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Technology trends – LED lighting for office interiors

LED lamps are revolutionising the world of lighting. Is 2011 the year when the T5 fluorescent is ditched as the lamp of choice for office interiors? We shine a light on the issue.

LED lamps are revolutionising the world of lighting. Is 2011 the year when the T5 fluorescent is ditched as the lamp of choice for office interiors? We shine a light on the issue.

Lighting offers many quick wins when it comes to reducing a client’s energy bills. Artificial light accounts for around 19% of global energy consumption, yet almost 70% of this is delivered by solutions where a more efficient alternative is available. There is huge scope to reduce carbon emissions by switching to more efficient light sources.

LED technology is rapidly revolutionising the marketplace. It is being used in emergency lighting, street lighting, retail and now light output improvements, coupled with falling prices, means the likes of Philips, Thorn and Osram all offering LED solutions for general office interiors.

Aside from low energy, there are a number of operational and environmental benefits of using LEDs. Their extraordinarily long life (60,000 hours) means they need very little maintenance, thus reducing through-life costs. In addition colour rendering is now excellent, they emit neither UV nor IR radiation, and contain no mercury.

“LED technology is simply moving so fast,” explains Mike Simpson, technical director at Philips Lighting. “I’d say that 2011 is going to be the year where LEDs become viable in general indoor office environments and by 2013 new LED installations will outnumber fluorescents.” At a refit at London’s Tower 42 development (pictured), Philips has recently completed what is believed to be the first office space in the UK to use all solid state lighting, achieving a significant energy saving of around 40% compared to a conventional T5 fluorescent installation.

This iconic landmark has completed a major investment and refurbishment of its Level 12 office space, introducing specially customised solid state Savio remote phosphor LED light fittings and advanced Light Master Modular lighting controls from Philips.

“We are committed to minimising our environmental impact, while maintaining the quality and high standard of the office facilities we provide. Prospective customers are also looking at energy performance more closely,” says Tower 42’s building services manager John Gentry. “Consequently, we evaluated a number of options for the lighting on Level 12 and the combination of LED lighting and controls proposed by Philips offered the best overall energy performance and life cycle costs,” he adds.

In tailoring the lighting solution to the space, Philips Lighting worked closely with Tower 42 and managing agents BNP Paribas Real Estate to arrive at a solution that would address commercial, aesthetic and environmental imperatives, while taking into consideration the needs and requirements of potential office end-users, Tower 42’s customers.

“Philips created a mock-up of the proposed fittings in the space and we invited comment from a number of stakeholders. They proved to be very adaptable and responsive to the feedback and this led to the production of a customised version of the Savio fitting,” John Gentry recalls.

The popular 600mm x 600mm Savio fittings, originally developed for use with fluorescent light sources, were adapted and optimised for use with 3 x 18W Fortimo LED light sources to create an edge-to-edge lighting appearance with a uniform and comfortable ‘surface of light’.

Savio luminaires feature a patented micro-lens optic to ensure optimum light distribution and full glare control, compliant with the highest standards for office lighting. The evenness of the lighting is further enhanced by the innovative design of the Fortimo light source, which uses a combination of high efficiency blue LEDs with a separate phosphor plate to generate a bright white light with an efficiency of 62 lm/W.

The Savio fittings are complemented by LuxSpace mini LED downlights in circulation areas and deliver a light output equivalent to 2 x 18W compact fluorescent lamps with a 50% energy saving.

All of the lighting is controlled through a Philips Light Master Modular (LMM) lighting management system using DALI (digital addressable lighting interface) protocol so that all luminaires are individually addressable. Multi-sensors are used in the spaces to provide both dimming in relation to daylight levels and occupancy detection with corridor linking. Occupants will also have the ability to control their own lighting using infra-red remote control units.

“We are delighted with the end result. The lighting has helped to transform Level 12 whilst making significant energy savings and reducing our maintenance costs through greatly extended lamp life. We will certainly be considering the same solution, when the opportunity arises, for any further office refurbishment and investment planned at Tower 42.” John Gentry concludes.