The World Of Hospitality Issue 12 2015 - Page 48

48 the World Of Hospitality Have we now found the ‘holy grail of lighting’? The prize has been in our grasp and eluded us in the past. The obstacle has been overcome. On this journey, we achieved energy efficiency never hoped for in the past; lamps that hardly need any maintenance. But did we lose something on the way? LED lost intimacy and that warm feeling of comfort. The first step in the right direction was for coves and shadow gaps that had 2 linear lines of LED; enabling us to dim both lines independently with two color temperatures of white. Colour 2700k was pretty much the equivalent of tungsten halogen when on full brightness, but when the good old light bulb or low voltage down-lighter dimmed, it had something else! It warmed as it dimmed to the color of a candle at its lowest. Oh, how we missed this! To quote Joni Mitchell; “You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone”. The feeling when you come in from the cold to your local bar or restaurant you seek refuge and comfort. This is because we are wired that way. The human condition expects the evening to have warmer tones. Sunlight does this, and the restaurant hospitality experience is nothing short of returning to our cave with a warm fire to greet you. Of course, the first step in getting hospitality lighting right is to hire a lighting designer such as Lighting Force, who specialise hospitality lighting design. They know where it should go and what it should be. They have all the latest toys at their disposal, like the Inox Dim2warm downlighter; ‘Mood’ that does all that I have described. Its only taken 2 decades to get this treasured feature back! Using latest LED technology at 100%; a mighty 1000 lumen output suitable for front of house circulation areas. But here is the clever bit. At 50% dimmed you are in the area of tungsten, and at 7580% dimmed you are at candle flame color tones. As I said; the ‘holy grail’. That in conjunc tion with similar effects from Inox cove lighting systems creates a complete hospitality package. Ian Howard - Hospitality Lighting Specialist lighting force Dim to Warm The past few years have seen great advances in lighting technology in the hospitality industry. New LED lightsources have largely supplanted the mix of incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps that became the norm over the past couple of decades. These have massively reduced energy and maintenance costs, whilst adding to the designer’s pallet of techniques to make a space stand out by use of tiny lightsources in inaccessible spaces and new ways to use coloured light. Few would miss the compact fluorescent lamps when they are gone, but incandescent lamps had desirable characteristics that we are missing already. This is why CFL lamps never took off in hotels the way they did in offices (or at least, not in classy hotels) - the poor light quality and lack of controllability largely consigned them to lobbies, corridors and back of house areas only. Upgrading to LED lightsources solves many of the problems with CFLs, but up until now they have had one glaring fault that has left them at a disadvantage to incandescent. Both consciously and subconsciously, humans associate colour temperature and intensity of light with the time of day - we associate cooler light with daytime and warmer light with evenings. Lighting designers have known this for many years and have come up with varying techniques to create light, business-like daytime scenes and warm, intimate evening scenes in the same space. In the age of incandescent and halogen lamps, this was easily achieved simply by dimming the lamps - anyone with lights at home on a dimmer switch will know that dimming them down in the evening doesn’t only reduce the light, but warms the colour as well. This is a natural characteristic of any filament lamp, but not of any gas discharge (fluorescent) or solid state (LED) lightsource. It also happily fits in with our subconscious desire for warmer evening light. LED lighting has provided some great tools for the designer to tone the light to suit the time of day, by mixing light from cool coloured and warm coloured lamps and using controls to vary the mix between the two. These are great solutions for open spaces and corridors as they tend to be from linear led lamps that can be concealed in coffers and shadow gaps. But concealed linear lighting doesn’t suit all spaces and, in itself, tends away from intimacy as it flattens light in a space. For a truly intimate space, directional light, such as produced by downlights and spotlights is best. And here’s the rub - until now, LED lamps in these types of light fitting have not had the ability to warm in colour as they dim. With the introduction of the ‘Mood’ range, Inox now offer the solution to this - a range of downlights with all of the conventional LED benefits, but also with the characteristic that as they are dimmed, the colour warms up, just like incandescent lamps. ‘Mood’ downlights were developed with the hospitality industry in mind, so at the cool end are a still warm 3000K, typical of an undimmed filament lamp and at the warm end are down at 2000K - the colour temperature of candle-light. At full output, they deliver up to a punchy 1000lm at only 14 watts of power. These benefits have led some to describe ‘Mood’ as the ‘holy grail’ of hospitality lighting.