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General Lighting Future Green Lighting LED

How Many US Navy Sailors Does It Take to Change an LED?

To preserve its status as the world’s best, the US military must remain efficient and keep its maintenance costs as low as possible. There are a number of ways to do this; one they’ve recently discovered is to upgrade and replace outdated lighting sources. Tens of thousands of US businesses and homeowners have already made this shift; now the Navy is climbing on board.

LED Lighting: The Clear Choice for the US Navy

US Naval bases all over the world are currently making the switch from fluorescent lighting to LED lighting. Not only will the LED upgrade make the Navy’s ocean-based operations more environmentally friendly, it will save them a boatload of money as well. In fact, the Navy is projected to save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years.

There are a number of other motivations for this historic change. For one thing, the new LED bulbs are far easier to install, replace, and dispose of. They are also cheaper to manufacture and safer to handle during installation and replacement. The intrinsic benefits of LEDs will likely make them the standard lighting choice for all branches of the US military.

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Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Kerik Vargas switches his lights to high efficient light bulbs as part of an energy conservation initiative at Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH).

Navy Ships Receive the LED Treatment

The exciting and revolutionary impact of LED lighting is being realized for naval bases and beyond. After all, we’re talking about the Navy hereno major change would be complete if it didn’t include their world-renowned array of cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. The Navy will use LED lighting to illuminate not only their bases, but their ships as well.

The payoffs of switching to LED lighting are no huge mystery. The Navy ships that have switched to LEDs have already saved 3% of their yearly energy costsa tidy sum of $150 million. In addition, the new LED lights are expected to last up to 50,000 hours, which is more than seven times longer than the old fluorescent lights. Whether by land or by sea, LEDs have become the preferred lighting choice of the US Navy. What about you?

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General Lighting Future Future of technology LED

The New Longest-Ever “Smart Tunnel” Lit with LED Lighting

LED Tunnel Lighting Comes to Norway Tunnel

LED lighting has reached another milestonethis time in Norway. The newly opened Toven Tunnel in northern Norway has become the longest tunnel to be completely lit by LED lighting. The tunnel, which links the towns of Leirfjord and Vefsn, opened in November of 2014. It is 10.7 kilometers (6.6 miles) in length, surpassing other tunnels lit by LEDs in China, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Tunnel Features Unique LED-Control System

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) made the decision to use LED lights to improve energy efficiency and adaptability. While energy savings are inherent in LED lights, the NPRA also implemented a unique lighting-control system that adjusts light intensity based on the amount of traffic in the tunnel. Since the Toven Tunnel receives a relatively low amount of traffic, this control system is a tremendous energy-saving attribute. Additionally, daylight sensors will regulate the amount of LED lighting at the beginnings and ends of the tunnel (i.e., the lights will dim according to the brightness of the sun), providing a more seamless visual transition for drivers. It is estimated that these measures will save the Toven Tunnel 70% in energy costs.

Dark Tunnel Exit Needs LED Lighting

Savings in LED Maintenance—Improvements in Tunnel Safety

The NPRA will also save on maintenance costs, as the tunnel’s LED lighting will last about 84% longer than traditional lighting. Since fixing lights in a 10.7-kilometer tunnel is a bit more difficult (and expensive) than changing a light bulb at home, LEDs provide the Toven Tunnel a significant advantage.

LED lighting can also have benefits in more heavily trafficked tunnels where the level of lighting needs to be more consistent. Benefits of LED lighting include reduced glare and a better rendering of colors than traditional lighting, allowing drivers to better see the objects around them. This will likely increase comfort for drivers and reduce the number of accidents.

The issue of LED lighting in tunnels has become so popular that it will be the theme in the first ever Road Tunnel Lighting Conference. The conference will take place in Barcelona on October 8th and 9th.

“Now that there are self-adjusting tunnel lights and plans for smart, interactive highways, do you think the future of transportation is getting safer or more complicated? Are these innovations necessary?” –Dr. Bulb

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General Lighting Future of technology LED

Tribute to Founding Father of LED: Roland Haitz

The lighting community lost one of its most brilliant minds this past summer when solid-state lighting advocate and researcher, Roland Haitz, passed away in his California home. Haitz was active in the world of light-emitting diodes until his final days, having signed on to work with QuarkStar four years ago, at the age of seventy-six. As an early supporter of LED technology, Haitz predicted that LED lighting would become the technology of choice as materials and methods of production improved. His predictions were so accurate they became known as “Haitz’s Law.”

Paying Tribute to a Mind with Universal Appeal

Roland Haitz worked for decades to bring this innovative lighting technology to the mainstream. His vision was to create a world where traditional lights, like fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, were seen as inefficient, substandard options. Haitz foresaw the global transition to solid-state lighting, long before LEDs began to penetrate the wider lighting market.

At the Strategies in Light conference in 2000, Haitz announced his prediction that the cost per lumen for LEDs would fall by a factor of ten every decade, while the amount of light generated per LED would increase by a factor of twenty. His work also predicted that LED lighting would reach an efficacy of 100 lumens per watt (lm/W) by 2010, with a cool 150180 lm/W efficacy achievable by 2020. Haitz discussed the exciting prospect of super-efficient lighting and the wide range of its possible applications, including LCD backlighting, mobile-phone flashlights, and more, which prompted a surge of investment into LED research.

light emitting diodes

 

A Proper Memorial

Thus far, Haitz’s Law has proved to be infallible, with LED technology advancing past the 2010 benchmark of 100 lm/W. The scope of LED lighting applications has surpassed the already-broad scope Haitz and other researchers foresaw. LED lighting has become integral to the development of technology trends such as visual light communications (VLC), the Internet of Things (IoT), and human-centric lighting (HCL).

LEDs have radiant potential thanks to the advocacy of researchers like Roland Haitz. His work motivated the lighting community to fund the development of more-efficient LEDs, which can now be found in myriad expanding applications. With LED lighting, users can control the intensity, the color, and even the direction of their light sources. With wireless communication devices and VLC, controls can be accessed via smartphone or remote. Light-emitting diode streetlights can be fitted with sensors to relay information about traffic, parking availability, humidity, and air quality. Adaptive LED car headlights can automatically sense approaching vehicles and dim when appropriate.

There is a seemingly endless number of purposes for light-emitting diodes in a variety of emerging technologies. Thanks to researchers like Roland Haitz, the future will certainly be bright—and energy-efficient.

 

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General Lighting Human Centric Lighting

The Benefits of Human-Centric Lighting

Studies about lighting have traditionally focused on issues such as energy use, cost, and visibility. Only recently have we begun to understand the effect of lighting on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of humankind. The development of lighting technology has exposed humans to unnatural light patterns that interrupt our circadian rhythm (sleeping patterns) and can negatively affect our moods and cognitive abilities.

Big Data Comes to Light Science

While there have been several studies conducted on human-centric lighting (HCL), they have mostly taken place on a small scale. Now researchers are expanding the scope of their observations and have been collecting large amounts of data that can actually quantify the benefits of HCL in environments such as schools, factories, and hospitals.

The lighting industry in Europe has been the first to sponsor this research. Recent studies by LightingEurope, AT Kearney, and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) are the first to provide quantitative data on HCL. For example, researchers have analyzed how upgrading old fixtures to HCL can affect worker productivity and electrical costs. They have also reviewed how the use of HCL in medical facilities has increased patient well-being and decreased insurance expenditures.

New Technology Allows for Varied Applications

The new research is assisted by improvements in lighting technology. The development of LED lighting technology enables control over the intensity and color of light. Thanks to digital lighting with LED, wireless connectivity is also possible, which can give individuals the power to set their own light levels, even in crowded settings like an office. Workers can control lighting from a smartphone app to provide light only where it is needed and desired.

Adaptive lighting technology also allows for easier data extraction; fixtures can be equipped with sensors that monitor a room’s occupancy, temperature, humidity, and more. In hospitals, HCL provides increased well-being in patients and new ways to provide optimum care.

HCL to Increase Market Penetration

As the benefits of HCL are discovered and the applicable technologies are perfected, we can expect to see an increased market share for human-centric lighting products. The studies from Europe predict that in the next five years, HCL will have the greatest market penetration in healthcare facilities, followed by offices and schools. Residential use will likely lag behind in the near future.

It was only at the beginning of this century that we started to learn about the benefits of HCL. With new technology and research to help us understand the impact of HCL, we may soon see its large-scale benefits.

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General Lighting Future wireless technology

For Paris Metro Stations, Lifi is the new Wifi

You’ve heard of WiFi, but have you heard of LiFi? LiFi is an emerging technology which would essentially move the internet out of your router, and into your light fixtures. This fast-developing optical wireless communications technology could help increase the capacity of wireless data networks, and provide some promising benefits along the way.

What is Li-Fi?


Wireless fidelity
, or WiFi, uses UHF and SHF ISM radio bands to allow wireless devices to exchange information. LiFi is a very similar concept, except it uses the visible light spectrum, or VLC,  to transmit data. The lighting spectrum is 10,000 times larger than the radio frequency spectrum, which would add an enormous boost to the size and speed of wireless communication capabilities. LED technology has brought the idea of LiFi closer to reality, due to it’s superior controllability and reliability.

lifi
LiFi may soon have its first broad application in a surprising place: the Paris Metro. The Metro has a quarter of a million lights in its 302 underground stations and its 66 commuter rail stations. Currently, the lights are being replaced with LEDs as part of a $12 million effort to upgrade the system and make it more energy efficient.

The timing of this project is fortuitous. While other subway systems are looking into costly upgrades to provide WiFi in their tunnels, the Metro has the advantage of piggybacking onto the current lighting upgrade. The manager for the light replacement project has confirmed that since June, the Metro has been looking at the feasibility of taking advantage of the project’s timing to install LiFi technology in the Paris Metro.

LiFi does have its limitations. Most notably, VLC has a much shorter range than the radio spectrum. The visible light spectrum also cannot transmit through walls or other barriers.

These disadvantages, however, can be turned into advantages. In a confined space such as the Paris Metro, passengers do not have to worry about range limitations or WiFi dead spots. The signal will be available wherever visible light can reach. The space limitations of LiFi can also enhance user security because hackers are not able to access the signal from remote places.

doctor hospital

LiFi can be used in other applications, such as secure facilities, where the only users accessing the signal are the ones that are already inside. LiFi can also be used in electromagnetic sensitive areas such as hospitals or airplanes.

As LEDs continue to increase in popularity on the market, the cost of installing LiFi can potentially be folded into the expenses already incurred in upgrading lighting infrastructure. The Paris Metro project would be the first example of a large scale public use of LiFi. If successful, it may provide the blueprints for others to upgrade to this promising technology.

 

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General Lighting Green Lighting LED

New Study Shows Crime Rates Unaffected By Night Lighting

Many cities have invested in significant upgrades to street lighting, converting to energy efficient LED and solar powered fixtures in an effort to save money and power. In some places, the local government has resorted to turning off the night time street lighting entirely. There are those who believe that this is an unacceptable option for conserving resources, citing an increase in traffic accidents and crime as a reason to keep the lights on. A new study from the University of London School of Medicine, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, has called this correlation into question, concluding that there is no relationship between increased street lighting and less crime.

Research Casts Shadows on Conventional Wisdom

Night lighting in cities consumes a lot of energy, and the light pollution from heavily populated areas has a detrimental impact on the environment. Municipalities assume that the financial and environmental costs of lighting are a necessary evil in order to reduce crime and prevent automobile collisions. Only recently have local governments, who may not be able to afford LED Amber upgrades, been scaling back their night lighting for both cost and environmental reasons. The choice to turn off the lights has often been portrayed as a somber sacrifice in safety.

The 2015 study indicates that this may, in fact, be a false portrayal of the situation. Researchers looked at data on road traffic collisions and crime in 62 cities in England and Wales where authorities had turned the lights off, dimmed the lights, turned them off intermittently, or substituted the lamps with low-power LEDs. They found that reduced lighting had no effect on crime or accident rates.

The University of London’s study is consistent with other recent research. A 2011 study, focusing on London, found no correlation between street lighting and safety. A 1997 report to the United States Congress by the National Institute of Justice reached the same conclusion. A further study, conducted by the City of Chicago in 2000, showed that bad outdoor lighting can actually contribute to crime rates; while a 2012 report by the American Medical Association concluded that glare from unshielded lights can decrease safety for drivers.

Fear of the Dark: Addressing Public Concerns

Increased lighting may not increase safety, but it does affect the perception of safety. City dwellers out at night understandably feel that they need stronger lighting to travel safely. Residents in some cities have expressed concern when night lighting was dimmed or eliminated to save money.

To address these concerns, community leaders must engage in outreach with residents so that they understand the basis for any street lighting plan. Residents are less likely to object to such changes if they are consulted up front and given reasons supported by facts to explain the locality’s plan of action.

It is also important to note that reducing outdoor lighting does not mean eliminating night lighting entirely. Many of the councils under study had replaced traditional lighting with energy saving measures such as amber LED lights. These lights are dimmer but still provide sufficient illumination for pedestrians and drivers alike; and their low, familiar orange glow cannot be seen by nocturnal species. City leaders can apply common sense to provide adequate visibility at night and at the same time reduce unnecessary glare by installing fully shielded or cutoff fixtures wherever applicable.

night crime 2