Singapore 27th August 2010
I think it is a slogan from one of the big manufacturers, but today I was brought back to earth during a key presentation to one of my clients with sense and simplicity. Though it came unexpectedly and totally out of left field, the client made total sense when he questioned the use of LED down lights in my design. Without going too much into details we had designed the lighting for a public train station mostly on LED lighting with what we thought was the full backing of the client for this approach. The usual “green” requirements such as energy saving, watts per square meter, acceptable return on investment, etc.
We had done our comparison of the LED down lights with compact fluorescent down lights, a logical thought isn’t it, and the results of our study showed that LED was the best solution with return on the extra investment within the 3 years. The latest modern technology, excellent performance and overall financial sense with as bonus environmentally friendly lighting systems.
Until the client asked me during my presentation why we had not considered T5 fluorescent lighting. He admitted that he was interested in using LED where appropriate but that did not mean that the whole station had to be designed on LED. His reasoning was that T5 fluorescent was still one of the most efficient and economical systems available to create general lighting and since the station was basically a functional application, why not use T5? If we were so adamant that LED was the solution how did it stack up to T5? My first thought was to justify and defend my choice of LED that it was not really a comparable lighting system that it had a totally different lighting feel, etc, but then I realized that he had a point, that T5 had worked well for decades and still was the choice lighting system for many general lighting solutions.
I promised him to go back to my drawing board and look at a technical comparison between LED down lights and T5 linear systems and report back to him. Even though the lighting effects are fairly different there may certainly be some areas in which the conventional T5 still delivers better result than T5! I still have lots of arguments for LED but at least I owe him the comparison.
Sense and simplicity.