Electrical Contracting News (ECN) ECN-Nov2017 - Page 45

LED LIGHTING FEATURE BACK-LIT TO THE FUTURE With the launch of its 152 lm/W panel, UK manufacturer Integral LED provides some insight into the development path of LED panels, and looks ahead to the future. T he unsung hero of the LED lighting world is the ceiling grid light or panel. Since its appearance fi ve years ago, it has been driving growth in offi ce lighting refurbishments. A new age of offi ce energy effi cient lighting is sweeping the country, much of it fuelled by interest-free loans and corporate tax breaks. Today the LED panel is the workhorse of offi ce lighting. Yet, the early versions of the LED alternative to fl uorescent louvre units offered only a slim advantage in terms of energy savings. The old fl uorescent ceiling grid units were swapped from 64 lm/W to a marginally advantageous 78 lm/W in the instance of the fi rst edge-lit LED units. Over time, each wave of LED technology has delivered improved effi ciency, climbing steeply as a ratio of power to light. Seemingly we have now arrived at a point where the once unthinkable has occurred. Should we answer the call to replace our fi rst generation LED panels with the next 150 “LED Panels are delivering real and sizeable cost savings.” Edge-lit Panel lm/W natural outcome of projecting light through less material. Edge-lit persists as a popular option, typically driven by a lower unit price. However as the short to medium term energy saving benefi ts of back-lit models become more marked, it is like likely that this format will dominate the category. Corporate customers are no doubt compelled to refurbish their current lighting schemes from fl uorescent to LED due to the large savings available. Initiatives like the interest-free loans promoted by the Carbon Trust and accelerated tax relief offered through the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme are fuelling demand for savings directly to the bottom line. A switch to LED panel lighting has become a ‘no-brainer’ for all offi ces. However, as manufacturers like Integral LED predict the possibility of achieving 200 lm/W by 2020, it now becomes increasingly viable for the early adopters of LED Panels to schedule another upgrade to a new generation of effi cient lighting. generation? With the announcement of its new 152 lm/W panel, Integral LED believes we should. “LED panels are delivering real and sizeable cost savings directly to the bottom line of our corporate customers,” says Alex Duggan, senior product manager at integral LED. “In fact, a switch to LED grid ceiling lights competes favourably with any of the energy conservation measures currently available to businesses. The increase in effi ciency has doubled over time, making a replacement of LED on LED a viable option.” As the infographic below demonstrates, the two-panel technologies – back-lit and edge-lit – have taken separate paths in terms of development. The story began with edge-lit, an arrangement where the inner edge of the panel is lined with an array of LED chips and the light is ‘bounced’ downward into the room space. This format of panel was the most popular during the introductory stage of panel lighting compared to the back-lit design. However, back-lit panels have emerged as the clear winner in terms of effi ciency; a Integral LED, www.integral-led.com 152 Back-lit Panel 140 lm/W 100 78 84 93 £172 50 117 lm/W 100 lm/W lm/W £195 £146 £142 Retail price lm/W 120 lm/W £143 Retail price lm/W lm/W Retail price £108 Retail price £125 Retail price Market leading efficacy £116 Retail price Retail price Retail price Energy savings for office with 150 panels *: £3,808 2014 Energy savings: £5,188 2015 Energy savings: Energy savings: £5,648 £5,832 2016 2017 Fluorescent Louvre Unit Up to 40% of light lost in fitting Increases in luminous effi cacy are driving huge energy cost savings Back-lit LED Panel More efficient design optimises LED light output *Office Cost Energy Savings based 150 panels, running 12hrs per day, 365 days per year, 14p kWh (£9,381.96 per year using 102W Fluorescent Louvre Unit) November2017 | 45