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Commercial lighting is a fast-moving industry and getting the lighting right for your next project can be a challenge. Red Arrow explores the factors contractors must consider for each installation.

Commercial lighting: getting your installation right

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Commercial lighting is a fast-moving industry and getting the lighting right for your next project can be a challenge. Red Arrow explores the factors contractors must consider for each installation.

 

Energy efficiency

 

With the gradual increase of energy costs, end users are beginning to realise that low energy lighting is the way forward. And with lighting accounting for 20% of all energy consumption in the UK, any way to make it more efficient can dramatically cut costs.

 

Good lighting design is the best starting point. Particularly when working in a site refurbishment where the easy route is a simple one-for-one replacement. While cheaper in terms of initial installation, both for the customer and contractor, it can often be beneficial to design an installation with the right products to suit the space – offering longer-term benefits and a better-lit environment. For example, switching existing fittings for LEDs reduces ongoing running costs while saving money on annual maintenance, as they have a longer lifespan than traditional solutions.

 

Light quality

 

Best practice is to choose light sources with the right colour appearance for the application they’re needed in. For example, 6000K daylight LEDs look bright, but can give a stark appearance in an office where 4000K might be more suitable. Or 3000K, which may create a less energising environment in an office, but create a warm, relaxed atmosphere in a hotel.

Commercial lighting is a fast-moving industry and getting the lighting right for your next project can be a challenge. Red Arrow explores the factors contractors must consider for each installation.

While colour appearance concerns how warm or cool an environment is under a specific light source, colour rendering focuses on how well colour is reproduced – without washing everything out. And selecting a light source with the lighting standard requirement of a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) above 80 is ideal. While high CRI isn’t necessary for every lighting application, lower than 80 and the light will render colours in a noticeably unnatural way. And products equipped with backlit technology make a good job at evenly distributing the light across the surface of the panel too.

 

Lux levels 

 

The level of outdoor lighting on a clear day is approximately 100,000 lux, but indoor lighting often only reaches 1,000 lux by windows and 25 to 50 in central areas. Lighting schemes should be calculated to allow for compensation – in supermarkets, for example, 750 lux would be sufficient.

 

All light sources degrade over time, including LED. The solution is to choose the right product with the right lifetime for inaccessible areas and putting a maintenance regime in place with consideration for easily maintained fittings.

 

Luminaire types

 

According to light industry stats, downlights are still the biggest product group of light fittings in commercial settings. Able to fulfil many applications for ambient lighting, accent lighting and even general lighting – with different types such as fixed, adjustable/tilt, different beam angles, square or round – they are adaptable to each goal. For example, they are adjustable to highlight items for accent lighting; and they are available in squares, which can be linked together to create a linear distribution of light in an ambient project. Ultimately, they are designed to create the perfect lighting balance.

 

Red Arrow’s top tips

 

In commercial buildings, lighting should always reflect the type of activity being performed to ensure people in the space are able to do the task:

Commercial lighting is a fast-moving industry and getting the lighting right for your next project can be a challenge. Red Arrow explores the factors contractors must consider for each installation.

Warehouses

Offices

Retail

Educational settings

 

For more information visit Red Arrow’s website.

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