Friday, 14 November 2014

The Sistine Chapel Illuminated with LED lights.

If you ever visited the Sistine Chapel you will remember the strain you felt in your neck and eyes when trying to get a proper glance at the beauty of Michelangelo's ceiling. Strain no longer. The Vatican recently turned on fifty new luminaires with over seven thousand LEDs inside that bring a new light to the masterpieces in the ceiling such as The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement.
The new lighting brings the amazing art work into full, clear and colourful view. 
Prof Antonio Paolucci , director of the Vatican Museums said that, 'We want to honour the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo's death by providing new lighting for his work.' 
They have definitely achieved that, and the artist would probably be very proud of the project which was led by Osram, which has said that the new LEDs provide ten times the brightness of the lights replaced, whilst causing energy consumption to reduce by ninety percent. 

Martin Reuter, the senior technical project manager at Osram commented that the most difficult part of the two year job was 'to prove that the light was not harmful to the art.'  In order to achieve this the company did not use phosphor-coated white light, but instead used a mix of blue, red and green LEDs.Osram tested this by sending original pigments for the ceiling, which Michelangelo completed in 1512, to Hungary's Pannonian University, who after a year, gave the all clear. This meant that now the light is much kinder and gentler to the paintings. 

Other partners involved in the project were Barcelona's Institut de Recerca en Energia, which investigate the energy reductions and Rome-based lighting designer Faber Technica. 
The European Commission helped fund the partners (the money did not go straight to the Vatican, as the Vatican is not part of the EU). The parties have not revealed the full cost of the project. But the results speak for themselves, as the photo above shows. 

Watch the video below to see more! 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Number of Lights in Average Home Doubles!

The average British home is now smaller than ever, but despite this the average amount of lights in the home has doubled in the last decade. In 2004 the number of light sources in the average home was fifteen but now it has rocketed to over thirty. The survey done by Homebase has shown that we are illuminating our homes with more spotlights, wall lights, pendants and other lamps.
Homebase suspects that our decreasingly shrinking living spaces means that people are choosing to spruce up their homes with decorative lighting as lamps are a more fashionable and functional way to accessorize your home
Lighting buyer for Homebase, Pamela Collard commented that, 'People are certainly being smarter with their lighting and noticing what a huge impact lighting can make to how a room both looks and feels.'
Updating lighting was found to be more popular with renters over home owners, especially those who want to make their home more like their own but are unable to make the permanent changes or redecorating or hanging pictures.
Updating lighting was found to be most popular with renters, especially those who want to make their home their own but are unable to make more permanent changes by redecorating or even hanging pictures.
It might be wise with all these lights in your home to switch to LED light bulbs,which aswell as looking good and illuminating your home will save you money on your energy bills. The more lights in your home that you can replace with LEDs the more energy and money you save. To see our full range of LED lighting please go to www.theledspecialist.co.uk

Monday, 27 October 2014

Philips declare a loss after announcement of lighting split.

Philips has posted a £81 million net loss on its third quarter earnings only three weeks after its announcement of intentions to split from its lighting division.
Philips has blamed this loss on slowing markets in China and Russia and a £290 million patent law suit in its healthcare division.
Comparably,lighting sales declined 1% Year on Years but LED based sales increased by 28%. This was counteracted by a 14% decrease in overall conventional lighting sales. The LED lighting division in Philips now represents 40% of total lighting sales, compared to 30% this time last year.
On the 28th September, the dutch giant made public its decision to split off its lighting business to focus on its high margin consumer and healthcare divisions. The separation will result in the creation of two new companies, Lighting and HealthTech, but these will both continue to use the Philips brand.
A Philips spokesperson for Philips has denied that the announcement of the split was to distract shareholders from the disappointing third quarter losses, 'We are talking about two separate things', stated the spokesperson, 'One is the strategic announcement to do something that we think is in the best interests of both entities of the business. And the results are a snapshot of something that we do every quarter as a listed company you have to.'
They continued, 'As our CEO said, we're not satisfied and if you look at the numbers it's clear that you cannot be satisfied. But having said that, if you look at the numbers there are lots of incidents in there. If you exclude those, we do see some improvement in the underlying business.'
The growth in LED sales and the considerable fine for the Philips healthcare division might seem ironic given Philips has decided to move away from lighting to focus on healthcare.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Physics Nobel Prize 2014 Awarded for the Invention of Blue Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)!

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 has been awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, Shuji Nakamura, "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources." 

The Nobel prize is awarded for an invention of the greatest benefit to mankind, the invention of the blue LED has fundamentally transformed lighting technology, red and green LEDs have been around for some time but without the blue LED, a white light could not have been created.
The first ever blue LEDs were made by the Nobel Prize winning trio in the early 1990s, enabling a new generation of high energy bright blue light, the basis for the new era of light bulbs. In addition to this, the development  of colour LED screens that most of you probably have in your televisions at home and your smartphone currently in your pocket.
The winners of this groundbreaking invention succeeded where everyone else had failed, in the industry and in the scientific community. They will share prize money of £0.7 million between them and will also be added to the prestigious list of 196 other Physics laureates recognised since 1901 when the Nobel Prize was first established.  Professor Olle Inganas, a member of the prize committee commented that this invention "would make Alfred Nobel very happy".
LEDs (literally) outshine traditional incandescent and fluorescent lamps, delivering better quality of light as well as a reduction in energy consumption. This improvement is as simple as this; traditional lighting whilst converting electricity into light  creates a wasteful mixture of heat and light whereas LEDs convert electricity directly into photons of light. 
One fourth of the world's electricity consumption is used for lighting purposes, so the LEDs contribute to saving the Earth's resources. Materials consumption is also diminished as LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for incandescent lamps and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights. 
To make your contribution in saving the Earth's resources please visit http://theledspecialist.co.uk/ and see this revolutionary invention light up your home and your planet. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Wembley Stadium Arch Illuminated With Colour Changing LEDs.

Thorn, Wembley StadiumThorn Lighting has rejuvenated the lighting on the arch of Wembley Stadium with a colour-changing LED lighting system in order to provide intense colours and moving light effects.

The new system has been designed for Wembley Stadium sponsor and digital communications company, EE and will be visible on the London Skyline. The lighting system can be programmed to change colours for national holidays, football matches and other special events.

Managing director of Wembley National Stadium, Roger Maslin, said "We can now use the arch to make big, bold and entertaining statements which can be seen right across London. With so many lighting scenes the possibilities are fantastic. From the St George's Cross and team colours to highlight goals for big games, to solid and moving colours for event lighting, to the corporate colours of our sponsor EE and charity partners, the lighting is transformational and exciting." Maslin is certainly thrilled with this exciting new venture, which is sure to make an outstanding impact on the illumination of the stadium.

Senior lighting designer at Thorn Lighting, Pat Holley, who created the lighting design scheme commented that, "The arch's lighting system consists of a dynamic floodlight with red, green, blue and white LED chips. Fifty per cent of the LED chips are white and the remaining are equal quantities of red,green and blue." Thorn also designed and created a custom bracket to allow the existing fittings to be used which sped up the entire process significantly.

Kevin Stubbs, UK technical manager, reported that, "Importantly, Wembley wanted the new 'whiter' LED white to match the white achieved with the old metal halide system. We therefore had to tune the LED white to achieve this consistency."

The Arch itself is the longest single span roof structure in the world, standing at 133, tall with a span of 315m and a diameter of 7.4m. It is so large that it could fit the London Eye beneath it and can be seen from as far as 13 miles away on a clear evening, so look out for those colours in the London skyline!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Nationwide Street Lighting Debate Latest- Kent Police oppose street lighting switch off in their county.

The UK debate on how best to save energy and cut carbon in street lighting continues. Counties involved in the debate are now concerned with the issue that turning off street lighting may increase crime levels. 

Exeter's plan is to turn of lights between 12:30am and 5:30am on minor, less busy roads. Loughborough followed suit by switching off around half of all its streetlights from midnight to 5:30am as part of the Leicestershire county attempt to cut energy costs. 
Instead of turning its lights off, Gloucestershire county council has indicated that it is moving ahead with a plan to install LED street lighting across the county. The county council stated on its website that, 'Approval was given for the council to go to the market and invite proposals for a 12 year contract to replace our street lighting with LED technology.'

Gloucestershire has made other attempts to save energy on its street lighting. By dimming lights on main roads and implementing partial night lighting it is working towards reducing the annual £2 million that its 60,000 street lights consume in electricity, but it believes that using LED street lighting will include further benefits such as, 

- 'Up to 50% reduction in energy usage.'
- 'They can also be dimmed to any level of light output with a corresponding decrease in energy use.'
- 'Low usage- 70% reduction in street light lamp maintenance costs.' 
- 'Better quality of light.'
- 'Fewer faults.' 
- 'Less light pollution.' 

Wigan, has become the latest UK municipality to switch street lighting to LED, now joining with Liverpool and Glasgow.  The borough is investing £11 million to replace 31,000 lights with LEDs.

'I know some councils are switching lights off to save money but I don't think that's something people would want in Wigan Borough,' Wigan Council Leader Lord Peter Smith said in a press release. 'We’ve instead come up with a new scheme to replace our existing lights with LEDs which will still offer the same service the public expects but will be considerably cheaper.'

Wigan has opted for Philips LEDs and control systems, and is counting on Philips to cut their electricity bill by 60%, save them £1 million a year and provide lighting that will last for twenty years plus. 

Whilst several areas have decided to replace their street lighting with LEDs, most of the counties involved maintain that turning off the street lights during the early hours will make a long term energy saving, most probably to avoid paying the initial costs of LEDs. What  cannot be overstated is how much energy, money and time LEDs would save the councils but finding a spare £11 million like Wigan, is a mean feat for most councils. 

The debate over street lighting is now concerning other issues than its costs, worryingly, taxi drives in Chepstow are showing their dissatisfaction with the street lighting being switched off for several hours in the night by claiming that it will increase their chances of running over hard to see drunkards!

 Chepstow have already started turning off street lights between midnight and 5 in the morning in an effort save £180,000, a mere fraction of the money that could be saved by switching to LEDs. 

Meanwhile, Kent County council have promoted that switching off street lighting in the dark hours is 'safe and sensible' but the resident backlash has stated that switching of street lighting is anything but. Kent police are backing residents, they suggest that street lighting has proven to cause reductions in crime levels.
Kent began switching off street lighting in quiet areas from 1am to 6:30am and Police have been monitoring the crime levels in such areas since. They confess its too early to tell whether crime levels have indeed increased but its concerns are partly based on a report from the professional association, the College of Policing. 

And so, the debate continues...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Philips Diamond Spark Candles used in Harrods Wedgwood Concession.

Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, the most famous department store in the world is now home to Philips LED Diamond Spark Candles, the next generation of MasterLED candles. The Wedgwood concession in store where the Candles have been used is lit by chandeliers. With Wedgwood being a global brand acclaimed for its luxury home and lifestyle products it was essential for the chandeliers to have the best possible lamp providing the best possible illumination.

The chandeliers were originally fitted with 15W halogen candle lamps when the Wedgwood Concession was first opened. Although they created the correct visual effect, their high heat output meant that the comfortable conditions that Harrods requires could not be maintained by the air conditioning. Furthermore, the inefficiency of the halogen candles was wasting an awful lot of energy. 

To solve these problems, Harrods initially replaced the halogen candle lamps with standard LED candles but these did not fulfill the sparkling standard that was provided by the original halogen lamps. The Philips Diamond Spark Candles were the best solution. The next generation candle lamps feature a revolutionary lens shape and design that refracts light differently in order to create incandescent-like, glittering light effects. 

The MasterLED Diamond Spark candles have brought the sparkle back to the Wedgwood concession. Not only do they enhance the appearance of the chandeliers themselves but they make the luxurious Wedgwood products even more appealing to customers. By making this change from a 15W lamp to a 4W (now 3.5W) Diamond Spark candle, Harrods has reduced its electrical installation load by 74%, creating a huge saving on their energy consumption. The candles also produce much less heat than the halogen lamps meaning that their air conditioning costs have also been cut. In addition to this, the candles have a lifetime of 20,000 hours which means the lamp replacement cycle will be extended and maintenance costs reduced. 

Mark Fleming, Harrods Engineering Technical Manager commented that, 'The chandeliers now look brilliant and the shop floor staff are very happy with the new candle lamps. We will be specifying them for all of the chandeliers throughout the store in the future.'

If you want to replace your outdated halogen candle lamps for these fantastic Diamond Spark candles please go to www.ledspecialist.co.uk to purchase yours now! 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ambient Lighting Affects Your Experience, Poor Lighting Drives Customers Away From Restaurants. - Summary of Lux Magazine Article

    According to a survey carried out by energy provider, NPower, nearly one third of British people have walked out of a pub or restaurant because the illumination was not up to scratch. 'Big hospitality', a lighting trade publication found that 17% of the 1,500 people surveyed avoided an establishment because the lighting was too bright and 12% due to the lighting being too dim. 

    Npower's head of customer service for small business, Rachel Vincent, stated that, 'We can probably all think of an occasion that has been spoiled by a restaurant or bar not getting the ambiance right, and lighting is a crucial part of that, she continued that, 'Our research shows how damaging bad lighting can be to the success of a small business. For this reason, business owners need to think more than just their menus or location. Ambiance is vital to securing new customers and getting old ones to return.' 
‘We can probably all think of an occasion that has been spoiled by a restaurant or bar not getting the ambiance right, and lighting is a crucial part of that,’ said NPower’s head of customer service for small business, Rachel Vincent. ‘Our research shows how damaging bad lighting can be to the success of a business. For this reason, business owners need to think about more than just their menus or location. Ambiance is vital to securing new customers and getting old ones to return.’
The survey also found that lighting was more important than price to 66% of customers when deciding on an establishment for a date, and was also more important than music for 53% of them. A staggering 88% said that the lighting in general would affect how much they enjoy a date or romantic meal. 
It goes to show that lighting is much more important to people that you might expect. Its not just in restaurants that lighting ambiance needs to be perfect in order the achieve the best effect, hotels for example need to do all that is required to make their guests as comfortable as possible. If lighting affects one's mood, experience and comfort so much, it is obvious that making adjustments at home could create more ambiance and make your home a more comfortable place to live. 
To make your home more ambiant whilst cutting costs and reducing energy consumption please go to http://theledspecialist.co.uk/ to browse our selection of leds. Chose colour warm white or 2700K (Kelvin) for the most warming colour of led lighting to give your home a more ambient glow. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Led Lighting Saves on Energy Costs and Cuts Carbon Footprints.

Businesses that swap their conventional lighting for LED sources could save as much as 85% in energy consumption, according to Paul Higgins, associate director at The Carbon Trust. The Trust is an organisation which helps businesses to find ways to cut their carbon emissions and operating costs. 
Lighting costs can account for up to 40% of a building's electricity consumption therefore the potential reduction of energy bills from using LEDs is certain to be worthwhile. 
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have been in use for over forty years, most commonly as the standby indicator on your television. However in the present day, due to the constant advances in technology, Huggins suggests that they are utilised in a much wider range of applications, from office to amenity lighting, accent and display lighting, even for illuminating large interior and exterior areas. Although switching to LEDs is a relatively expensive initial purchase, due to using a fraction of the electricity of traditional incandescent lamps, effectively they pay for themselves several times over before they need to be replaced. Furthermore, since the introduction of the LEDs into the market, prices have decreased substantially. 

Angel of the Light
The Necessary Angel (artangel.co.uk), a boutique style shop in Keswick, Cumbria, specialises in contemporary jewellery all hand-crafted in Britain and has experimented with lighting solutions since its establishment in 1990. 
Johnnie Walker who owns the company with his wife, Deborah Cowin has commented that "lighting is so vital for a jewellery business, the most important consideration for us is the brightness, followed by the coolness. Heat affects the texture and longevity of the display cabinets, which are made of wood. And anything that lessens the impact of the environment is good."
The Necessary Angel used dichroic halogen lamps to highlight its displays for many years, Walker has said that "the dichroics were cheap and bright but very hot, used a lot of energy and burned out regularly. We gradually introduced LEDs and then, a year ago, when we refitted the shop, we swapped to LEDs for all our displays, using strips in the cabinets and single bulbs containing three LEDs to focus on the individual pieces of jewellery." 
Walker continued to comment that, "The LED strip lights replaced three 20-watt halogens on a lighting strip and a couple of compact fluorescents. We tend to refurbish the shop every five years so the lights should outlive the cabinets. We will definitely get a return on our investment. There has been a leap in LED lighting in the last five years. They're affordable, very bright and damn reliable."

The Led Specialist Lights the Way
The Led Specialist sells over one hundred different types of LED lamps, including GU10s, candles, low voltage MR16s, golfballs, AR111s, strip lighting, par lamps and many more. Lamps can be a bit confusing so please see our website (theledspecialist.co.uk) for more information on the lamps we offer, how long they last and which lamps they can replace. We offer competitive prices on LED lighting solutions so start saving money on your energy bills now! 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Available for Pre-Order: Hue Lux

Following the astronomic success of the original Hue lamps, Philips lighting have created Hue Lux. These new white only bulbs emit fully dimmable warm white light and have all the functionality of the original Hue lamps. 

These lamps have been designed to produce a welcoming warm white light which can be dimmed to suit your mood or occasion. The can be controlled via the Hue app which is available on most smartphones. 

A spokesperson for Philips explains: "Hue Lux is a snap to set up and use and the bulbs fit right into your current light fittings or luminaires. Choose a starter pack or add to it with a single bulb. 

Philips Hue Lux provides a personal and interactive way to control lighting from a smart mobile device or tablet. It enables use of light in a variety of functionality such as timers, alarms, geo-fencing and soft security elements.

Philips Hue LuxWait for the three LEDs on the bridge to light up. Download the free Hue app to your iOS device and connect your device to the bridge. Find your bulbs. Name them. And start controlling your lights. You can add up to 50 bulbs to your systems"

Here's what's new:

  • Added improved support for Hue Lux lights, our new white only bulbs
  • Added a showcase of 3rd party apps we like
  • Numerous UI improvements including
  • Merged Light Control and Light Overview into a single Lights menu option (iPhone/iPod only)
  • Improved responsiveness of scene recall and enabled background scene blurring for all devices
  • The photos on the Scenes dashboard have been given a new more modern look
  • Improved interaction for scene creation and editing
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements
  • Added improved support for Hue Lux lights, our new white only bulbs
  • Added a showcase of 3rd party apps we like
  • Numerous UI improvements including
  • Improved Light Control
  • The photos on the Scenes dashboard have been given a new more modern look
  • Improved interaction for scene creation and editing
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements

To order your very own Hue starter pack or for more information on this or any other LED lighting product call 0118 950 7125 or visit www.theledspecialist.co.uk

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Department of Energy and Climate Change Practice What They Preach and Install LED Lighting

Lighting in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (D.E.C.C.) has been replaced with energy efficient, cost effective LED light sources. Since their installation, member of staff have commented on the improved brightness levels and lower energy consumption.

Prior to the upgrade, the offices at 3 Whitehall Place were illuminated by T5 fluorescent lamps. Some argue that T5 and LED lamps have the same energy saving features; building managers often opt for T5s due to their low cost. The D.E.C.C. believe a clear advantage of opting for LED light sources is their localised control system which turns lights off if rooms are vacant and dims them down to 5% as natural daylight pours in.  

During the make-over, the fluorescent lamps on all 8 floors of Whitehall Place were replaced with 1,300 Philips LED fittings.

In their own case study D.E.C.C. stated: “Compared to retrofits in most comparable buildings, which tend to use relatively inefficient T8 tubes, the energy savings are slightly lower, however they are very significant.”

The project spanned for 26 days and cost £401,000, during this time the building’s heating and cooling system was also upgraded. Since these two renovations, the energy consumption in Whitehall place has reduced by almost 30%, majority of these energy savings can be attributed to the lighting switch-over.

The D.E.C.C. anticipates annual savings of around £22,000, predicting an addition £7,000 saving on maintenance costs. They said: “There are additional savings to be had from the switch to LED lighting in the form of lower maintenance costs- it is claimed that LED luminaires typically last 5 times as long as the fluorescent equivalent.”

This refurbishment is part of the government’s recently announced UK Lighting Sector Strategy. This new initiative intends to slash energy consumption and encourage innovation in lighting.

Aside from the obvious energy and maintenance savings, the lighting overhaul has other benefits. A D.E.C.C. spokeswoman reported that responses to their questionnaire showed that, 71% of workers at Whitehall Place found that the LED light sources improved the lighting in their work space.  

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Philips' Light at the Museum Pilot Study

The Dutch National Museum for Science and Medicine was home to Philips' landmark pilot study for connected lighting mobile apps. Findings from the study indicated that 7 out of 10 museum visitors would like to receive location relevant information via their smartphone.

Philips, the global leader in lighting, hopes this innovative mobile app for connected lighting will provide a template for use in museums, hospitals and supermarkets in the not so distant future. 

The exhibition is part of a pilot project for Philips' LED based connected lighting systems for indoor positioning. The connected lighting systems use Visual Light Communication (VLC) technology. The exhibitions luminaires are placed in a positioning grid, they are individually identifiable and communicate with the camera's sensors in smartphones and tablets. Each light fixture in the grid communicates by blinking at high frequencies undetectable to the human eye, information relevant to the patrons location within the exhibition is transmitted through these fast pulses. VLC transmits data one way only meaning users personal data cannot be accessed by the connected lighting app. 

Upon arrival at the museum, visitors were given a tablet with a pre-installed app, the app contains a variety of multi-media content relevant to various locations within the exhibition. As the visitor moves around the exhibition, the individual light fixtures act as positioning beacons transmitting their location to the tablets camera sensor which trigger the apps content at various locations.
Visitors completed a short survey after their museum tour, the findings indicate that;
67% of visitors liked the fact that the tablet automatically provided additional relevant information at various information points

63% of visitors said that the tablet made the visit to the exhibition more enjoyable and interesting
50% of visitors under 50 years old said they would visit museums and exhibitions more often if there were tablets available to provide additional information or to guide them around a special route

Dirk Van Drift, Director of the Boerhaave Museum said: “We now know that offering a location aware and interactive experience encourages people to visit our museum more often. What is also really exciting and innovative is that we were able to achieve this by using energy efficient lighting, giving us a double advantage.”

The “smartphone generation” (those under 50) said they were open to trying connected lighting mobile applications in a number of settings. Almost 50% of all visitors claimed they would like to receive location-based information and use way finding services offered via the app in hospitals, shopping centres and supermarkets.

Jella Segers, from Philips Lighting said: “The survey findings show that we need to think of lighting differently. Lighting has gone beyond mere illumination. We can now deliver great quality and highly energy-efficient LED lighting that acts as a positioning grid to deliver targeted information, enriching people’s experiences of the places they visit, whether it’s a museum, supermarket, airport terminal or any large public indoor space.” 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Leading Student Accommodation Developer, Unite Students, Announce a £21 million LED Switch-Over

Unite Students have teamed up with industry gorgon, Philips Lighting, to replace existing halogen and incandescent light sources with energy saving LED lamps in all their student properties by 2016.

Unite estimate the lighting project will take 2 years to complete. It will cover over 120 properties, 23 UK towns and cities, creating better living and working environments for staff and students. During the switch-over, more than 300,000 LED light fittings and 85,000 dimmers and sensors will be installed in corridors, kitchens, lounges, common rooms, reception areas and even outdoor spaces.

Philips LivingColours lamps (pictured) will be installed in every student bedroom throughout Unites properties. These innovative lamps will allow students to personalise their lighting to suit their purpose, be it studying, relaxing or socialising. 

The LED switch-over is part of Unite’s recently developed “Home for Success” scheme. Under the “Home for Success” scheme, Unite pledges make improvements which will make their 41,000 student residents feel more at home whilst reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs. It is hoped the “Home for Success” scheme will have a 5 year payback time; the resulting savings have already been assigned to other areas, including; free cleaning services and longer reception opening hours.

Richard Smith, Managing Director for Unite Students, said: “We are pleased to announce this partnership with Philips and our investment in LED lighting, which supports Unite Students’ commitment to providing a home for success for the students that live with us. Success for students means many different things from getting the best degree they can, securing a job after graduating, making lasting friendships and relationships to personal growth and developing into who they want to be.”

He continues: “The new lighting will create a more inviting space for students which they can personalise for socialising or study. At the same time it will reduce Unite’s carbon footprint and the longer lifecycle of LED lights will significantly reduce maintenance workloads for our city teams.”

Philips’ Commercial Director for the Office and Industry sector, Dan Scott said: “Philips is working closely with Unite students to drive down energy consumption and maintenance costs through the use of efficient lighting. The new lighting is also helping Unite Students to achieve its primary goal of creating the best possible environment for student learning; reinforcing the power of light to uplift and transform our surroundings.”

Dan explains: “In addition to supplying the lighting itself, Philips is providing a range of services to support Unite Students in unlocking the potential that lighting can bring, both in terms of energy efficiency  and ambiance. Prior to commencing the roll out across the portfolio Philips surveyed the Unite Students properties to evaluate the existing lighting, in order to deliver the best results and recommend the most appropriate lighting solutions. Philips will manage the installation and provide after sales service support to the Unite Students team.”

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tonight Chelsea FC Become The First Premiership Club To Use LED Floodlighting

This evening Stamford Bridge will host the UK's first football game lit by LED floodlights. During Chelsea's friendly against Real Sociedad, Philips lighting promise fans and players better quality light and enhanced night vision thanks to their innovative ArenaVison LED floodlight system.  

CEO of Philips Lighting, Eric Rondolat explains: "The world's first ever floodlit football match took place in England, so as sports lighting goes digital it is only right that the lighting standard is again being set there. We are witnessing another technology milestone in the modern football game."

Philips ArenaVision LED floodlighting solution was created to meet the latest Premier League broadcasting requirements whilst provide players, broadcasters and fans with a top class sporting experience. Philips ArenaVision LEDs emit flawless, uniform beams of light creating exceptional vertical illuminance of the players. 

Eric Rondolat elaborates: "Our LED pitch lighting meets the new stringent broadcast criteria of the English Premier League in helping to deliver high definition, flicker-free, super slow-motion images and ensures that Chelsea delivers the best possible viewing experience to the 40,000 plus fans in the stadium as well as those at home." 

It isn't just broadcasting images that are improved by ArenaVision, the club can also expect a huge improvement in its environmental impact. Unlike the old fashioned metal halide floodlights, used in previous seasons, the new LED solution can be switched on instantaneously eliminating the need for a warm up period which in turn reduces light pollution in the area. Maintenance costs are also significantly reduced as Philips LED floodlights promise to last for up to ten seasons whereas the old metal halide lamps could only be used for three seasons. 

As with most connected lighting systems, ArenaVision is complete with its own dedicated user interface and control system. The club's maintenance managers will easily be able to switch between optimal lighting configurations, giving them total flexibility and the ability to dim and switch each individual floodlight. 

The control system comes with an added benefit, it can also be used to create entertainment lighting. The control system can be used to create a number of lighting effects that previously could only be achieved using dedicated stage lighting. This additional features means the floodlights can be easily integrated into pre- and post-match light shows creating the ultimate, exciting stadium atmosphere. 

Ron Gourlay, Chief Executive of Chelsea FC said: "I am delighted to be able to work with Philips on delivering the best possible environment for our supporters to enjoy Chelsea matches in. Once again, Chelsea Football Club is at the forefront of innovation and we look forward to many more memorable games at Stamford Bridge under this new floodlighting system." 

After seeing the benefits of ArenaVision at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC are in the process of up-lamping it's training ground to ensure lighting at training is similar to that of match days. The new high-tech connected lighting system will also enable the club to create varied illuminance levels by only lighting specific areas of the training ground creating the ideal practice environment for it's world class players.  

The LED Specialist and our sister company, Lightsave Fuller Read are preferred Philips lighting distiributors, if you require more information on this or any other LED lighting product visit our website http://theledspecialist.co.uk/ or call 0118 9507125

Friday, 8 August 2014

New Government Scheme Aims To Encourage Businesses To Replace Outdated Lighting

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced their plans to encourage businesses to cut carbon emissions and reduce the demand on the National Grid.

The scheme allows businesses to compete against one another for money to fund energy efficiency measures. The budget for the pilot scheme has been set at £20 million. Businesses will bid for the money to fund lighting renovations which would not be possible without the funding.

The first stage of the scheme is a £10 million Electricity Demand Reduction auction. The auction will be open to all sectors of the economy up and down the country. The auction gives businesses the opportunity to bid for funding for a variety of projects, including LED switch-overs and improving motors and pumps.

The government has shown particular interest in projects which promise to deliver up to 100 kilowatts of savings throughout the winter period. The DECC tells us that over 300 organisations including hospitals, airports and supermarket chains are considering taking part in the auction.

The pilot auction scheme will run for two years. If the 2014 trial is successful and delivers lasting electricity savings, the government will continue to offer such funding through the capacity market due to be launched later this year.

It is hoped this will ease the pressure on the National Grid who, as we reported earlier this month, are expecting blackouts during the winter of 2015 due to their inability to meet our increasing electricity demands. Capacity providers will be offered a steady, predictable revenue stream in return for a guarantee they will deliver energy when needed. This is likely to result in increased bills for energy consumers, estimated at £13 per household per year.   

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

McDonald’s Energy Saving Plan- 20% Energy Cuts but 2020!

LED Street Light in McDonald's
Fast food gorgons McDonald’s aspire to increase energy efficiency by 20% in company owned stores by 2020.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s published a 116 page report focusing on corporate social responsibility. The report details a number of areas in which McDonald’s wish to improve, areas of particular importance were; sourcing, food, people, community and the planet. One of McDonald’s’ key goals for 2020 is to achieve a 20% increase in energy efficiency in seven of the company’s top markets (including the UK).

Although the strategy report is rather vague, it does mention implementing LED lighting: “We have identified a portfolio of energy-efficient solutions… such as high efficiency exhaust fans and LED walk-in refrigerator lighting, with the potential to support our aspirations goal of 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency in our company owned restaurants by 2020.”

Restaurant in the US have already hopped onto the LED lighting bandwagon. Currently it is standard practice for US, company owned McDonald’s restaurants to have LED dining room lighting, LED building signage and some franchises even have LED car park lighting.

The ‘aspirational goals’ set by McDonald’s only apply to company owned restaurants, not for its franchises. The top seven markets, to whom these goals apply to are; Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the UK and the US. McDonald’s owns 19% of restaurants within these areas. According to the report, a framework of goals for franchise restaurants will be developed by 2016.

For more information on how energy savings can be achieved using LED lighting visit our website http://theledspecialist.co.uk/ or call the office on 0118 950 7125.