LCBE’s Work Package 2 is researching LED technology, and working towards developing high efficiency lighting solutions. Lighting accounts for some 20% of world energy usage, however current lighting efficiencies are generally still low. LED technology is already four times better than incandescent lighting.
The potential for energy saving, incorporated with increasing the efficiency of power supplies, and integrating smart controls, make LEDs a highly desirable, eco-friendly lighting source. As LED efficiencies continue to improve, this technology is very much an integral part of future building design for a low carbon built environment.
LCBE’s Work Package 2, led by Professor Ken Board, has been working on lighting designs in the build environment. Part of their role involves working with convergence based companies, to offer a free lighting audit. This involves looking at the current lighting systems within a company, in terms of efficiency, cost and usage. Ken’s team can then identifying ways in which they can be adapted to save money, as well as become more environmentally friendly.
So far they have looked at a number of workshops, warehouses and office spaces. One example was a warehouse which had a very poor lighting design. The space included 150 lights, in a poorly arranged pattern. They were on 24 hours day, and the lighting levels were almost three times brighter than the space required. By following the team’s advice to rearrange the lights, the company was able to meet the lighting requirements for the warehouse, as well as save £2500.
Health and safety is also an important factor when lighting an area, as it is essential that lighting meets the special requirements, but is not too bright. The team found two examples in this area, one being a poorly lit welding bay, and the other being an inspection area which was nearly twice as bright as it needed to be.
So far, Work Package 2 have collaborated with the DVLA (Swansea), Wales National Pool Swansea, Amcanu Ltd (Bury Port), Glamorgan Glass (Port Talbot) industry partners. They are currently working on a number of designs for workshops based in Pontyclun area (ACS and AL-Met) and offices in the Swansea area.
Professor Board said “As a result of the assessments undertaken it is clear that the scope for energy saving in the context of lighting within buildings is enormous with payback times such as to make it attractive for many organisations to consider”.