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Viewpoint


Intelligent Illumination


Diederik de Stoppelaar, Global Outdoor Director at GE Lighting, discusses the benefits of white light.


For years we have accepted poor light quality on our motorways, bridges, pedestrians areas and car parks – but, due to the emergence of white light sources, this looks like a thing of the past. Whilst primarily offering comfort, safety and security, the latest white light technologies offer immediate energy savings on installation and a better respect for the environment. Until now, outdoor lighting solutions have been dominated by high-pressure sodium lamps, which can hold their own in terms of energy efficiency. However, their distinctive yellow light provides poor colour rendering, meaning it is difficult to distinguish colours. In comparison, white light sources are much closer to daylight and are perceived as being brighter than they are because you can distinguish colours, shapes and shadows more easily. Consequently, this makes people feel more secure and comfortable in their surroundings as it enables better recognition of people’s faces, helping to remove anxiety. It also acts as a crime deterrent and makes for clearer CCTV images. In addition, research has shown that a car


driver’s reaction time (mesopic vision) is at least six times higher under white light, and the high colour rendering also improves obstacle recognition. Crucially, this gives drivers more time to stop if a child, adult or cyclist is about to cross their path.


Nevertheless, in today’s climate it would be impossible to justify the technology on these benefits alone, without a credible environmental stance to back it up. The good news is, by simply upgrading a lighting installation to a white light source it is possible to reduce energy consumption by as much as 43%, and with a new installation the savings rise to over 50%. This reduces CO2 emissions to a level that was previously considered impossible, while simultaneously cutting energy bills by a significant amount. Finally, given the fact that LEDs achieve 0%


upward light, reducing light pollution and nuisance – it's fair to say that we are seeing the dawn of a new era in outdoor lighting. With white light we are now able to achieve the best attributes of daylight coupled with high levels of energy efficiency that will go a long way towards helping the UK reduce environmental impact as well as improving our urban areas.


Contact


GE Lighting T: +44 (0) 800 169 8290 www.gelighting.com/eu


98 www.a1lightingmagazine.com


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