Lighting 101

Based on my experience, selecting lighting fixtures is a task I used to avoid and prefer leaving in the capable hands of lighting consultants.  We have taken a lighting subject back in design school at the university.  We  had enough knowledge to calculate basic lux of a given space and be able to tell the difference between an LED system from a fiber optic lighting, however, barely sufficient to use color rendering index and the scientific thick calculations created by special softwares such as Dialux, Relux and so on.

Little did we realize that lighting is a very integral part of the design.  It actually makes or breaks the ambience and aesthetics.

A luminaire is a light fixture that distributes light.
It is important to note this criteria during the selection and specification process:

1.  Light output
2.  Wattage
3.  Size / Dimensions
4.  Rated Service Life
5.  Efficacy (lumens per watt)
6. Color temperature (daylight white, neutral white measured in Kelvin / K)
7. Requirement of additional transformers or ballasts
8.Compatibility with the electrical system
9.  Dimmable?
10. Electrical operating characteristics and suitability in the environment
11.  Finish & Aesthetics

A Great Example
One of my recent discoveries and finds is a wonderful design by Rogier Van der Heide, head of Arup's global lighting division for their office in Amsterdam. Philips has now commercially released this graceful luminaire called  DayWave .  Many architects find it brilliant!  It is ideal and perfect for the workplace.  It creates an inspiring lighting ambience.  It has a flexible organic design.

DayWave consists of cool and warm white LEDs. It has been designed to create a dynamic color changing temperature and intensity throughout the day that is pleasant to our eyes without strain.  During the day our eyes require a brighter, energizing daylight output that gradually softens  as the day progresses, in tune with our natural rhythms that relaxes our eyes in the evening. This in the long run enhances our well being The light output can be adjusted according to the occupants' personal taste and task lighting preference.

I had a rare opportunity to personally meet the designer two years ago during a lighting seminar at IFI (International Federation of Interior Designers) Event in Dubai in 2009 where he was the speaker.  Being the world's first LED enabled dynamic lighting fixture for general office lighting, personally, this ultra slim suspended luminaire impeccably meets all of the above requirements in the criteria checklist.

Wavy Daywave Lighting by Philips – 4

What do you think? I was so excited about this product that I specified it for an office. Looking forward to see how that will turn out.  :)

Happy Thursday!

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