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Lighting


Smart lighting: the future is bright


Glen Krise, Managing Director of Megaman, explores how LEDs and smart technology can make a significant impact on the sustainable credentials of both domestic and commercial projects.


T


he rapid advancement of technology has had a significant impact on the way we live our daily lives. As such, the increasing adoption of LED in both commercial and


domestic applications has positive implications for the future of lighting in the UK. Despite initial reservations, there is now a growing acceptance of LEDs as a viable, energy efficient alternative to incandescent and halogen lamps. Driven and supported by legislation and best practice, new standards are being set for the energy performance of new and existing buildings. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, due to come into force this month, will make it illegal in England and Wales to let properties – both commercial and domestic – which do not achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. When advising customers on how to improve a building’s rating, wholesalers should be aware that one of the most common recommendations found in an EPC report is to install energy efficient lighting, with LEDs being the most efficient option. A key advantage of LEDs over traditional incandescent and halogen lamps is the long operational lifespan. LEDs will not only provide an excellent quality of light for many years, but will reduce energy costs. With an estimated lifespan of 50,000+ hours, the need to regularly replace lamps is also eliminated.


Carbon footprint As LEDs offer better lumen output with every use, less energy is consumed. This reduces the emissions of CO2 gasses and can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a project.


Intrinsically linked with the evolution of the LED is the rise of


automated systems, or smart lighting. Pairing LED lamps with new developments in technology has not only increased the efficiency of our lamps, but has enabled our lighting to be switched on or off remotely via our smartphone or by verbal commands. These systems have a positive effect on energy efficiency, with settings that enable the user to specify the amount of light to where and when it is needed. This cuts down unnecessary energy wastage and can lead to significant savings on electricity bills. The adoption of LED and smart technology not only saves on


energy, but can also have a positive impact on the wellbeing of a building’s occupants. A 2013 report by Lighting Europe found that LEDs could present an


array of health benefits, including improved concentration and energy, increased motivation and commitment, and improved mental health. As such, we are beginning to see more LEDs specified for the healthcare, education and commercial sectors. In addition, the introduction of the WELL standard – the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness – has further enhanced the desirability of smart systems.


Domestic applications At present, the demand within the domestic market for LED is still relatively low and it is the higher cost of LEDs that remains the primary issue. However, there are signs that this is changing. In 2016, there was close to 20% penetration in Western Europe for domestic specification of LEDs. As we become more focused on energy efficiency in the home, the need to reduce bills as well as the fact that buying lamps is slowly being


Intrinsically linked with the evolution of the LED is the rise of automated systems, or smart lighting. Pairing LED lamps with new developments in technology has not only increased the efficiency of our


lamps, but has enabled our lighting to be switched on or off remotely via our smartphone or by verbal commands.


●Continued over www.ewnews.co.uk April 2018 electrical wholesaler | 31


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