LED Linear is a phrase we often hear in the realms of commercial interior design, but what exactly does it mean and how do we use it? This article aims to ‘de-mystify’ commercial LED Linear lighting and give you an insight into how and where to use it, to effortlessly turn cool offices into exceptional ones!
Firstly let’s talk about LEDs. An LED is short for ‘Light Emitting Diode’, which is a highly efficient long-lasting source of light which uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. When a suitable voltage is applied to the leads, electrons are able to recombine with ‘electron holes’ within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons (light). The colour of the light is determined by the energy band of the semiconductor.
Right, that’s enough of the techy stuff, lets take a look at how the LED came to be.
The LED appeared as early on 1962, and were used as practical components in electric items, such as warning lights. The early LEDs were limited to low-intensity infrared light such as those still used in remote controls, and do you remember those first LED watches with a black screen and red numbers appeared when you pressed a button? The first visible light LEDs were also low intensity and limited to red, but modern LEDs are now available across the visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths and can be extremely bright.
SO WHAT IS LED LINEAR
LED Linear Lighting is simply the use of many ‘Light emitting diodes’ packaged together in a long, narrow housing to create a strip of light. This simple concept revolutionised the way we light spaces.
Before the conception of LED Linear, lighting long commercial spaces such as offices, warehouses and retail situations was notoriously tricky. Such spaces were lit with large, industrial incandescent bulbs. Linear lighting started evolving in the 1950s with fluorescent tubes, mainly used in industrial spaces. By the 1970s this technology was being used in homes, garages and workshops, and retail spaces. This further created a need for lower cost, better-looking fittings. Creating a continuous uninterrupted line of light wasn’t possible before LED because the fluorescent tubes had to stop and start leaving a black or dark spot.
The improved looks didn’t happen until the early 2000’s when the early version of commercial LED Linear as we know it was made. The demand for LED Linear lighting is now huge and continues to grow. The difference now is that linear architectural lighting and LED technology has broadened the applications of commercial LED linear fixtures. The industry continues to evolve with improvements in aesthetics and performance, moving away from the old, traditional housings, utilising materials in a better way and incorporating more advanced technology.
LED LINEAR REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS
There’s a couple of key things that Synergy’s clients like to know about standards and regulations around commercial lighting, particularly for use in public and work spaces; just ask and we can advise!
One of the main regulations is regarding glare from commercial lighting. Excessive glare from lights, such as LED highbay light can cause eyestrain and headaches, so it’s important to reduce direct glare and reflected glare within an office environment. Unified Glare Rating (UGR) is used as a measure of glare and is calculated by the glare from all visible lamps divided by the background lamination of the room. In an office environment, a UGR of less than 19 is considered acceptable for best concentration. Want to find out more about UGR19?
Lux levels are important too. This is essentially the light level in a space, usually measured from a specified height (such as desk height in an office). CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) specify recommended lux levels for different areas in the commercial building sector.
WHY COMMERCIAL LED LINEAR?
Our clients appreciate a host of benefits boasted by commercial LED Linear lighting, including;
Aesthetics – if looks are important to you, then LED Linear has a pretty strong offering. It provides a massive amount of versatility for creating unique and eye-catching designs. Bespoke angles, curves and customised RAL colour powder coating are just a few of the options available that make LED Linear an easy choice.
Directional light – LEDs are directional, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light.
Colour temperature – LED Linear lights offer a large range of colour temperatures, which affect the way the eye interprets the light. From cool white to warm white, different temperatures can be used to create mood and atmosphere in a space. Neutral white, or 4000 kelvin to use its technical name, is recommended for offices and retail areas which provides the most comfortable environment.
Cost effective – an obvious advantage, LED Linear is extremely efficient to run due to its low energy usage, and also its inherent longevity; an LED will typically last many times longer than a fluorescent tube.
Once you’ve made the decision to use commercial LED Linear lighting for your space, there are a bewildering array of options, so we’ve broken it down into some of the key factors for you to consider:
LED LIGHT TYPE
The three main types of LED Linear are pendant, surface mounted or recessed.
LED Linear Pendant lighting use suspension wires to hang from the ceiling, and are most suited to rooms with generous ceiling height. These are also ideal for creating stunning accent lighting – think about hanging over reception desks, stairways or atriums.
Surface Mounted LED tri proof light are mounted onto the surface of the and are suited to situations where pendant lights could be too low due to ceiling height.
Recessed LED linear are recessed into a surface, be it a ceiling, wall or . This offers clean, uninterrupted lines.
LED LINEAR PROFILE
LED Linear lights with LED lichtband system can be straight or shaped to create dramatic sculptures for ultimate effect.
Straight profiles will typically create a subtler effect, but can also be used to create eye catching geometric style designs.
Curved profiles will typically help to create flow in a space and give a feeling of movement.
Round profiles are often used to help divide space into zones, particularly in open plan spaces. For example LED rings suspended lower than surrounding lighting over collaborative zones creates a sense of focus.
LED LINEAR APPLICATIONS
LED linear is very versatile and can be used for a number of commercial lighting applications, such as LED sport light.
General lighting – this is the high level lighting that provides that background light in a space. Care should be taken that light is distributed evenly and glare is avoided.
Task lighting – this is focused light for specific tasks, such as a low hung LED ring over a collaborative area.
Accent – light used for aesthetic effect, such as to highlight or mirror the shape of a distinctive architectural feature or give a sense of height to a room. Our recessed LED Linear lights are perfect for this. Let your imagination run wild and the results can be stunning!
Here are the top 4 reasons why LED Emergency Lights are better:
Efficiency — LEDs use a process called electroluminescence, meaning that electrons are combined with electron holes when switched on. Incandescent bulbs have a filament that burns to create light, which means energy is being used to create heat. There is no filament used in LEDs, so heat is not a major issue. LEDs are thinner and lighter, which makes them more economical and efficient. Low-temperature performance, ability to be controlled digitally, and the robust nature of the bulbs make LED lights more efficient than others. Overall, LED lights typically produce a 30% energy savings compared to normal bulbs, and solar light might be a more eco-friendly product.
Lifespan — The lifespan of an LED bulb is about 50x longer than standard incandescent bulbs. The burning filament inside of an incandescent bulb wears out very quickly, which results in the bulb needing replaced. LED lights do not have a burning filament, which allow them to last approximately 50,000 more hours than a standard incandescent bulb.
Brightness — Brightness is extremely important when it comes to an emergency light. Emergency lights are used to illuminate the path for evacuation of the building in the event of an emergency. LED lights are some of the brightest types of bulbs available. They are much brighter than incandescent bulbs of the same wattage. LED lights are the best choice for brightness in an emergency light.
Maintenance — Inspections and testing are required for all emergency lights; LEDs are no exception. However, the extended lifespan makes replacement less likely. Constant replacement of non-LED bulbs can get costly. Emergency lights with LED bulbs can save your facility money in the long run.
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