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Lighting Design:

LED World offer lighting design at both ends of the scale,high end 3D modeling and very particular lighting design for retail shops and commercial applications. Our lighting design team consists of award winning lighting designers form around the world including Lee Walker known for his work on the Levis flagship store in Regent Street London.

We also do basic lighting design for builders looking to achieve the 5 watts per sq meter regulations so they can gain their building permit for the job.

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What is Lighting Design?

Put simply, it  is the process of illuminating a space in order to enhance the overall experience of the user, this can range from theater lighting to create the desired moods for a the show to emphasizing a particular architectural feature to add interest and intrigue to the outdoor environment. Good lighting can help to compliment the exterior and interior finishes that architects and interior designers spend so long choosing. Selecting the wrong lamp type or color can instantly ruin the ambiance of a space, thus the role of the Lighting Designer is one of the most important.

It is the role of the lighting designer to make sure that light is supplied when and where it is needed, in an appropriate amount and to a high quality. Lighting is no good if it does not meet the visual needs of the user or help to add clarity to a space.

More now than ever it is imperative that the lighting designer focuses on effective, energy efficient and sustainable technologies. For the conscientious designer the fast paced world of LED technology ticks all of these boxes.

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Lighting Designs are created using state of the art design packages that can show lighting levels, pseud- colour renders, energy consumption and even produce high quality, photo-realistic rendered images. These outputs are extremely valuable in presenting the philosophy of the lighting design to the customer, who may not be familiar with the technical complexities of lighting.

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Let us look at how lighting design can be applied to more specific scenarios:

Retail Lighting:

Good lighting design can make or break a retail business. Major companies spend a lot of money on R&D to ensure that the product is displayed in the best possible way, after all if you can’t see the product you are not going to buy the product.

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Supermarket’s for example, have lighting for the fruit and vegetables use a light source that emphasizes the green and yellow part of the visual spectrum, whereas the meat and bread sections use a light source with more output in the red part of the spectrum. In general though a light source with good overall color rendering attributes and a long life are preferable.

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With retail lighting there are two main philosophies for how to approach design:

“Get em in, get em out!”

This method is generally used by more economical brands (that require high turnaround of product to be profitable) and fast food chains. These units are generally lit to very high levels (1000-2000+ lux) and very uniformly. The idea is to not make the shopper feel too relaxed and make sure that all the different merchandise is visible, as the shopper is persuaded to make impulse purchases and get through the payment process fast. The changing rooms are usually lit with the same fitting type and lamp colour temperature (CCT).

“Luxurious and high end”

The more prestige brands (and those aiming to appear that way) usually take a completely juxtaposed approach. These shops usually have very little light outside of illuminating the merchandise. This has the duel effect of creating great contrast, making the merchandise stand out from the background and making the space appear more welcoming and comfortable to be in.

This ambience is achieved by using tight, narrow beam optics, putting 1000+ lux directly onto the product. Visual hierarchy then ensures the first thing you see is the product, it stands out and becomes the star of the show. The spill light and reflected light then provide the general orientation for consumers. In these type of stores the cash desk is also highlighted and the changing rooms may use a warmer colour apperance lamp to seem more “homely”

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Various luminaire types can achieve both of the above styles, from track and spotlights to recessed gimbal type fittings. The important factor is that they are low-glare and have good optical control to get the light exactly where it is needed.

In a retail situation the designer and planner can leave a scheme and it looks fantastic, however when under the shop managers control the scheme may become neglected. They may replace the lamps as and when they expire, rather than doing a bulk change, thus having lamps of different brightness and colour appearance ruining the desired effect the designed was trying to create.

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Add to this the potential to move key positioned luminaries (specific spotlights) when changing the lamps and you can easily see how 1 year down the line your perfect retail lighting design ends up looking like a dogs dinner. With LED and their long expected lifetimes to L70, you really do have a “fit and forget” installation that needs little to no maintenance to look as good as the day it was installed 10,15 even 20 years down the line.

Schools/Office Lighting:

The lighting of schools and offices should have the emphasis on ensuring there is enough light on the task area (usually a desk) to perform the tasks required. Depending on the application being undertaken 300 – 500 lux is generally regarded as an adequate level of lighting. If more is required this can be achieved by local task lighting (table lamps for example).

Traditionally the entire space would be illuminated to the desired levels, allowing for the room layout to change and still achieve the required lux levels. However in this more energy conscious time it may be the brief is to light only the desks to this level, leaving the walkways and circulations spaces to around 150 lux. There is no right or wrong here, and the decision should be made based on risk assessments and the clients expectations.

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As most schools and offices will have a modular ceiling they will usually be lit by 600 x 600 modular fittings, which replace ceiing tiles as necessary. Having said this there is no reason suspended fitting, recessed spotlight or track and spots can not also be used. To create a space that seems spacious and light it is preferable that the luminaires allow for some light to hit the walls and reflect onto the ceiling, otherwise the room may feel closed in and claustrophobic. The greater the cut off the better, to create scalloping higher up the wall. 40° will usually be enough.

Emergency lighting will of course be of paramount importance in a space which is used by multiple people. LED is an ideal light source for this as it turns on instantly, with no warm up time, and you do not need to worry about the lamp failing in the traditional sense.

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Key benefits of using an LED light source in your application:

1.             Low energy light source compared to traditional lamp types.

2.             Long LED lifetimes, generally 50,000 hours+(low maintenance.)

3.             Available in a wide range of colour temperatures.

4.             No UV output, prolonging life of the objects they are illuminating.

5.             Good colour rendering (Ra) attributes possible.

6.             High outputs now available to suit all applications.

7.             Instant “strike” for emergency use.

8.             Wide range of control options (such as DALI) possible for central dimming/switching

9.             Coloured (RGB) versions available to create stunning effects.

Glossary of useful terms:

DALI – Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, standardize protocol for control of luminaries.

LED – Light Emitting Diode. A solid state light source.

Light – The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to humans.

L70 – Predicted lifetime of an LED chip to the point at which it still produces 70% of the initial luminous flux.

Illuminance – the measure of light arriving at a given surface (measured in lux)

Uniformity – the measure of the evenness of light

Colour Appearance – the relative “warmth” of the light source based upon a Kelvin scale  

Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) – The numeric expression of colour appearance, expressed in Kelvin[K] (2700K = warm, 4000K = neutral, 6000K = cool).

Colour Rendering – the ability of a light source to enable the identification of colour

Light Output Ratio (LOR) – the proportion of light emitted from a luminaire against the proportion from the lamp within the luminaire)

Luminous efficacy – the ratio of light output of a lamp against the electricity consumed (measured in lumens per watt – lm/w)


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