The Lux Live event kicked off in London yesterday and the focus was clearly on quality, cost cutting and climate.
The theatres at the ExCel venue were packed, as was the Soraa stand where we were partnering with the team to promote the benefits of quality full spectrum LED lighting.
Many of the sessions in the theatres on day one focused on the issues of quality and control – the benefits of the best light, how to dim effectively, responding to legislation and how not to roll out an LED retrofit.
The sessions touched the widest range of sectors from retail and hospitality to health care, education and the commercial rented property market, advising on the commercial benefits of quality LED lighting.
The benefits of LEDs in reducing carbon footprint simply by using up to 85% less electricity rolled throughout the day as an undercurrent. This remains important while at the same time the emphasis is on the stellar savings that business, health and education can achieve.
At the same time, we learned that research into how LED lighting showed it could be good for health and in education, with the best quality solutions helping concentration in learning environments while improving well being and mood. In some cases, it can aid recovery.
Here, the emphasis seems to be on full spectrum LED lighting, which can provide these advantages as it mimics natural light, and people respond very positively in these well-lit environments.
We also learned that the National Health Service would save around £35 million simply by rolling out a behaviour change programme to turn off lights and shut doors and so save energy. It’s also clear that costs are being cut through LED retrofits – and there is much more to do here.
The NHS spends more than £750 million on energy costs each year, according to the Green Investment Bank, which estimates that energy efficiency measures could cut this bill by up to 20 per cent, £150 million each year, including lighting measures that reduce electricity costs by 80%.
The advantage of retrofit is that it does not require permanent behaviour changes, although this is always a benefit.
It’s also clear that the private rented sector is seeking ways to improve its energy efficiency, particularly in lighting, as regulations being timetabled will make the value and “rentability” of commercial property more uncertain. What’s needed is a progressive partnership between landlord and tenant to ensure energy efficiencies are achieved, while improving or matching current lighting environments.
Talking to manufacturing partners reinforced the view that a more precise way to label LED products was sorely needed. We have argued for some time that LEDs lights are a mixed bunch but people still have the habitual view of them being the same – a bit like the old tungsten bulbs, where the quality of light was pretty much standard.
Sadly, this is not the case. The LED light is much more complex than a traditional bulb – in effect you are buying an electronics device. The quality of light does differ greatly depending on the components used, construction process and controls.
As one of our partners, Verbatim, advised, there is a world of difference between a budget-price LED panel and one constructed with top-range components. Putting the two models together clearly can demonstrate the value in choosing the better quality, higher value version. What’s needed is a new code that lets customers know exactly what quality of light they are buying. They should not be left in the dark and prey to being sold inadequate lighting products.