Blog: October 2013
LED's always seem to sit highest on the list of hot topics in the world of architectural lighting design—and the conversation changes as quickly as the technology. One has much to consider when specifying LED's: cost, efficiency, color temperature, color rendering and lamp life, to name a few...Continue
In this article, we focus on efficiency (the ratio of lumen output per watt consumed by a fixture) and other benefits and drawbacks of LED use. For a quick glance at the overall efficiency comparison, consider the chart below:
You'll notice some fixture types are still very efficient in their fluorescent form, such as the 2' x 4' and 2' x 2'. (Side note: Fluorescent troffers still typically cost less than the LED version, unless dimming is desired. LED fixtures usually come standard with dim-ability and fluorescent dimming ballasts can add up to $100 to the cost of a fixture.) When it comes to downlights, it makes sense to specify LED over the sibling downlight that uses a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp). And the downlight technology is rapidly changing. The chart above is for a typical LED downlight, but some manufacturers are currently approaching the 90-to 100-lumen-per-watt mark. Another great place for LED's: high-bay luminaires. This is an area where LED technology has greatly improved recently.
Not only can LED sources be utilized in standard fixture types such as 2’ x 4’, high-bay, downlights, etc., but their smaller sizes and unique performance options also allow for quite a variety of installations. Large and small coves, cabinet details and display shelving can all take advantage of the smaller sizes and ease of installation in spaces that simply cannot accommodate other lamp sources. LED sources can also be used in exterior/wet locations within small concealed spaces, which most other lamp types cannot. These can be used for signage lighting, façade lighting and general architectural detail lighting. Below are some examples of current fixture trends in LED lighting.
Increase in number of options within the LED downlight family (aperture sizes, beam spreads, color temperatures, outputs, square trims, adjustability, wall wash):
Outdoor, low-profile linear grazers:
Linear pendants (great optics with LED, providing better distribution than fluorescent):
2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ troffers (catching fluorescent in cost, especially when dimming is desired):
Decorative (small pendants or unique pieces requiring low-profile sources):
Task lighting (low profile, sleek pieces):
Another benefit to LED’s can be their color temperature and color rendering. Incandescent lamping has a color temperature around the 2500K mark, creating a nice warm yellow tone. It also has a color rendering index of 100, which means it renders colors exactly correct. Fluorescent and metal halide have relatively high color rendering (around 85) and come in a variety of lamp color temperatures for the application; however, metal halide is more limited in what it can provide for the warmer colors. LED sources vary widely in both color temperature and color rendering based on the manufacturer. It is very important to pay attention to these values or you could end up with a very blue space (blue is a much easier color for LED lamps, whereas white and the warmer oranges utilize more complex, more costly technologies). Reputable LED manufactures can produce 2500K (warm) and 85+ CRI lamps, which stand the test of a residential kitchen or retail environment—both among the most demanding environments when it comes to color rendering.
It is also important to consider that LED’s require the use of a driver. Drivers are usually small and can be located in a remote location from the LED lamping, however, given the small sizes of the LED lamps themselves, sometimes these drivers can be difficult to conceal when locating the LED lamps within a small, confined space. Consideration must be given for the installation of the entire fixture, including the power source.
The life of an LED lamp source can be a huge advantage, especially in difficult-to-access locations. However, despite some industry claims, LED lamp sources do not last forever. They are tested for their “lamp life” just like any other lamp and they do fail over time. Their failure is generally characterized by reduced light output versus the abrupt popping sound you hear in traditional bulbs, in which the mechanism actually breaks and is rendered useless. LED lamps do typically last much longer than their fluorescent and metal halide counterparts, however. Fluorescent and metal halide can last up to 20,000 hours, whereas typical LED lamp life is in the 100,000-hour range. To put that in perspective, a typical fixture in a facility operating 16 hours per day and utilizing fluorescent lighting would last for three and a half years, while an LED lamp source in the same facility would last for 17 years.
Overall, efficiency of LED's continues to increase, while efficiency of fluorescent and metal halide fixtures have somewhat plateaued. As the technology continues to develop, it is important to know what to consider when specifying new products. LED's are beginning to take the place of fluorescent and metal halide lighting more and more, and it does in fact appear that LED’s will live up to their hype as time progresses.
This blog entry was guest written by Jon Brooks, P.E., LEED® AP BD+C, Principal at Architectural Engineering Design Group, Inc. Jon helped found AEDG, Inc. in 2004. He provides the expertise and coordination commitment required for lighting, power systems and sustainable systems. Jon has had the opportunity to work on a number of LEED® certified facilities, which has increased his awareness of energy-saving strategies, even when projects are not seeking LEED® certification. He is dedicated to maintaining an up-to-date knowledge base on ever-changing electrical technologies and standards in order to provide the most appropriate solutions for the specific project and owner.Hide Full Post
Posted by Jon Brooks, P.E., LEED® AP BD+C, Principal, Architectural Engineering Design Group, Inc. on October 28, 2013 at 04:11pm
To appeal to the next generation of Boomers, “senior centers” must adapt and access innovative design concepts to transform into active-aging centers.Continue
The following is the second installation of an article Craig Bouck recently authored for The Journal on Active Aging. We will release the full contents of the article over the next several months in a series of blog posts.
Where is the second place? The home is the “first place,” and for many people who are retired, “second places” are informal meeting places for social interaction that become anchors of their community life. Second places can be barber shops, hair salons, bars, restaurants, libraries, parks and—hopefully—adult centers. For the next-generation active-aging center to become truly relevant, it should strive to become a second place—a place for engaging social activity.
How can centers achieve this goal? Start with the overall look and feel of the facility, which should create a warm, welcoming and comfortable atmosphere—a place you want to be. A visitor’s first impression should include a friendly face, and the center must offer a variety of spaces both indoors and out that invite informal gathering and interaction. These inviting spaces could be living rooms, sunrooms, libraries, porches, patios and garden spaces. A center might consider adding small social areas outside of fitness rooms—classrooms and locker rooms where people can meet before and after activities.
Funding sources shift: Traditionally, senior centers have been supported primarily by tax dollars. At the same time, many older adults, especially those on fixed incomes, traditionally resist tax increases. Demographics suggest that as we move into an unprecedented era with the largest population of aging adults in history seeking services, we will also have fewer Boomers in the workforce to provide the necessary tax income. The result is likely to be less emphasis on income tax revenue and a greater emphasis on property and sales taxes to support active-aging centers.
The net effect of funding pressures and extraordinary demand may be a fundamental shift to a pay-for-service model in lieu of free (or heavily discounted) services to cover operational expenses. In this model, the cost of an activity will increase with an increase in personal benefit. In other words, a space or activity that has equal benefit to all, like a lounge area, is a community benefit, and the cost would be shared by the entire community as a subsidy. An activity with a personal benefit, like a yoga class, is an individualized benefit, and the cost would be borne solely by the participants.
New priorities – times and activities: It used to be that centers could schedule activities geared toward older adults during the center’s “off” or “slow” hours. Times have changed, and many older adults today are busy working or volunteering during the day and need facilities to be open longer hours in the evenings and weekends. In addition, shifts in preferences mean Boomers are no longer filling existing passive recreation spaces, so these need to be converted to active recreation areas to meet the growing demand for those types of activities. Older adults have many options for their time, and they are much less dependent on the senior center for offers of trips, performances and group activities.
Ages spread across generations: While often lumped into a single category called “seniors,” the active aging service provider will have a customer base ranging in age from 50 to more than 90 years old. Satisfying a group with an age spread this wide requires a greater segregation of activities, which means more offerings are needed. Limited resources, however often mean these additional activities must be offered without additional funding, staff or space. Unfortunately, this reality means people at both ends of the age spectrum tend to get squeezed out and have fewer appropriate activities. Serving the most may necessitate not serving everyone.
Stand-alone vs. integrated facilities: Should active aging adult centers be built as stand-alone facilities or be integrated into multi-generational recreation centers? An intergenerational center provides spaces for both youth and older adults, with a priority system for utilizing the space. No one approach will work for all communities, but financial pressures are driving communities toward a potentially more cost effective integrated approach. Significant savings can be achieved when centers share expenses for land, site development, and utility services. Additionally, ongoing operational costs can be reduced by sharing utilities, staffing, security, maintenance and advertising. Sharing space, however, can also have disadvantages. If youth programs generate more revenue, then older adult programs may lose out and have less access to spaces and equipment.
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Posted by Craig Bouck, AIA, LEED AP on October 16, 2013 at 04:10pm
Thursday, October 10, 2013 saw the highly anticipated groundbreaking of our latest mixed-use office project, Drive 2.Continue
Designed as a counterpart to its predecessor, Drive 2 hopes to achieve the same public acclaim and success as Drive 1, which has earned four prestigious design awards to date and counting. As per the usual groundbreaking of a Zeppelin project, there was free food by Fuel Café, free beer and cocktails flowing from Proper Pour and CapRock Farm Bar (both tenants at The Source), a live DJ and festive atmosphere. Only this time there was a new element: a proper car smashing… because what groundbreaking event would be complete without demolishing an automobile with a tractor backhoe?
You might be thinking, “What does crushing a vehicle have to do with the kickoff of a new office building project?” Aside from the fact that the spectacle gave new meaning to the term groundbreaking—the car was lifted 10 feet overhead at one point and released to come crashing down on the raw earth of the construction site—there was some symbolism at play. On the side of the matte black car were spray-painted the words, “BIKE to WORK.” The demonstration was part of the effort to revitalize Denver’s River North (RiNo) District with bike- and pedestrian-friendly amenities and to encourage community members to trade in their four-wheel rides for two.
(That, and to draw a crowd, of course.)
Check out our close-up footage from that day...
...not to mention this time lapse video below, taken from our office window (you may want to view it full-screen to see what's going on).
Posted on October 14, 2013 at 05:31pm
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