3 Bright Ideas for Energy Efficient Interior Lighting
Light is considered by many designers the fourth dimension of architecture. It alone can change the atmosphere of a room and the mood of its occupants. But beyond its visual qualities, light is also expected to make buildings work better. Sustainable design, the thoughtful process of creating structures that will last for decades, also encompasses green lighting solutions.
These sustainable lighting solutions have less to do with achieving lower watts per square meter, and more to do with preserving the quality of light (e.g. visual acuity and interplay of aesthetics) while also optimizing performance. The concept of green lighting is still at the beginning, but with the help of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, forward-thinking designers can now use a measurable framework for green lighting solutions.
Let’s take a look at 3 bright ideas that will shape the future or energy efficient interior lighting.
1. Maximize Sunlight
One of the fundamental ways through which we can save energy and create welcoming interiors is maximizing daylight. This can be done with the help of open shades, light shelves, skylights, and carefully placed windows. Needless to say, windows should predominantly face south to soak up as much sunlight as possible.
If you do not have enough access to the sun you can use several different technologies to minimize electricity costs. For example, light transmitting systems, with light gathering receptacle, can be placed on the roof to redirect natural sunlight. Sunlight can also be maximized with the help of mirrored devices (heliostats) that redirect rays from the garden to the home. This solution will deliver the equivalent of 40 100-wat incandescent bulbs.
2. Invest in Energy-efficient Lighting Solutions
The simples fix that you can make in your home is to switch incandescent lights to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). More and more light manufacturers are adopting new technologies. According to PenguinSupplies experts, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) will shape the future of lighting because they don’t heat up like incandescents and they last longer than traditional bulbs.
Furthermore, LED technology only uses 10-20% of the electricity used by incandescents and they emit a pleasant light.
Using motion sensors can also help you reduce energy costs. That’s because we often forget to turn off the lights when we leave a room.
3. Explore Human Centric Lighting
The term “Human Centric Lighting” is relatively new. It has emerged in recent years as a response to the unfulfilled lighting needs of people. Let me explain. In 2001, scientists discovered a third photoreceptor in the human eye that enabled them to correlate mental & physical changes (e.g. circadian rhythms) with specific light conditions. In other words, it was finally demonstrated that the qualities of light go beyond mere aesthetics.
It is believed that light can be controlled & synched with Earth’s natural lighting cycle in order to improve productivity & day-night rhythms and to reduce stress levels. Despite the fact that the sustainable & financial benefits of human centric lighting are not directly quantifiable, a study entitled “Quantified Benefits of Human Centric Lighting” demonstrated that HCL solutions increased the productivity of a factory’s workers by 4.5%. An increase in productivity translates into better revenue.
Human centric lighting solutions are already being installed, on a small scale, in homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and offices. The preferred solutions include dimmable LED products with varying CCTs and fixed spectral fixtures that synchronize with human circadian rhythms. This method is also known as biodynamic lighting.