One on One
Perth, 1st August 2012
The relentless push towards being energy friendly, green and wanting to be seen (also for commercial reasons!) doing the “right” thing is at times taking hilarious proportions. Desperate maintenance managers, chief electrical engineers and the like are being pushed by their corporate management to find solutions to save energy, obtain “green” certifications with nowadays LED lighting being the magic potion to resolve all energy woes. We can still find the oversized compact fluorescent replacements in incandescent housing from the iitial round of energy saving. Now we have entered the next phase where LED’s are the answer, certainly if you listen to the LED sales people.
And that is where the big problem is. Most corporate owners are not aware of the specialist lighting discipline or do not see the need to pay a professional fee to lighting designers and turn willingly to manufacturers and suppliers for free advice. Two critical issues here; one the supplier’s job is to sell products and hence may not necessarily provide an objective recommendation to the unsuspecting client. Secondly, with all due respect, many of the sales people have limited knowledge and experience in actual lighting applications and therefore lack the proper background to expertly advise the client. Most of them following pre-determined sales pitches about all the benefits. In their eagerness to sell negative aspects are seldom mentioned or reinforced.
I am currently faced with a client who has called in my help to bring some clarity in the “LED” mess they are in with several down lights being tested all provided by different suppliers. The original housing was for incandescent lighting and in their strive to re-use the same size ceiling openings they ended up with huge industrial looking LED fittings, the type you would use in an industrial or back of house situation, not a 5 star hotel environment. On top of that in an earlier round of energy saving many lights were retrofitted with CFL knocking out the lighting control system. They now have “energy saving” down lights that cannot be controlled and basically are on all day…sort of defeats the purpose! LED being far more efficient then the original incandescent lighting layout should therefore not be blindly used for one on one replacement.
Light & Learn 3-16: Below an generic overview of the various LED quality criteria that will ultimately determine the cost and performance.