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Lighting

Basking in the Light v. Soaking Up the Sun

Light, specifically natural sunlight, plays a very important role in our lives. Our internal clocks are instinctively set by the sun’s progress throughout the day. When spring arrives each year, we feel a boost in energy and mood that the longer, sun-filled days provide. In moderate amounts, daily exposure to sunlight has many proven benefits, including promoting our overall well-being and good health. Unfortunately, the demands of our daily lives and the winter months in northern regions force many of us to remain indoors. According to a 2008 report by the American Physical Society, most Americans spend 90% of their... Read More

Shedding Light on the Incandescent Situation

On September 1, 2009, Europe banned the manufacturing and importing of incandescent light bulbs. The European Union’s ban started with the 100 watt lamp and will move on to the 60 watt lamp in 2011, 40 and 25 watt lamps in 2012, and all remaining incandescent lamps by the end of 2012. This ban has left many asking if this light source faces a similar fate here in the United States. Presently, almost 50% of lighting in American homes is produced by incandescent bulbs, and yet, this light source is the least efficient of all commonly used bulbs, converting only... Read More

Easy as ABC… 123… LED?

From the chandeliers of Buckingham Palace to the street lights of the Big Apple, LEDs are the fast-growing technology that is redefining the age-old concept of lighting. In an environmentally-conscious world, this energy-efficient light source touts a long list of advantages over other common light sources. Due to the ever-increasing interest in these advantages, LEDs are now offered in a variety of luminaire types and styles for both interior and exterior applications. However, this once thought of fringe technology does still have a few barriers to hurdle. But with almost monthly scientific advances, LEDs are well on their way toward... Read More

A Light Source of a Different Color

Most of us have heard the story of a football team painting the visitors’ locker room pink to calm the other team down before they take the field. Studies have shown that color can indeed have an effect, significant at times, on the way a person feels in a space and their overall mood. More specifically, red can invoke feelings of high energy and passion, yellow can increase levels of optimism, blue has a tendency to calm, and orange can bring out one’s nurturing side. Since color is actually just a certain wavelength of light that is reflected from a... Read More

Flipping the Switch Without Lifting a Finger

With the adoption of new state and local energy standards aimed at reducing global energy consumption, virtually every non-residential building will be facing more stringent lighting control requirements. Whether these standards are based upon ASHRAE Standard 90.1, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), or a particular state-developed provision, meeting the requirements with a flexible, easy-to-use, and economical lighting control system may seem impossible. Nevertheless, through the aid of advancing technology a lighting control system can be achieved that eliminates energy waste, while creating a cost-effective and user-friendly environment. With few exceptions, both ASHRAE 90.1 and the IECC state that the... Read More

Highlights of High-Bay Lighting

In recent years, architectural design has accentuated and made popular the idea of the ‘high-bay’ space. Areas such as gymnasiums, indoor pool facilities, libraries, and cafeterias have all seen their interior ceiling heights pushed higher and higher. As ceiling heights have increased, so has the need for higher output lamps to light them. Until recently, designers utilized metal halide (MH) lamps for these high-bay applications because they provide a high output source, with good optical control, from a very small size lamp. Despite these photometric advantages, MH lamps come with significant operational constraints. MH lamps, for example, do not reach... Read More

The Better to See You With My Dear

“The first step in quality lighting design for seniors is to understand the effects of aging on the human eye.” The importance of effective lighting becomes even more critical as our population ages. As we age, physiological changes in the eye result in a reduction in the quality of life and a decrease in safety due to falls. The first step in quality lighting design for seniors is to understand the effects of aging on the human eye. As the eye ages, the following changes result: Less light is transmitted to the retina. Studies published by the Illuminating Engineering Society... Read More

Lighting the Way to Energy Savings

Last year Pennsylvania adopted a comprehensive statewide Building Code. Like many states, Pennsylvania opted to adopt the family of ‘International Codes’ written by the International Code Council. As part of this family of codes, which includes the International Building Code, International Mechanical Code, and International Plumbing Code, Pennsylvania also adopted the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Energy Conservation Codes are relatively new codes, when compared to traditional building codes, and design professionals are still adapting to their requirements. The goal of this article is to review some of the requirements of the electrical portions of the 2003 IECC. While the... Read More

Lighting Our Skies

Over the past decade, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has become a significant participant in the field of residential and commercial lighting design. Originally founded in 1988 by a group of concerned astronomers, the IDA was created in response to the growing amount of lighting pollution in and around major metropolitan areas. This lighting pollution, which brightens the overhead sky, is called sky glow. The increase in urban sky glow has adverse effects on our ability to view the night sky. It is believed that about two-thirds of Americans can no longer discern our own galaxy, the Milky Way,... Read More