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  1. Explore Cost Savings with LED Lighting for Car Dealerships Even with a flood of information and ratings about every car that is available for purchase in the current market, automobile buyers typically make their final decision on the basis of a car’s exterior appearance and curb appeal. Automobile dealers know this and go to great lengths to make the cars on their lots and in their showrooms as attractive as is possible by keeping them sparkling clean and displaying them under the most flattering lighting. Automobile dealerships are also under constant pressure to reduce their overhead costs as consumers have more information available to them to negotiate lower car prices. Many auto dealers are now adopting LED lighting for car dealerships to help them meet these challenges. Source: specgradeled
  2. High Powered LED Lighting is Making Night Golf Possible Night golf was once a novelty that a few intrepid golfers attempted with glow-in-the-dark balls on moonlit evening. High powered LED outdoor sports lighting has now taken night golf from novelty to practical reality. A few golf courses outside of the United States have been the pioneers in this transition. Their success in making night golf a practical option will likely encourage golf centers in the United States to open their courses to nighttime play. Source: specgradeled
  3. LED Lighting for Racetracks and Motor Speedways Shows Tremendous Benefits Major auto racing venues were latecomers with respect to using artificial lighting for nighttime events. Those venues are typically much larger, requiring more total lighting and imposing greater operating costs and electricity usage than baseball or football fields. Moreover, motorsports drivers need very high quality lighting for better visibility and safety as they drive at average speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. LED lighting is the ideal answer for all of these challenges, and next-generation LED lighting systems have a potential to transform a sport that has traditionally been relegated to daylight hours. Source: specgradeled
  4. Cities Around the World are Switching to LED Street Lighting To the extent that a “trend” is the direction in which something is developing or changing, switching or retrofitting to LED street lighting is definitely a current trend in cities around the world. In the United States alone, several major cities, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Las Vegas, Austin, New York, and Boston, have either switched to LED street lighting or are planning an LED retrofit. Shanghai and Copenhagen have joined the list of international cities that are relying on LED systems to light their streets. The forces that gave rise to this trend are not difficult to understand. Source: specgradeled
  5. Horticulture is Blooming Again Thanks to LED Lighting Technology 🌱🌱🌱 Indoor horticulture has historically been limited to hobbyists and a few growers who pursued indoor plant growth as a passion more than as a commercial venture. LED lighting technology is now changing the face of horticulture by making it a viable supplement to the commercial production of food crops. Several aspects of LED lighting are contributing to the renewed growth of horticulture. LED light can be tuned to the optimum spectral illumination for plant growth; LED horticultural lights reduce indoor growth operating costs; LED lighting systems are environmentally friendly; LED horticultural lighting is creating growing zones in areas that were previously incompatible with agriculture; LED lights reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides. Source: specgradeled
  6. How LED Lights are Making Highways Safer Traffic safety engineers, transportation specialists, and auto manufacturers have made remarkable advances in automobile and highway safety over the past fifty years. Road planners and municipalities are poised to make another quantum leap in highway safety as they adopt new LED highway lighting or retrofit existing highway lighting with LED technology. A brief overview of LED lighting reveals at least four reasons why LED lights are making highways safer. U.S. cities and municipalities in areas as diverse as Baytown, Texas, and Olympia, Washington are already testing and realizing the safety and other benefits of LED highway lighting. As those benefits become more apparent, the LED industry expects that the pace of adoption and retrofitting of LED lights will increase. Source: specgradeled
  7. LED Lighting for Public Rest Area Safety Public rest areas create the perfect storm of safety concerns for space planners. These areas typically see a high volume of vehicle traffic that is mixed with pedestrians who are walking to and from their cars. Vehicles might contain valuable personal property, and pedestrians might be fatigued or inattentive after a long drive, increasing the risk that both the vehicles and their occupants will be targets for criminals. Public rest areas are often exposed to harsh and varying environmental conditions. LED lighting can help facility planners address these safety concerns. LED Lighting for Public Rest Area Safety: Benefits of LED Lighting for Public Rest Areas: Source: specgradeled
  8. Economic and Safety Benefits of LED Street Lighting in American Cities 🌃 Los Angeles has already converted more than 75% of its more than 200,000 street light to LED technology. Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Copenhagen are well into plans to convert their own street lighting to LED’s. Other smaller cities around the globe are considering the same thing. Cities that retrofit their street lighting to LED systems are more than just a fad. LED retrofits are a trend that will accelerate as LED street lighting systems become more available and affordable. Cities that have converted or that are considering and LED conversion typically point to improved safety and the more favorable economics of LED lighting systems. From a safety perspective, light from LED fixtures can be aimed and controlled to eliminate the dark spots and shadows that are common with more traditional metal halide or high pressure sodium street lights. LED luminaires are available in multiple different light dispersion patterns, and those luminaires can be mixed and matched to shed uniform lighting across sidewalks and roadways. Benefits of LED Street Lighting: Source: specgradeled
  9. Lighting Retrofit vs. Lighting Redesign The revolution in industrial and commercial lighting is shepherding in a host of new LED lighting systems that are replacing traditional metal halide and high pressure sodium fixtures. As more organizations look to make this transition, their first question is whether they should retrofit existing lighting systems to utilize LED fixtures and control systems, or move entirely to a new redesign of their entire lighting configuration. As with many other facilities-related issues, this decision will be a function of personal preferences, the facility itself, and budgetary considerations. LED Lighting Retrofit If you are working with a limited budget and the facility does not have unique lighting needs, a retrofit may be adequate. Existing lamps can simply be replaced with LED lamps and self-contained drivers. The end result will be equivalent or better illumination with an immediate reduction in utility costs, but maintenance costs will likely be higher than with a full or partial redesign. LED lamps can be more directional than traditional bulbs, and replacing existing lamps will not solve light distribution issues or elimination of any shadows that an existing design had created. LED Lighting Redesign The next step up from just replacing lamps is changing all of the existing fixtures with LED-specific luminaires. New LED lamps and fixtures will likely generate greater illumination than prior-generation lamps, and this option might produce an environment that is overlit. Moreover, replacing the fixtures will not readily facilitate the addition of advanced controls for the LED lights, such as dimming and custom adjustments of individual fixtures. LED Lighting Retrofit vs. LED Lighting Redesign A complete lighting system redesign will impose the highest upfront cost on an organization, but that cost can be more quickly recovered through utility and maintenance cost savings with a redesign than with a simpler retrofit. Design engineers will analyze the space that need to be illuminated and will sketch out a customized plan that includes a blend of different LED fixtures to achieve optimum lighting in the facility. LED’s are available in a variety of light dispersion patterns that can be mixed and matched to uniformly light a facility with a minimum of dark spots and shadows. The engineer can also incorporate advanced control systems into a new LED lighting design that allows a facilities operator to selectively dim or adjust individual fixtures to alter facility lighting to coincide with particular or changing uses of the facility. LED lighting technology has advanced rapidly over the past ten years. Decisions about retrofitting or redesigning a lighting system should be based on the most current available information. Manufacturers and designers of LED lighting systems have also gained considerable experience in that time with helping their clients to make the best lighting choices that fit their needs and that do not go over budget. That experience extends to adapting specific color temperature and color rendering indices (CRI) into new lighting systems that can improve employee morale and performance with lighting that better matches natural sunlight throughout the day. Source: specgradeled
  10. 8 SIGNS YOU’RE READY TO INVEST IN LED LIGHTING You will likely find ample justification to support the business case for your organization’s transition to LED lighting. In most cases, that justification will be derived from your organization’s experience with its current legacy lighting system. That experience will provide at least eight signs that you are ready for LED lighting. You have lost control over your utility costs. Traditional metal halide or high pressure sodium light fixtures might have been state-of-the-art when they were installed, but they have never been particularly efficient. Much of the power they consume is dissipated as excess heat. As electricity costs have gone up, your organization has spent more and more money that is wasted by these traditional fixtures. More efficient LED lighting will reverse this pattern. Your lighting maintenance team is overworked. Metal halide or high-pressure sodium bulbs need to be replaced, on average, every two years. If the entire lighting system fails, your maintenance team can take an hour or two to bring it back to full power. Broken or damaged fixtures can shut down a complete bank of lighting, interrupting your company’s operations. These problems can all be reduced or eliminated with LED lighting systems. Your company has adopted environmental initiatives. LED lighting places lower loads on electrical power generation plants, thus reducing carbon emissions. LED lamps themselves contain no hazardous materials that might contaminate landfills when they are eventually replaced and discarded. Employee productivity is down. Studies have revealed a close connection between adequate lighting and employee productivity. LED lighting pushes the advantage of good lighting even further. Certain wavelengths of light can improve mood and increase productivity. LED’s can be adjusted to generate light in these wavelength, leading to potential employee productivity improvements. Workplace mishaps are increasing. Many workplace accidents are the result of poor visibility and lighting systems that create shadows and dark spots. Employees experience fatigue and eyestrain in poorly-lit environments, which contributes to more accidents in those environments. LED lighting can be configured to eliminate those dark spots and to generate uniform illumination across an entire workspace. Moreover, LED lighting can be tuned to better replicate natural sunlight, giving employees the best possible lighting to avoid mishaps. Your business is expanding. If you are building new facilities, it makes little sense to install old technology in those facilities. LED designers and engineers can develop a custom LED lighting solution for new construction that optimizes the lighting environment with fixtures and systems that give facilities managers unprecedented control over illumination. Your operations are conducted under extreme conditions. Large temperature swings, different forms of precipitation, heavy machinery, and round-the-clock movement can all put strains on a lighting system. Next-generation LED lighting is engineered to withstand these strains and to continue in full operation regardless of the extremes. You need to power up lighting systems quickly. Traditional lighting can take up to 30 minutes before coming to full illumination. LED lighting eliminates that lag and comes to full illumination almost immediately after being powered up. Source: specgradeled
  11. The 5 Biggest Myths in LED Lighting In their early stages, most new technologies are the subjects of myths that are either exaggerations or inaccuracies, if they are not altogether incorrect. LED lighting has been the subject of many myths since the first installations of LED systems appeared several years ago. Many of those myths denigrated LED lighting on the basis of cost and performance. As LED technology has improved, early-stage problems have disappeared but the myths have remained. Rather than falling prey to those myths, organizations that are considering LED lighting for their own operations should base their decisions on objective facts about modern LED lighting systems. Myth: LED lighting is expensive. Fact: As with many new technologies, the first generations of LED lighting systems were costlier than traditional metal halide or high-pressure sodium alternatives. Upfront acquisition and installation costs have since fallen dramatically and LED retrofits or new installations can now be completed at competitive price points to those traditional systems. Moreover, LED lighting generates the same or better illumination with substantially lower power input. Upfront system costs are usually recovered very quickly from utility cost savings alone. Myth: Light from LED bulbs is too harsh or bright. Fact: New LED bulbs and control systems give operators much more flexibility to alter the color temperature and color coordinated index (“CCI”) of LED illumination to tone down the perceived harshness that might have plagued earlier LED systems. Modern fixtures and lenses also help to disperse lighting and to reduce glare from brighter bulbs. Myth: All LED bulbs are identical. Fact: LED bulbs include more complex technology than incandescent or fluorescent fixtures. Quality LED manufacturers push that technology to produce better and longer-lasting products that incorporate features such as advanced thermal control and more stable electronics. Some LED systems might cost less than others, but those lower-cost systems might not have the newest technology that creates improved lighting performance. Myth: LED lamps never need to be replaced. Fact: LED’s last substantially longer than traditional lighting fixtures, but the will need to be replaced at some point. On average, LED bulbs will perform above a minimum illumination level for 50,000 hours. Many continue to generate light beyond this average lifespan, but their total light output will be lower than when they were first brought into service. Facilities that install LED lighting systems will continue to need to plan for maintenance and replacement, but those needs will be substantially reduced in comparison to traditional lighting. Myth: LED lighting is bad for your health. Fact: Doctors’ groups did criticize early generations of LED light that had high concentrations of blue-wavelength lighting. Lighting in that wavelength tends to keep people alert and to interfere with circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. Newer LED systems have controls that allow operators to reduce blue wavelengths in favor of more calming orange or yellow lighting. Therefore the early criticisms are no longer as valid. Myth: LEDs have sub-par color rendering index properties Fact: Incandescents have a perfect color rendering index (CRI) of 100, so when alternative energy-saving lighting solutions like fluorescents came to the market, people were disappointed in the quality of the light. And rightly so. Many compact fluorescents have a low CRI of 50. Most LEDs have a solid CRI of 80, with High CRI options available when color rendering is very important (like in restaurants, retail stores, galleries, etc). Our LED MR16, for example, has an incredible High CRI option of 95, so colors appear as vibrant to the eye as under broad daylight. Source: specgradeled
  12. LED LIGHTING MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP When commercial and industrial LED lighting systems were first introduced, some proponents of those systems claimed that they were maintenance-free with lifespan expectations in excess of 50,000 hours. LED systems do have fewer maintenance obligations than the metal halide and high-pressure sodium systems that they are replacing, but even minor maintenance will extend the life of an LED system and improve the economics of an organization’s decision to transition to LED’s. In addition, a handful of companies have crafted LED lights with advanced thermal management that reduces their degradation due to heat buildup, and simpler LED designs that allow for repair and replacement of LED lamps and fixtures with few or no tools. LED Lighting Maintenance LED lamps generate light through solid state electronics that are controlled by embedded drivers in the lamps and fixtures themselves. The actual components that generate light are less likely to degrade than the drivers, which can experience performance degradation due to heat buildup and thermal overload. A few of the pioneering manufacturers of LED lighting systems, including SpecGrade LED, have designed patented thermal management systems that more effectively remove heat from the lamps and fixtures. Heat transfer will be improved if the lamps and fixtures are kept free from dust and debris, and occasional cleaning of LED fixtures can lead to longer performance. LED maintenance costs are typically divided between components and labor. Component costs will generally not vary, but labor costs can increase dramatically if a lighting system is complex and more time is required to access and repair fixtures, or if those repairs need to be done at off times when a facility’s regular operations have subsided. Next-generation LED fixtures and systems incorporate designs that facilitate quicker and easier repairs that can be completed with few or no tools. Modular LED systems also allow repairs and replacements of single fixtures without affecting other fixtures in a lighting array. As LED control systems become more advanced, manufacturers will likely include features such as remote wireless control and monitoring. A facilities manager can then coordinate and control lighting in several locations from a single wireless internet-connected device. Organizations that are considering an LED retrofit or an installation of an LED system into a new facility should plan for updates and upgrades to those systems that wireless control and other future innovations. Adopting a more flexible LED system now will make upgrades simpler and less expensive in the future. Organizations can plan for regular periodic maintenance of an LED system, or they can adopt a more reactive program that calls for maintenance as a response to performance issues. If, for example, a facility’s electrical utility costs begin to increase, or employees note that LED illumination is decreasing, the organization can then implement maintenance procedures in response to those observations. In all cases, LED maintenance and upkeep obligations add to overhead costs that every organization seeks to control. Those costs are already lower for LED lighting systems, but they can be reduced even further if an organization selects an LED system that includes advanced thermal management systems and that makes repairs and replacements as simple as is possible. Source: specgradeled
  13. Warm white or Cool white? Colour Temperature - With conventional lamps, choosing the “colour of light” emitted by a lamp was not a choice that was generally made. With some LED products, there is a choice of colours, choosing a colour will set the mood of your space. Correlated Colour temperature (CCT) in lighting describes how the colour of the light appears from a lamp, measured in kelvins (K). Imagine a scale from 1000K (very red) to 10,000K (very blue) (actual scale is wider). The higher up the scale you go, the closer the light resembles blue daylight. Confusingly, colour temperature does not describe the actual temperature of the lamp itself but the colour it produces and counter-intuitively; the higher the colour temperature the “cooler” a lamp will look. Put simply, colour temperature is based on how the colour of heated metal changes as its temperature is increased - turning from red to yellow then blue. You can then determine the temperature of a heated metal by its colour. This range of colours at different temperatures has become useful for describing the colour tint of white light. The colour of light from an LED lamp is approximated or “correlated” to this scale. Warm or cool? There are no rules - the choice is about personal preference and use. If you like the traditional yellowish colour of a conventional lamp then warm white around (2700-3000K ) would be the ideal choice, this is the most popular choice for homes. If you want a modern, clean look, you may prefer the cleaner, brighter feel of a cool white lamp (4000K+). Cool white light contains more blue light and looks brighter to the eye (this is why cool white bulbs have a higher lumen output when compared to the equivalent warm white bulb). It also seems people from sunnier countries tend to prefer white light compared to people from cooler countries who prefer more warm light. In commercial applications choosing the right colour temperature is important and will depend on the mood you want to create and the products you are promoting - for example freshly baked cookies and bread may look better under a warm white light. A cool white light may not make the product look as appealing but it would be a good idea to do some trials to see what works best. Where can I use them? Below are some common areas where the different colours can be used: Warm to Warm white – living room, bedroom, hallway Day White to White – kitchen, study, bathroom, cupboard, office, retail White to Cool white - Commercial, retail, art studios Allow some time to get used to any change especially if changing from warm to cool white. Source: integral-led
  14. On the Wings of Freedom Butterflies are the symbol of change, creativity, soul freedom, joy and colour. Their power is transformation, shape shifting and evolution. Butterflies represent transformation and freedom across all cultures; ‘Bright Cities’ are places where people can grow culturally, socially and broaden their mind; our glowing butterflies are symbols of this potential change and cultural evolution. The swarm of butterflies creates an array of RGB LEDs which are individually addressable and are choreographed for rich lighting effects based on the audience interaction. More information about the process and technology on our blog page Commissioned by the Amsterdam Light Festival, from 27 November 2014 to 18 January 2015 Wertheimpark, Amsterdam. Exhibited at Canary Wharf Winter Light Fest 2016, GeorgetownGlow 2016, Illumination Harbour Festival of Light 2016. Source: aether-hemera
  15. Voyage The etymon of the word 'voyage' comes from Latin 'viāticum', which means 'provision for travelling', and the aim of the artwork is to allow viewers to travel and sail with absolute freedom to all the places they care to imagine. Colourful paper boats on the water invites everyone to make a transition from reality to imagination, reliving childhood memories and embracing our freedom; blurring the lines between the real and hyper-real, Voyage invites the thoughts of the visitors to cross the borders of their imagination. Voyage is a large-scale installation that consists of three hundred floating 'origami boats', encasing coloured dynamic LED lights that come alive at night. Each origami boat is 60cm long. Voyage is also designed to be an interactive experience; people can engage with it and impact on the behaviour of the lights from their mobile phone. More information about this project's development here Commissioned for Canary Wharf Group's award-winning public art programme for the Middle Dock of Canary Wharf, December 2012 - February 2013, London. Source: aether-hemera