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.