It’s tough to argue the energy ef-
ficiency of LEDs, but other needs
that can dramatically impact
occupant satisfaction – for example, a
reputation for “white” light that isn’t
truly white – can scare away buyers.
However, the technology has improved
over the years even as the price has
dropped, making these systems worth a
look for FMs looking to reduce their energy spend. Compare these performance
factors when weighing products.
This rating for lumen output per watt is
an easily measurable metric that compares
the energy consumption and output of
different light sources, explains Eric Lind,
vice president of global specifications
for Lutron Electronics, a lighting control
designer and manufacturer. However, he
adds, it’s starting to lose its relevance in favor of overall performance measurements.
3 LED Performance Points
“If I’m simply trying to evaluate how
much it costs to operate a building,
lumens per watt is a good measurement,”
says Lind. “The challenge is that buildings are there for a purpose and the color
and quality of light have an impact on the
CRI measures how accurately light
sources display colors and is determined by
comparing a colored object’s appearance
under an incandescent light (which has a
CRI of 90-100) vs. an artificial source.
ENERGY STAR requires eligible fixtures to use lamps with a CRI above 80,
but the closer you can get to the 90s, the
better, Lind says.
The option of changing light levels (and
in some cases, color temperature) to suit
individual needs can go a long way toward satisfying users while saving energy.
A more recent development, a color
dubbed “tunable white,” offers the chance
to alter the color temperature.
“Tunable white is the premise that
the color temperature can change based
on what is typical for that time of day,”
explains Lind. “At noon, the temperature
might be 6000K, but in the morning or at
sunset it would be a much warmer 2700 or
Janelle Penny janelle.penny@buildings.
com is senior editor of BUILDINGS.
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