May 29, 2020 | Trends

Think About Human-Centric Lighting for Your Next Project

Remember when we used to think if a space wasn’t completely dark, it was fine? Now, this expectation is considered archaic. Incredible developments and creativity around interior lighting have occurred so that satisfaction from any old light won’t do. Now our indoor experience is defined by human-centric lighting, a concept that requires the effects of light on humans be considered in lighting design.

Lighting can be designed around specific use of the space to enhance comfort. But what about the impact on that occupant’s well-being, productivity, and engagement? Lighting design has a profound impact on all aspects of the occupant experience.

Lutron, an Albireo preferred vendor, designs products that control the complete lighting environment of spaces. This international manufacturer is committed to creating extraordinary lighting and shading experiences while remaining sustainable. Lighting has such a dramatic effect on interiors, but it may seem unnecessary or costly to install intricate systems. The facts may be surprising.

Lutron considers four elements when approaching human-centric lighting: the quality of the light, natural light, connection to the outdoors, and personalized lighting. By incorporating these elements into each lighting solution, Lutron creates amazing results that have profound and powerful effects on occupant experience.

Dimmers are great tools to manage the quality of light. Using high-performance dimming, tunable white and color-saturated light control, the best environments are created. Beware of flicker, sometimes imperceptible to the eye, which can often cause headaches and other discomforts. Flicker is most often caused by a modulating power supply, and dimmer solutions correct this problem. There is a wide range of color in lighting, and Lutron’s driver chips can calibrate light to the exact shade desired. (Fun fact: Lutron invented the first solid-state dimmer.)

Dimmers also save energy and prolong the life of the bulbs. Each year, Lutron estimates its dimmers save a total of nearly 10 billion kWh or nearly $1 billion in annual energy costs. Dimming your lights even 20% saves nearly 20% in energy.

Natural light may appear easy to manage, but heat and window glare cause discomfort and lower productivity. Blocking out the natural light is not the answer. Shading solutions make the most of natural, free daylight. Automated, motorized or manually controlled shades made of high-performance fabric lets light in while minimizing glare. Using automated software, interior light levels are balanced to seamlessly provide perfect light levels. Harvesting daylight can create potential energy savings of 25-60% of electric consumption for lighting. Lighting color, temperature and intensity can be changed throughout the day to provide the best light needed.

Fabric options and shade control preserve access to daylight. Connectivity to the outdoors has been shown to improve mood and productivity. Solar heat gain is decreased with shading solutions, and shades also prevent radiant heat from tripping the thermostat which can lead to uneven temperatures or overcooling. Another source of energy savings, shading can be designed to reduce radiant heat and glare while still allowing light through. This can shave 10-20% off the cooling energy consumption.

And lastly, Lutron uses technology to create dynamic spaces that will adapt to the unique use of your space. Strategically placed sensors alter light and shades without human action. They adjust lighting based on daylight levels and occupancy. Automation software makes scheduling lighting and shading simple. Workstations also can be modified for personal preferences with handy remote controls.

By adding any combination of strategies, you will improve your space and achieve energy savings. For example, a typical office space that uses 8.76 kWh/sf can apply scheduling control strategies and achieve a savings of 3.76 kWh/sf annually. Compounding strategies to include scheduling, occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting and high-performance dimming solutions can save 6.7 kWh/sf. This is savings of almost two thirds of the energy usage. This can reduce the overall electricity bill for the building by 10%.

Albireo lighting solutions, leveraging Lutron products, can be incorporated into legacy systems or featured in new designs. With a wide range of flexible and innovative products, Lutron products help clients create the Right Environment, where occupants are comfortable, happy and productive.

Should you think about human-centric lighting during your renovation or new build? The answer is yes. Incorporating thoughtful lighting into your project provides a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. Savings are achieved with lower energy costs and reduced replacement of bulbs. Productivity is increased, and the overall occupant experience is enhanced.

Albireo Energy offers full-service lighting system design, implementation and installation of Lutron products. Call (800) 201-3153 to learn more.

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