Tag Archives: Lighting

LightBytes Masterclass, Dublin

Carl Collins, Digital Engineering Consultant, CIBSE

The second LightBytes event of the brand new, peer-reviewed SLL Lighting Knowledge Series will take place in at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin on 30 November 2017. In a reworking of the previous Masterclasses, the Society invites participants to a day of peer-reviewed, bite-size presentations focusing on the key factors relating to the following topics — design, specify, build and future.

This year’s speakers are Nick van Tromp and Les Thomas from Fagerhult, Helen Loomes from Trilux, Roger Sexton from Xicato, and Steve Shackleton from Zumtobel.

The guest speaker for this series is BIM and Digital Expert Carl Collins. Carl has over 30 years experience working within engineering environments, including Arup’s unified design group and Arup Associatess. 

Commenting on the new series, SLL President Richard Caple said: “The new format, designed around the PechaKucha style of delivery, is designed to keep the day energised and fast-paced while still delivering and disseminating important information.”

Some of the points that the speakers will address include:—

  • A need to refocus on lighting quality as the number one priority
  • Current standards and metrics in relation to LED light sources
  • Maintenance factors – considering LED life and degradation
  • Lighting controls and the pros and cons of integrated wireless Vs wired systems
  • Sign off and commissioning – confirming that the lighting performs as intended
  • The potential of predictive maintenance with smart lighting
  • The future of lighting controls and how to best utilize the data being gathered
  • The potential for lighting to become a managed service, looking at turnkey solutions and where the design responsibility lies

To conclude each of the topics, Carl Collins will then provide provide perspective on the role of BIM and digital engineering within lighting. Carl will consider aspects such as the exchange between modelling and calculation software, daylight analysis, product data templates, virtual experience before construction, single model shared ownership and blockchain ordering amongst other topics.

All of the presentations are brand new and peer-reviewed, providing the opportunity to add 4.5 hours to participants CPD. Members of the Society can attend at the discounted rate of £49.95 with the standard ticket price at £69.95. Students can also apply for the reduced rate of £29.99 by emailing sll@cibse.org

Click here for further details and to book your place.

Building Regulations Part B and Fire Rated Downlights (Updated 31.08.17

Mark Walshe, Technical and Quality
Manager, LED Group and Lighting Association
Ireland Technical Committee member.

When you consider the regular pattern of recessed luminaires that is likely to greet you when you cast your eyes up to the ceiling in many new homes, the concept of a fire barrier may lose much of its integrity. How many perforations does it take for a ceiling to lose its fire rating? Facetiousness aside, non-fire-rated downlights will not provide the same level of fire protection as the ceiling in the event of a fire.

Fire-stopping of any openings in a fire barrier is a serious health and safety concern, as outlined in the Building Regulations 2017 Technical Guidance Document B – Fire Safety Volume 2 Dwelling Houses, updated earlier this year. Section 3.7 and particularly Section 3.7.5 in Volume 2 deals directly with the requirements of fires in dwelling houses.

Although you won’t find downlights mentioned explicitly in the document, it is clearly spelt out that any openings in a fire barrier element must be fire-stopped to ensure that fire resistance is not impaired. This would imply that there is a requirement for recessed lighting to have integral fire protection, or for non-fire-rated recessed lighting to be installed in conjunction with a suitable fire-hood.

Technical Guidance Document B – Fire Safety Volume 1 Non-Dwelling Houses is currently under review and expected for release in 2018 so, for now, the 2006 version of Technical Guidance Document B remains applicable. This document again sets out the requirement for all openings in a fire barrier to be fire-stopped.

However, there is a caveat in the case of timber-frame apartment blocks. These may use a compartment floor where the ceiling is effectively a sacrificial layer and does not constitute a fire barrier. There was a time when LED fittings with integral fire protection were simply not conducive to this application due to high cost, low performance and poor reliability linked to over-heating, but that day is well and truly over. A good quality LED FRD (fire rated downlight) such  as the ROBUS Triumph would be an ideal choice in this instance as it, and similar high-quality products, tick all the relevant boxes. Features of the ROBUS Triumph include:

— Rated for 30/60/90 minute fire rated ceiling/floor constructions=> fire safe;

— It is eligible for the SEAI Triple E ACA Scheme => energy and cost incentives;

— It meets the acoustic testing requirements of the Building Regulations => insulates noise;

— It meets the air tightness test requirements of the Building Regulations => minimises air leaks;

— It has a quick-fix connector and insulation spacer guard => ease of install;

— It has a 5-year warranty => reliability and peace of mind.

Fire testing of LED FRDs to the relevant standard (BS476 Part 21) is an expensive business as it involves constructing suitable ceiling box samples (complete with fittings) to be tested in a furnace at up to 1000°C for 30/60/90 minutes duration. Then there is the specialist work of analysing the test results with consideration of load bearing in order to make a judgement on the overall fire rating of the fitting.

Proof of meeting these requirements should be requested as part of any fire safety certification or risk assessment. Generally, for new builds and refurbishments with material changes, the only situations where FRDs need not be considered as essential in the case of recessed lighting installations are in bungalows or in the roof ceiling of multi-storey dwellings.

It is the responsibility of the Assigned Certifier to ensure that a building meets the requirements of the Building Control Regulations as set out in the Building Control Act, 1990 by means of the signed Certification of Compliance on Completion. The most straightforward means to achieve this is to follow the appropriate Technical Guidance Documents, as otherwise, alternative evidence must be provided to prove that the regulations are met.

In addition, for non-dwellings the Building Control Authority must issue a Fire Safety Certificate. All stakeholders in the installation of recessed light fittings, from installers through to building control authorities, would do well to take note of the requirements as set out in Part B in relation to installation of recessed lighting.

If your home had a hole in the roof, you wouldn’t think twice about plugging it to prevent a leak. Shouldn’t the same consideration be paid to the holes in our ceilings in the event of fire?

New focus on health and ‘WELL Being’ in building design

Mona Holtkoetter, Arup

Most people can correlate to scenarios where buildings or surroundings have a negative impact on our health. Why are you feeling more stressed after sitting in a meeting room with bad  acoustics for several hours? Have you experienced the post-lunch coma and tried to fight against it with a large amount of coffee in the afternoon? Have you left the full-day conference in a room without access to daylight and then been blinded by the sun when leaving the building? Have you experienced back pain from sitting at your desk all day?

Then there are the not so obvious effects of the indoor environment to your health? What is the indoor air quality that we breath for 90% of the day? What is the drinking water quality from the kitchen tap? A large amount of research has been published to analyse these questions. This research has been transformed into a new building certification system, the WELL Building Standard, bringing the key items together.

So, what does the WELL Building Standard include and how can we, as professionals in the built environment, play a key role in enhancing the health and wellbeing of occupants? How can we contribute to tackle main lifestyle-related  health epidemics, such as stress, obesity and muscular-skeletal complaints?

The WELL Standard separates the opportunities to promote health and well being in buildings into the following categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

Air                                                                                                                                                                                  We breath more than 15,000 litres of air each day but outdoor air quality is deteriorating globally due to pollution from traffic, construction, agricultural activity, combustion and particulate matter. When considering the outdoor air quality, filtration of outdoor air by air handling units becomes a critical component for the HVAC design of a building services engineer. But which of the components mentioned above is captured by the F7 filter that we usually specify? Is this sufficient or do we need to re-think?

Further important aspects of indoor air  quality are ventilation levels, selection of combustion equipment, management of pesticides, cleaning practices to remove microbial pathogens and exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can evoke asthma, allergies and can impact on productivity.

Water                                                                                                                                                                            While the objective when considering water at design stage focuses on accessibility to drinking water to promote hydration, the main emphasis should be the water quality. As building services engineers we are responsible for planning the water installation, but testing the water quality is typically not within our scope. We are purely relying on the water supplied by the city council to be the correct quality. While the Irish drinking water is tested for compliance with the EPA standards, not all contaminants dangerous for the human body are covered by these tests.

Also, any impacts on drinking water quality through pipework distribution is typically ignored. WELL requires a broad assessment of the water delivered at the site and requires the installation of adequate filtration if needed.

Nourishment                                                                                                                                                                To avoid the post-lunch food coma and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, access to healthy and balanced food within a building or its surroundings is key. A healthy food offer goes hand in hand with healthy food advertising and information about ingredients, and can be advanced through the provision of gardening space. Imagine you are working late and instead of going down to the vending machine to buy a chocolate bar, you are going onto the balcony to pick an apple from the tree?

Light                                                                                                                                                                              The lighting codes we currently design to provide recommendations on illuminance levels to ensure sufficient light is provided for the task, to avoid eyestrains, to maintain productivity and to reduce headache. But light also influences our internal body clock that synchronises physiological function. Lighting exposure plays a key role for our sleep patterns and sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing. Do we need to go beyond code compliance to ensure our lighting design is providing a healthy environment?

Fitness                                                                                                                                                                Inactivity is now one of the biggest threats to public health, directly attributable to 9.4% of all deaths worldwide. While we as building services engineers have limited influence to the design for fitness, there are great opportunities to promote fitness within the built environment. This can go from the promotion of staircases, to the provision of bicycle parking, shower and changing facilities, gym or other internal or external fitness opportunities. Or, better still, how about combining fitness and work? Great innovations, such as sit-standing desks, treadmill desks or bicycle desks are already available on the market.

Comfort                                                                                                                                                                        Open-plan is the office layout of choice for most companies in Ireland. While it is great for collaboration with colleagues, the provision of quite areas to concentrate or make a phone call is important. As building services engineers, the selection of HVAC equipment has a great influence on the acoustics. Next to acoustic comfort, thermal comfort is important. While I typically sit at my desk with my jumper on, drinking a tea, my colleague next to me sits in a t-shirt and asks if we could open the windows as he feels too warm.

We are a key example for different temperature preferences. Why not be innovative with our HVAC design and provide different temperature gradients within a building?

Mind                                                                                                                                                                              Our minds and bodies are inextricably connected and play a vital role in our health and wellbeing. Buildings can provide spaces, such as balconies or green areas to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Workplace policies can have a positive impact on mood, sleep and stress levels, and can positively benefit our overall health and wellbeing. The reaction to indoor plants provided in the first WELL-certified office building in the UK was employees fighting about the plant positioning – they all wanted the plants to be located close to their desks. Maybe planting is not the best strategy for stress reduction after all!

LAI prepares for International Year of Light

“Light plays a central role in all aspects of human activity and industries based on light are major economic drivers”, says Gay Byrne, newly-elected Chairman of the LAI. “They create jobs, and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, health and tourism. Light is also important to the appreciation of art, and optical technologies are essential in understanding and preserving cultural heritage.”

A comprehensive international report published by McKinsey & Co in 2011 predicts that the total global lighting market will have revenues somewhere in the region of €111 billion by 2020. As the years progress,an ever-increasing percentage will be new, technology-driven, energy-efficient lighting. Indeed, a recent report emanating from the US says that the global market for energy efficient lighting alone will be €23 billion in 2015.

According to Gay, it is important to understand the underlying factors influencing this market surge, especially in relation to the emphasis on energy efficient lighting. For a start, world population growth (currently at seven billion), along with increased urbanisation, is fuelling this massive demand for lighting and lighting products. This growth pattern is strongest in commercial lighting, but the pace of residential lighting growth is catching up.

At the same time, climate change and resource scarcity are of increasing concern with Governments around the world – including Ireland – responding with greater regulation, especially in relation to energy usage. Given that lighting accounts for something like 20% of all energy consumed, it is not surprising that it has come under the microscope.

”For the most part”, says Gay, “established lighting manufacturers, along with some new market entrants, have responded magnificently to this challenge. They have invested massive funds in research with the most significant development being that of LED technology. According to some industry commentators LEDs have the potential to reduce global lighting-related energy consumption from the 20% already mentioned to as low as 4%, and that is apart from all the other benefits associated with LED technology. ”

However, as with all new emerging technologies – and particularly ones that represents a quantum leap forward over traditional technologies – there is the danger of misrepresentation and abuse. In this respect LED has proved to be no exception.

To begin with, some of the claims made for LEDs by irresponsible market players in respect of performance, longevity and life-cycle costs were quite blatantly untrue. They created a false impression and unreal level of expectation within the marketplace. The relatively low investment entry level – coupled with the lack of industry standardisation and regulatory controls – compounded this problem. The result was a proliferation of cheap, lowperforming LEDs that complied with no standards.

“While this has undoubtedly caused confusion in the marketplace”, agrees Gay, “responsible LED manufacturers worldwide have responded accordingly. They have commenced a drive to educate both professionals and consumers alike as to the real benefits and features associated with LEDs.”

One of the primary LAI objectives is to do exactly that in Ireland. Standardisation, product quality, regulatory compliance, education and training are the strands by which LAI aims to achieve that goal. All parties in the supply chain – from manufacturers through to the consultant specifier, the wholesaler and the installing contractor – need to fully understand not just LED technology, but all the emerging lighting-related technologies, including controls and communication protocols.

In conclusion, Gay says: “We are already in the process of establishing close working relationships with Ireland’s standards authorities, leading training providers, and those responsible for standards compliance and implementation. In addition, we will shortly commence a major communication drive conveying a generic message relating to lighting aimed at all involved in the sector.”

As the foregoing illustrates, the emergence of the LAI is a welcome and timely development. This is especially so in Ireland where the drive towards energy efficiency and sustainability, coupled with a market upturn fuelled by replacement and retrofit, will drive increased sales going forward.

A CONFERENCE TO ‘RAISE THE SPIRITS’

Dr Peter Boyce, Fellow SLL with Dr David Carter, former President SLL and University of Liverpool; Anna Whitaker, Ceravision UK; Emrah Baki Ulas, Steenson Varming; and Brian West, CIBSE.

The conference was supported not only by a range of lighting professional bodies and companies, but also organisations from the wider building services and engineering world. Possibly as a result of this the conference lacked the usual insular “inside the lighting bubble” approach.

The contributions to debate of the many mechanical specialists present gave the event a refreshing width that was often missing from the old-style SLL Lighting Conferences. Indeed the nature of  the event makes the clash of dates with the CIBSE Technical Conference, which took place on the same day in Liverpool, all the more perplexing. One hopes that in future someone at CIBSE HQ has a diary.

As a veteran conference goer this reviewer judged all the sessions well presented and worthwhile. Peter Raynham kicked the event off with a session on lighting standards. He rose to the challenge of making standards interesting and pointed out how different users of these documents interpret them. Also, we now all know the difference between CEN,CENELEC, ISO and IEC!

John Mardaljevic set out the chronological development of daylight standards, and went on to point out the various inconsistencies in their application to assessment methods promulgated by organisations  such as LEED and ASHRAE. He also described a major contemporary dilemma in that some design concepts are not in codes because they require computer software to implement, but software houses are unwilling to commit to produce the necessary software because the concept is not in the code. This is a major problem for the next generation of code writers.

Derek Mowlds, Chairman, CIBSE Ireland

A presentation by Nozomu Yoshizawa described the effects of reductions in illuminance levels in offices in Japan as a consequence of the need to reduce energy because of the recent earthquake. It indicated that users were satisfied with illuminance levels of half the Japanese design standard of 750 lux. Reduction in illuminance levels are sometimes a taboo subject in the energy saving debate but maybe in future it is worth revisiting.

Peter Boyce gave one of his masterly tours of the lighting quality scene, and a presentation by John Gorse of Philips gave us all of the latest on LEDs. The latter included an interesting section on OLEDs but left the impression that they are devices still looking for an application.

This delegate took from the  conference some new concepts such as cylindrical illuminance and “just noticeable fade”; an update on essentials like standards and codes; and, of course, this month’s predictions for the luminous efficacy of LEDs (it’s 140 lumens/watt).

All in all this was an informative and worthwhile event. If Peter Boyce’s scale of lighting quality was applied to conferences, it was one to “raise the spirits”.

Developments in Lighting in Ireland and the UK

Dr Kevin Kelly, President-Elect SLL, and Head Electrical Services Engineering, School
of Electrical Engineering Systems, DIT

In EN 12464 minimum requirements for lighting are laid down for both interior (Part 1) and exterior (Part 2) lighting. In particular, minimum values for average maintained illuminance, minimum colour rendering and maximum glare are specified. Historically, equal illuminance across the whole working plane was the goal of lighting designers. However, this is wasteful of energy because the working plane was interpreted as the whole plan area of the room.

For offices, 300/500 lux was specified, depending on whether work was mainly PC-based or paper-based. This resulted in high levels of lighting throughout the space, whether needed or not, and often for periods extending beyond the working day. These days such energy inefficiency is unacceptable.

New recommendations, such as those specified in the SLL Code for Lighting 2012, provide a pragmatic balance between adequate lighting to perform the task efficiently and quickly, and financial costs. The SLL Code for Lighting is based on quantitative recommendations that meet minimum lighting requirements, but also acknowledges there is now a need to target lighting more carefully.

Modelling of people in offices to ensure good visual interaction is now recognised as being important, and good-quality lighting and energy efficiency are now as important as quantitative specifications. Good-quality and efficient lighting in buildings also includes the need to maximise daylight penetration.

Maximising daylight offers opportunities to lift the spirit with natural light and so daylight must be carefully designed into the building, along with the artificial lighting and controls, to create good-quality and efficient lighting in a space. There is a growing consensus in industry that the way to address this challenge is to use a holistic design approach – integrating the design of the architecture, glazing and engineering design. Input is needed by the architect, structural engineer, surveyor, heating and ventilation engineer, electrical engineer, lighting designer, interior designer, control systems engineer and most importantly the client and facilities manager. 

Modern Building Information Modelling (BIM) software facilitates such a holistic approach with multidisciplinary interaction and the use of BIM is expected to grow exponentially in construction projects in the years ahead. The EU is encouraging the use of LENI, the Lighting Energy Numeric Indicator. SLL is of the view that the targets set by EN 15193 with respect to LENI are modest and is presently addressing this issue with the UK authorities in order to set more stringent targets for the UK building regulations (2013). 

Effectively, a good quality LENI will aid lighting designers to move away from installed load benchmarks to more meaningful consumption targets, and hence take account of the benefit of good quality controls. This is particularly beneficial in buildings where daylight penetration is high or where there is intermittent occupation of the building.

While standards, demands and design methodologies change, there is also major change happening in lamp technology. The development of solid state lamp technology is revolutionising lighting; with any revolution there is collateral damage and early adaptors of poor quality LED (Light Emitting Diode) lamps are among the casualties. A study by Philips Lighting (2012) estimates that while only 6% of lighting was solid state in 2010, 75% of lighting is expected to be LED lighting by 2020.

Similarly, McKinsey estimates LED lighting will be a €65 billion industry by 2020 but is more modest about the overall use at 60%. At present the biggest applications of LED lighting is for stage, external lighting, architectural lighting, retail, cold rooms, transport and hospitality. LED lamp technology is expected to impact upon office and general lighting in more interiors in the future.

To sum up, this is an exciting and challenging time for the lighting industry with huge growth potential for LED lighting and improved lighting controls generally. We are challenged to provide robust solutions that maximise the benefits of new technologies, while protecting our clients from poor-quality products and installations.

We must maximise light quality and minimise energy use by integrating daylight with appropriate artificial light in a way that lifts the spirit of those using the space and enables them to operate and override automatic lighting controls when required. We also have to ensure the reliability of products we specify and this is particularly challenging when

Dr Kevin Kelly is President Elect of the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL). He chairs the organising committee for the CIBSE/SLL International Lighting Conference scheduled for Croke Park on 12 April next. He will also make a lighting presentation in a seminar at the Energy Show in the RDS on 11 April next.