Re-Printed from the September 2013 ALA Technology Newsletter
Residential Lighting By The Numbers
Reliable data about the energy use of lighting products, together with numbers about the types and the quantity of products sold into the residential market, has become an increasingly important part of ALA activities in recent years. I pay particular attention to lighting energy data and the mix of light source products in various lighting applications. Those numbers indicate market trends and information about the technology being used. Demographic numbers are a good predictor of market activity too. An example is the market for elderly-friendly lighting which is growing because every day more than 11,000 people reach 65 years of age in the U.S.
Starting in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy began publishing detailed lighting inventory and energy consumption data by sector – residential, commercial, industrial and outdoor. An update was published in 2012 based upon 2010 data, but last December, for the first time, residential lighting energy use was examined in detail.
Report Results fromResidential Lighting End-Use Consumption Study: Estimation Framework and Initial Estimates
(Download at no charge, here: http://alturl.com/qg bh2)
Since the 2010 data above didn’t include the rapid growth in the use of LED bulbs during the past couple of years, I looked at another DOE report which uses the same database, but which analyzed the LED adoption rate over the 2010-2012 time period.
Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications.
(You can find that report at http://alturl.com/7z6yd)
The big question is: What will consumers put into those sockets as the conventional bulbs are replaced? The answer to that question will make 2014-15 an unusual and interesting time in the lighting business.
What are you going to put in your sockets? That’s the question that you have to answer for yourself. Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com and like us on Face Book. Be sure to download the UL app, LightSmart, for all kinds of interesting lighting information.
When buying a ceiling fan there are several factors that should be examined before making a purchase. A ceiling fan is basically a motor with blades suspended from a ceiling. Pretty straightforward yet there are huge quality differences that can impact you and the comfort of your home.
|Die Cast Motor|
Putting aside all style considerations, motor size, AC or DC motor, blade pitch, blade arms and mounting hardware are the factors you should familiarize yourself with before buying a fan because these are the factors that determine the airflow, measured as CFM, the efficiency and the quiet operation of a ceiling fan.
Motor size is measured in millimeters. A small motor might be 144 x 10mn whereas a large motor might be 188 x 22mn. Blade pitch should be at least 14 degrees. Blade arms should be sturdy metal, strong enough to accommodate the blades. A DC motor is more efficient that an AC motor, but it is more expensive to purchase initially. Look carefully at all the specifications before making a purchase. You will have the fan running most of the time so you will want it to be quiet and capable of moving air.
Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com, like us on Face Book and come see us for expert help for all your lighting and ceiling fan requirements.
Three essential types of lighting are Ambient, Task and Accent, sometimes called the triple crown of interior illumination.
|Good Source of Ambient Light|
Ambient Lighting, also called general or overall lighting, provides the light necessary for safe and effective interior illumination, allowing hazard-free navigation of the interior space with minimal shadows. Usually a ceiling fixture meets the requirements of good ambient lighting. To determine a room’s ambient lighting requirement multiply the room’s square footage by 1.5 to get the minimum number of incandescent watts necessary. You can then translate those watts into fluorescent or LED wattage equivalents if you like. Ambient is only the base layer in a well designed lighting plan which also could include wall sconces, floor lamps, recessed lights or picture lights.
Task lighting focuses light on tasks that are performed in a given room. It is a layer of light that should be used in addition to, not in place of, ambient and accent lighting. In most homes, kitchens, laundries and bathrooms require the most task lighting. But the requirement of these three room require different types of task lighting. Kitchens need recessed lighting in the ceiling aligned with the front edge of the lower cabinets in addition to under cabinet lighting and some kind of ceiling fixture and/or pendants. Bathrooms need wall sconces on either side of vanities for optimal light for makeup application and shaving. And laundries need bright ambient light to facilitate separating colors and to provide light for ironing and folding.
|Example of Accent Lighting|
Accent lighting is used to light art, sculpture or interesting architectural features like stone fireplaces. It is the layer of light that gives a room “texture” and interest and dimension. It lets you focus on the interesting features that are in the room. Some people think that accent light should be up to three times brighter than surrounding ambient light. I do not necessarily agree with this thought. I think accent light should not distract, but rather enhance, the ambiance of the room. Wall sconces, picture lights and directional recessed lights can all be used as accent lighting.
And remember, use dimmers on every light in the house. They cost a little more than switches, but they allow so much greater control over the lighting that they can really make a lighting plan “pop”. Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com, like us on Face Book and call with all your lighting questions and needs. We help people light up their lives!
Generally, the visual requirements for senior citizens are different than for the younger generation because of changes in the eye and in the visual nervous system. With age, the pupil becomes smaller thus reducing the amount of light that can enter the eye, the lens becomes yellowed thereby scattering light, reducing contrast and reducing the ability to focus, and ocular disease is more prevalent in older people. All these factors contribute to the special lighting needs of the senior population.
|Great Lighting for Older Eyes!|
To quote the IES publication “Lighting and the Visual Environment for Senior Living“, “In a study conducted by Sorensen and Brunnstrom in private homes in Sweden, a direct correlation was discovered between “good” illumination in an older person’s residence and that person’s quality of life. The study defined good illumination as: a sufficient quantity of light, appropriate direction of the light, good contrast, and light that does not cause glare. Physical condition, appetite, general good health, and self-confidence improved with good quality lighting. In addition loneliness, anxiety, and temper were diminished.”
|Bad Senior Lighting – Glare, Poor Contrast and|
Bad Direction of Light.
To go on quoting from the same article, “Poor lighting is associated with falls among the elderly. Investment in proper lighting is an excellent means of reducing health care costs and maintaining an independent life style…Good lighting should be viewed as prevention, and must receive priority attention by all retirement complexes, long-term care facilities, seniors living at home, and the community at large. Optimum light exposure ought to be as uncontroversial an aim of future health policy as best possible nutrition.”
Unfortunately, in my limited experience with two elderly parents and a parent-in-law, lighting in elderly residences is far from “optimal”. It was more like the photo on the right with lots of glare and poor contrast. Shiny floors and overhead bright recessed lights cause glare both from above and from the reflection of the light on the floor. Hospitals are the same way. And unfortunately the lighting in most homes is installed by the electrician or contractor without regard to proper lighting techniques (for any age group). A well lighted space will be a well lighted space for any age…it is timeless. Plan ahead when lighting your new home or renovation. A good lighting plan will pay you dividends forever.
Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com and like us on Facebook. Also, download the UL app “LightSmart” which has lots of good lighting recommendations. Call me at 207-797-7568 for your lighting needs.