Energy Savings Lighting, Energy Costs, Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Savings

Energy Trust of Oregon is helping Oregon businesses take control of their energy costs.  This years initiative is targeted at lighting.  This is a video produced to highlight some of the ways lighting impacts your business.  We are a Trade Ally of Energy Trust of Oregon and have received their 2015 Award for Outstanding Contributions.

Flattering light

Does the color of light matter to you or your business?  Unless we are looking directly at a light source- the sun, a candle, a headlight, we are viewing reflective light.  That is, the light that is reflected off of an object enters our eye, and through our retina and optic nerve finds its way to our brain where it is determined what we are looking at.  In order for us to perceive a certain color it has to be present in the light source.  If you have ever purchased an item and thought it was one color in the store only to get it outside or home and it is different this is why.

This is a great article looking at the colors of LEDs and a new way to rate the color present in them.  Flattering Light A new look at color by Craig Dilouie from Electrical Contractor Magazine.

The Changing Future of Office Lighting Design

Do you and your employees spend the majority of your day in the office.  If so the lighting in your office makes a difference in the health, productivity, safety and profitability of your business.  When assessing the impact lighting has on your business you want experts working with you. 

A recent article in Electrical Contractor Magazine states:  The office of tomorrow is an energy-efficient space designed for employee health and productivity, and today’s office is looking more like its future self every day. Lighting plays a key role.  To read more.....

There are so many options available to maximize your goals and priorities with lighting. With the every changing LED market new choices are arriving almost daily.  You want to work with someone who will understand your priorities and who has the knowledge of the ever changing product lines to assist you.  Today you can bring your office lighting into the future!

Energy Savings, LED LIghting

LEDs and the Cold

 

All of the different lighting systems respond in various ways to temperature.  LEDs are no exception.  LEDs like the cold, in fact the colder the better for their light output and length of life.  LED's in meat freezers, deli cases and beverage coolers do very well.  On the other hand LEDs do not light the heat.  One of the main reasons for the premature failure of LED's is excessive heat damaging the driver.  With this in mind manufacturing facilities where there can be high temperatures because of equipment or, commercial kitchens with heat from ovens, exterior lighting on a hot roof are all examples of where the LED will not experience its full light output or life.  As with all lighting systems the environment it will be functioning in needs to be a major consideration to be sure that you choose the appropriate one and are able to maximize the life and quality of light output.

Office lights, Productivity, Safety, lighting for remodels

Have you moved or remodeled your office!

The past week we have had several customers contact us because they have moved from one office space to another or have completed a remodel and the existing lighting doesn’t work for their needs.

We begin the process with them to determine what is not working with the lighting, it may be casting shadows now because of different furniture placement, in one case the previous tenant didn’t want much light and had removed fluorescent tubes from the fixtures.  In another situation the lens was missing from the fixtures so there was glare and the light wasn’t focused where they needed it.  Sometimes the lighting can be a relatively easy fix – replacement of lamps and tubes, or ballast, sometimes new fixtures are needed.  In any case, lighting is not a one size fits everyone’s needs, each business and person is unique as to their goals and how the lighting can help to accomplish that.

Energy Savings, Exterior Lighting, Pole Lights, Photo Cell, Timers

Exterior Lighting on during the day?

Drive around any city during daylight hours and you will see poles and building exteriors with their lights on.  This is costing the businesses in a couple of ways.  It will wear out the bulb and internal components twice as fast so they will be paying double for repairs and new parts.  They are also paying twice as much for their electricity bill on wasted light.

Most common causes of lights being on during the day is a problem with the photo cell or if it is on a timer it could be as simple as resetting or adjusting it.  Lighting does have an impact on a businesses bottom line, make sure that you are not spending money on exterior lighting that is not needed in the daylight!

CRI Color Rendering Index, Indoor lighting, Office lights, Productivity

New Paint, Flooring or Furniture? Check your lighting

dark office.png

The color of your walls, flooring and furniture can change your lighting.  Dark colors on the walls, on the floor or in your furniture actually absorbs light.  Light colored walls can reflect and intensify the light.  If you have changed any of these things and you feel like your lighting is not the same you are correct,  it’s not. 

In any remodeling of space, lighting needs to be considered.  How much lighting do you need?  What is the space being used for?  Do you want the space to be warm and cozy or bright and crisp?  Do you need true color appearance- rendering? 

As you are planning to make changes in your home or office be sure to consider how this will affect your light!

Indoor lighting, Eyes and Lighting, Aging Eyes, Productivity, Safety

Our Eyes and Lighting

As we age our eyes change.  Our pupils become more fixed so the amount of light entering our eyes is less.  The lens becomes yellowed so we don’t perceive colors as well.  At 60 our eyes require 2 times as much lighting to see and perform tasks as we did at 30.  Most lighting systems are designed with a 30 year old user in mind.  For performance, productivity and safety, lighting needs to be considered as we age.

Kelvin Temperature, Happy Lights, Office lights, Indoor lighting

Lights can make you happy!

Most of us know how energized and happy we feel on a beautiful, bright sunny day.  Our indoor lighting can have the same effect on us.  Lights come in a spectrum of “colors”, some are more yellow like a cloudy day to the other extreme some give off a bluer hue.  In between there is a light that more closely resembles “daylight”.   Some people call these “happy lights”.

Last night I was at an event with a woman who had been at a meeting earlier in the day with me and I had talked about how lighting can affect our outlook and mood.  She had been to a Dr.’s office midday and told me that she felt so good and calm and then looked at the wonderful lighting in the office and realized that it was the difference maker in how she was feeling.  I was pleased to hear as this was an office that we take care of the lighting in.

As we enter the fall season and our days are getting shorter we have customers requesting these “happy lights”, we have many customers who comment on how much better they feel because of their new lighting.  Lights can make you happy!

Kelvin Temperature, CRI Color Rendering Index

Lights- Color Temperature and Color Rendering Index

Lighting is more than just replacing a lamp or ballast, it also has to do with color.  We have just helped Sterling Graphics with a move into a new space.  The kelvin temperature and CRI of the lamps they use are very important for their graphics business as they must have exact color matching ability. 

The kelvin temperature is often referred to as the color appearance of the light source – is it cool and crisp or warm and cozy?  This is a number system that ranges from 2700-6500.  CRI or color rendering index is the ability of the light source to reflect back to the eye the colors we expect to see in an object, this is ranked on a scale of 0 to 100.  Clear daylight is considered as a reference point of 100.

Some of the other businesses that we have helped that require accurate attention to these 2 factors are Dentists, auto body repair shops, craft and paint stores.  Lighting matters!

Energy Savings, LED LIghting, CFL

Incandescent, CFL or LED

light bulbs.png

This is the question you face when you need to purchase new lighting.  I will show you a comparison for a 60 Watt A19 – a standard light bulb for residential usage.

The incandescent bulb costs roughly $1.50 will last at 8 hours a day for 3-4 months.  Electricity cost per year is about $16.00.  This bulb is very hot to touch as most of the energy that is required to operate this bulb (60 watts an hour) is converted to heat.

A CFL equivalent costs from $2.50 - $4.00, and at 8 hours a day will last 2-4 years. Electricity cost per year is about $3.25.   Drawbacks for the CFL is that it contains mercury, has a slow warm up- is not an instant on, most are not dimmable and it is not intended to be turned on and off frequently as this will shorten it’s life.

The LED replacement costs about $7.00, are rated for 10-20 years of use at 8 hours a day.  Electricity cost is about $2.75 a year.  The LED bulb cost more upfront and not all are dimmable and excessive heat will shorten the life of the LED.  LEDs like cooler temperatures so consider this when you are choosing to go with the LED.

There is no perfect light bulb, you need to consider how you will be using the bulb (do you want it to dim, is it in a high heat area, how long it will be on at a given time) and what your budget is for purchasing and for annual utility costs.

This was part of a presentation I gave to #springChicks, #ChicksConnect, #Mastermind, #LED, #CFL, #EnergySavings in May 2015.

LED LIghting, Energy Savings, Dimmers

LEDs Shining Bright But Can You Dim Them?

With all of the excitement and amazing options and energy savings available with LEDs there may be a downside, the ability to dim them.  There are many reasons people like dimming their lights, ambiance, a warmer light and energy savings.  With most LEDs when dimmed they do not change to a warmer color (there are new ones coming out that will be able to change), also incandescents when dimmed drop about 24% or more in light output, LEDs light output diminishes 10% or less.  For both light sources there is an increased life when dimmed although with the extended life of LEDs this is not an important factor. Be aware that LEDs may not work with your current dimmer, it is recommended that you replace your dimmer when switching to LEDs and be sure that it is compatible with the LED you are choosing to install.