Viewing Office Lamps in a Different Light

One of the fastest moving areas of lighting technological advancement is in the development of SSL, or solid-state lamps. The two main products in this market are LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). What makes these lighting options so attractive is that, because of their design, a higher lighting efficiency is possible. Philips Lighting

Steve Maurer, IME

One of the fastest moving areas of lighting technological advancement is in the development of SSL, or solid-state lamps. The two main products in this market are LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). What makes these lighting options so attractive is that, because of their design, a higher lighting efficiency is possible.

LEDs are a more directed light, while OLEDs are diffuse. OLED research is still in the early stages and thus, rather expensive. One advantage that OLED fixtures will bring is the ability to integrate lighting into complex configurations, such as furniture and architectural aesthetics.

LEDs, on the other hand, have been in development for about a decade. Research has been extensive and the integrations possible are astonishing.

LED tech 101
While installers and specifiers rarely need to know this for a particular job, it's interesting to know how white light is produced. Actually, white LEDs don't exist. Rather, the white light spectrum is produced in one of three ways:
  • Phosphor conversion, similar to florescent lamp construction. A phosphor is placed on or near the LED to convert colored light into the white light needed.
  • LEDs come in red, green and blue diodes. Thus, an RGB system mixes the colors, similar to paints on a palette, to produce the white light.
  • A hybrid system uses both the aforementioned technologies to fine tune the white color rendering.
LEDs are inherently dimmable. Therefore, they can be used to create variable levels of luminance. For example, they can be dimmed in unoccupied office or workspaces; then the light level can be increased by either sensors or manual controls when employees enter the space.

That brings us to the most interesting aspect of LED tech.

Lighting as a system
Because of their electronic construction, LED lamps and luminaires can be integrated into the office building's overall digital infrastructure. As part of the network, a constant stream of data can be captured, analyzed and acted upon. This can not only improve utility costs of up to 80% savings, but also:
  • Personalize work spaces, catering to each employee's tastes and needs,
  • Create an ambience to highlight and enhance the rooms architecture and purpose,
  • Provide real-time data on lighting system status, and
  • Allow for point-by-point lighting control, both inside and outside the office building.
Lighting tech has come a long way from the inefficient, energy hogging days of incandescent filament lamps that were either on or off. The office lighting future looks bright… and more manageable.


Photo courtesy of Philips Lighting