The LED Era Has Arrived
Lighting technology continues to expand with new products and systems that will benefit commercial and residential markets. Lighting has become smarter and easier to integrate with other systems in homes, buildings and facilities around the world. LED lighting is the vanguard of such technology—it is brighter, cooler, cost-efficient and sustainable with a lower carbon footprint.
McLaren Health Care, based in Flint, Mich., plans to save $1.6 million per year in energy costs from its recent installation of LED lighting and significantly reduce its overall carbon footprint. LED equipment was installed in more than 5 million square feet of parking lots, hallways, waiting rooms and staff centers in 11 hospitals. The $6 million project took five months to complete.
The next three Super Bowls—Minneapolis in 2018, Atlanta in 2019 and Miami in 2020—are slated to use LED systems that enhance the spectator experience from the stands and illuminate halftime shows and other spectacles in the entertainment venue. The installations are expected to lower operating costs and energy consumption by as much as 75 percent. There are other benefits, as well.
Sustainability and style
From sustainability to style, architects and lighting buyers seek lighting that is effective, economic, convenient and stylish. The lighting in a facility or home not only brings a better quality of light, but it also comes with a control system for greater benefit.
“The cost of wireless technology has been coming down, and we’re seeing more and more manufacturers offering integrated wireless controls with their fixtures,” said Mark Fisher, senior sales consultant, ABM Electrical and Lighting Solutions, New York. “Many of the large fixture manufacturers have either developed their own controls solution or acquired an already established controls company. Others have chosen to partner with various control companies and will install those third-party systems in their fixtures.”
Lighting with purpose
ECs with a mind open to innovative lighting systems must understand the importance of integrating with other complex systems—such as building control systems—with which the lighting will work in unison. A first order of business is to understand the customer and end-user’s goals and objectives. Customers have different budgets, objectives and needs.
“There are many things to consider when recommending new lighting and controls systems,” Fisher said. “Most importantly, make sure you really understand your clients’ requirements and goals.”
When choosing controls, ECs need to understand the importance of integrating new controls with other systems in the facility. Today’s complex lighting systems are quite capable of networked with other systems that help control energy consumption, provide light where and when it’s needed, and ensure a safer and better facility.
LEDs, solar-powered lighting and other lower-cost sustainable solutions— wireless and automated—are being installed in commercial and residential facilities. Advanced lighting systems add value, but value takes time to be realized. Its adoption depends on manufacturing cost, customer budgets, energy incentives and the demand for better lighting.
Thomas Edison said, “Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” For ECs prepared with knowledge and application of the best lighting technology, opportunity awaits.
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