Apples aren’t Oranges – when you don’t have good lighting!

Apples aren’t Oranges – when you don’t have good lighting!

Good Lighting is a Choice

Choices are everything in today’s world but we inevitably forget the simple light. Lighting should be considered carefully and upgrades more so. LED has an operational life up to 25 times that of the old light sources, so your mistakes could be with you a long time or your costs significant. There are now a multitude of manufactures and lighting options for every application but at the end of the day you want comfort and control of your lit environment.

 

Know what you want to achieve:

Are you happy with the existing lighting? Do you want more functionality/control? Each area has its own set of requirements and these may vary over time -We will review the specifics of different residential and commercial lighting in future correspondence but for now let’s consider good lighting.

Comfort:

Comfort and good lighting is subjective but in general it comes down to the following…

    • Light colour: The coolness or warmth of the light output is now expressed in Kevlin (K). Warmer incandescent lamps typically 2700K, or halogen downlight 3000K to fluorescent tubes Cooler 4000K or 6000K. The higher the Kelvin the more cool, so they can make areas seem chilly and uninviting.
    • Colour perception: The ability of light to make colours look as they do outdoors. This is stated as the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) CRI100 is considered the same as sun light but CRI70 may leave colours looking dull and washed out.
    • Brightness: The intensity of light measured in Lumens (Lm). Too dull and you cannot see adequately, and this can raise safety and security issues. Similarly, too bright alight can result in glare, eye strain and over stimulation.
Apples aren’t Oranges – when you don’t have good lighting!

Control:

  • Having the ability to control and adjust good lighting to suit application is increasingly important as most areas are used for multiple purposes. The ability to move beyond switching ON/OFF to Dim or change light colour can add value to your lighting scheme.
    • Dimming: If changing over ensure the fixture you are considering is dimmable and compatible to any existing dimmer. If unsure talk with your contractor to test prior to installation. Check that the dimming is smooth and minimum level is as you would expect it (typically 10-15% of maximum output).
    • Colour control: Many fixtures available offer colour selection but this may be a one off change at installation. Key technologies
      • Dip switch from say 3000K to 5000K. Once installed the colour can only be adjusted by taking the fixture down and changing the Dip switch setting.
      • Dim to Warm: the fixture changes colour from cool 4000K to warm 2700K as you dim the output. Has its place but maximum brightness in a cool light may not be ideal.
      • Dynamic: control via a remote, fixed station or App. This provides for maximum personal control allowing you to adjust to suit time and use of your room.
Apples aren’t Oranges – when you don’t have good lighting!

Beware of claims

A few quick points to consider…

  • Warranty: Its important and always check the small print. What’s covered? How to claim? Will the Brand or the product be around when you need a replacement? Remember Contractor call backs are expensive and it can be long period with that fixture out before its replaced.
    -Buy a reputable brand with local representation
  • Lifetime: Cheap products generally are just that and 50,000Hrs of an LED is quite valid but the power supply may last fraction of this. Similarly, the quality of chip may see lights change colour over time and if one fails matching is impossible.
    -Quality of the power supply and a known brand of LED is key
  • Compliance: Lighting is not required to be approved to Australian/ New Zealand standards. Products destined for Europe, America and Asia may not meet all local requirements.
    -Check for the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)

EMLIGHT Offer a wide variety of light fixtures to suit all applications with varying levels of control functionality to maximise the opportunities to personalise your internal space lighting. With a Lighting Design service and installation assistance we are here to help – email [email protected] or call 1300 436 533 for one of our sales representatives to assist you with your needs.

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