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Written by Steve Heising   
Nov 19, 2005 at 07:52 AM
Full Spectrum SunWave CFL Reading LamWelcome to Sunwave Lighting.  High Performance, Energy Effective Lighting Triple-Bottom-Line Lighting.  Thank you for visiting.  Included in this site you will find a variety of articles, links, and best practices recommendations for implementing Energy Effective spectrally Enhanced Lighting including:

  • A definition and overview of Spectrally Enhanced and other Energy Effective Lighting.
  • An introduction to current thinking in Lighting, both Daylighting and better Simulated Daylighting.
  • Links to Lighting and Energy Authorities, Utility Rebate programs and more
  • Information about the products now available for both residential and commercial applications, and
  • Information about energy efficiency audits, retrofit programs, rebates, tax incentives and other third party incentives as they apply to lighting for both residential and commercial applications.
    Samuel W Bodman (former Energy Secretary for the Oil Administration) made some interesting statements regarding energy efficiency in our buildings and in particular regarding our lighting systems on his the way out the door last November.   Essentially he noted that there have been a lot of technical performance and efficiency inovations in the last 10 years particularly in lighting.  Lighting he notes is a good canditate for energy efficiency retrofit as the lighting in over 75% of US buildings have not even been touched in the last 10 years. 
If the average LEED Certified retrofit can save 40% to 60%, then on average, an actual retrofit will only save 30%.  If our buildings are responsible for half our carbon emissions, and lighting is 30% of that.  overall we would save 10% to 20% of our total carbon emissions by retrofitting our lighting,  Better yet, lighting efficiency saves energy fast enough and pays back quickly enough to provided positive economic return.  
 

Adding up 10% of all electric energy consumed in our buildings over 75 % of all buildings, is a big number.  It amazes me that were willing to pat ourselves on the back for saving 40% and install LEED plaques on the buildings and we continue building new buildings saving 40% off the worst case lighting when for zero incremental investment  we could have saved 60% if one invested in most cost effective technologies like spectrally enhanced lighting.     

Many have currently implemented lighting retrofits saving 30%.  This is leaving another 20 to 30% that could have been saved on the table for a future retrofit which will likely not be implemented for another 6 to 12 years.   Our utility supplies audits with indicate that these retrofits take 4 to 8 years to pay back.  If much of the savings is from complicated control systems and strategies that fail and are bypassed, then oops, carbon continues to go up and we have another case expensive equipement and predictions that don't match reality.   

Courtesy of NASA The irony is that the parts and pieces are available today to save 50 to 60% for the nearly same incremental cost.   There are two schools of thought.  Use less by installing complicated  controls, or use less with fundamentally more efficient equipment and turning it off when it is not needed.  

The lamp makers typically want to keep making what they make, and sell more controls and new ballasts.   Instead, consider, efficacy, then simple controls.   How many times do you have to reboot your lighting system or call in the tech before  you just bypass the whole system?   The one that cares the most and has the most influence is the one that pays the bills for he is the one that can vote with and invest his dollars in higher efficiency. 

The industry does not promote and back non-patented technology that is disruptive to current business, and most utilities really are in the business of selling more energy not less. 

Isn't it time we started putting our buildings on a diet.  A lighting diet can actually pay economic returns  on small incremental investments.  Utility rebates and tax incentives sweeten the pot, and profits go directly down to the triple bottom line.   Isn't it time do start doing something about CO2 sooner rather than later?   We're supposed to be saving 2% per year for the next few years.   Wouldn't it be better if we saved 10 or 20% now instead of years from now? 

Understanding even juggling all the choices that impact Lighting Effectiveness is both a science and an art.  There are numerous of penny wise and pound foolish examples in lighting.  T12 fluorescent lighting for example.  30 years ago the flicker, the poor color rendition and ballast hum were show to negatively influence productivity.  John Ott the photobiologist showed that removing the flicker caused hyper active children to calm down.  Don Northrop, won an academy award for Spectrally Enhanced Flicker Free Lighting for the movie industry.  

In the last year or so, T12 and magnetic ballasts were sunsetted by federal efficiency regulations.  They are going away, but not until 2012.  In the meantime, they are still everywhere, and lots of new fixtures are currently available on the big box web sites and in the stores.  Buying these now would be just another penny wise pound foolish events.  Even one of the Greenest Big Box Stores on the planet over here in Aurora Colorado still sells "Sick Building" Syndrome 60 CRI 4100K Cool White T12 replacement lamps 10 for $15,  last time I checked but then I dont go into these stores anymore.  So somebody please send me an update if they finally removed the worst offenders. 

That gives you an idea of how conventional least first cost purchsing and we still make plenty of profit on them cause the equipment is fully depreciated thinking subverts energy efficiency, energy security, energy independence, and the well being of future generations.

Many of the Links found at this site provide numerous examples of studies of visual performance, productivity, health, and other ergomonic factors that are influenced by lighting. With ever increasing energy costs, and costs for maintenance, many of the authorities also present a more complete examination of the life cycle costs for fixtures,  tubes, reducing maintenance costs, including tube replacement,  cleaning, reducing the number of different lamps and bulbs stocked, and the relative efficiency of fixtures, and tuning the light levels, wall colors, reflectances, matching the light to the task, minimizing glare, minimizing the distance from the light source, bouncing light off the walls and ceilings, etc. 

Some resources show that in many instances,  replacing the fixtures and the ballasts and updating the controls while more expensive than the generic retrofit , can often results in the lowest lifecycle costs.  The higher front end costs for the more efficient choices result in larger utility rebates and lower operating costs.   Incandescent to pin based CFL and generic T8 to super T8 are two of the most common examples.   LED's are coming but except for specialty applications, are too expensive to be mainstream.  Induction Lighting is a an old technology that is new again thanks to improvements in phosphor longevity and ballast design.  While the manufactures claim 100,000 hours, the ballasts may be only 60,000 hours, and the phoshor lumen depreciation may be 30% by 60,000 hours. 

And we haven't talked about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.   If it's true that we all need to do something about global warming, and that we must be less willing to burn fuels that contribute to this problem, and if it is really cheaper to conserve energy than it is to produce it (as in building new coal fired power plants) then the least we can do is pay attention to our lighting.    One needs to understand how a light wavelength that is invisible,  gets trapped in the atmosphere by increasing concentrations of CO2 and turned into heat that is also invisible.   

This site is designed to be maintained and updated through the power of a group effort. It is an attempt to organize the wealth of lighting information and link to the top energy efficiency and lighting resources and present the latest thinking.  We would like to thank those that have contributed their time and efforts and to those early adopters of the latest and greatest of these energy effective technologies.  There is lots more to do.   There are lots of win-win opportunities. 

There are many choices, like the rainbow. In lighting practice there is a full range of choices rather than just black and white. One could choose 4100K instead of 3500K,  5000K instead of 4100K or use a generic T8 ballast with SunWave F32T8 Plus. The products and services presented herein present a diverse set of energy savings, carbon savings, cost savings  opportunities. 

Blue light to treat acne?  To regulate sleep patterns, seasonal and circadian rhythms?  To treat Seasonal Affective Disorder?  To improve attendance, concentration and test scores?  To make it easier to read and see fine detail.   Sometimes there is conflicting information especially when it comes to color temperature on what's best here or best there.  Much of it seems to be personal preference or what we are used to or what industry can make cheaper.  Some are right on, some are marketing terms and hype, others are set in there ways, "cause that's the way we have always done things" or business as usual.   

I personally pay attention when the chairman of the physics department from Stanford or the lighting engineer that won an academy award for flicker free lighting, and other references (that are not funded by the lighting industry main stream sales and marketing budgets.   While the impartial third parties can not name things by brand names, at least not the government sources, they report their findings on the nature of lighting technologies.  I'm also partial to independent verification and still skeptical about things I see in Web sites.   You should be too.   Much of the information is guilty of one or more of the Seven Sins of  Greenwashing, and some is not even close to accurate.  .  Dimable CFLs?  LED's without heat sinks that Claim 50,000 hours.  Metal halides are subject to "non-passive end of life failure." 

As Energy costs and Electric rates are going up practically everywhere, most of us given to savings costs would prefer to spend less on utilities.  Since lighting is a significant component of energy consumption there are lots of ways to save both energy and provide better lighting for our human visual resources.   Look for the Greener products, check out the guides from the Rocky Mountain Institute, from NYSERA, from Earth Easy, from the CLTC and others,  Many of the wheels have already been invented.  We're just slow to hear about them unless they make big profits for the machine.    

So what if all the heat from the house goes up the chimney.  We like to burn things,  The yellow fire light is comforting, it just not that good for reading and it's a shame if it is a net heat loss.    It's good for winding down to get ready for sleep.  It's just not so good for visual performance at work. 

We have tried several "enhanced spectrum" products and we really like 5000K up to around 6000K. for the the areas at home, at the office, in basements basement, office and work shop areas.  We like the AEP Sunwave 5550K 93 CRI phosphors best for work areas, but there are so many different applications and plenty of other good better and best choices.   

Yes, we also have many of the cheap yellow generic magnetic ballasted cfl's too.   And we keep a couple of 4 foot T12 shop lights around just so we can remember how bad the lighting used to be. 

The greenest choices are like needles in the haystack, however as most retail outlets don't even offer much more than a "Reveal" or other incandescent "daylight" option.  And everything is Daylight, or Daylight Plus which is less like daylight then it is a marketing term.  Let alone trying to find a 5000K electronic ballasted pin based compact fluorecent.  When was the last time you tried to find a 3-way compact fluorescent or a 5100K 15 watt BR30 CFL daylight spotlight,  or a retrofit plate to install a pin based 13 watt Pl bulb for a 6 in recessed can.   Look at the lighting installed in the new Home Depot or Lowes then look at what is for sale on the shelves.  How many greener products like they use in the stores to match the daylight from skylights.  How many Metal halides do you see?  How many Yellow Sodium Lights.  How many incandescents are left in your house?   

We will include contacts and links to other energy efficiency products, sources and organizations as time permits.  Please forward any lighting or energy consious event information to be included in the Web calendar.  (I have suspended the effort to keep this up to date,)  and there are a lot of energy efficiency and lighting events.   

Thanks for visiting.


Steve Heising, CLEP
Marketing Center Associates
Putting Software and the Internet to work for Sustainability.
Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional
Spectrally Enhanced Lighting, Lighting Retrofits, and Lighting Redesign Services
303-581-9296

Sunwavelighting.net and Marketing Center Associtates make NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND regarding the products and services listed including merchantability or fitness for any particular use.
Give us a call as just possibly we can help you find lighting solutions that are good or better for your Triple Bottom Line. 


Last Updated ( Aug 24, 2010 at 12:29 PM )
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LED at 50

Here’s a BBC News Technology story and video that was brought to my attention by Bob Jones at Publitek—Thanks Bob!

LED at 50: An illuminating history by the light’s inventor. Scroll through the images—they’re amazing.



Celebrating 50 years since the advent of LED technology, Nick Holonyak compares his first visible LED invention to GE Lighting's latest 27-watt LED available in 2013, replacing the 100-watt incandescent. (Photo: General Electric)

Source:  http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/led-zone/4398696/LED-Week-in-Review-Ikea--Enlightenment-via-Texas-Instruments--Plessey--Wireless-bulbs-shine-on--LED-at-50?cid=Newsletter+-+EDN+on+LEDs