Have you come across them yet, the sustainable replacement companies in the lighting industry who are misleading their clients under the banner of ‘energy saving’? Well they are out there and are popular because the layman (and let us face it that is most of our clients) do not have a clue what they are actually getting except they ‘appear’ to be saving energy from doing a straight swap.
Well we need to educate our clients and the general public on what to look out for when going down the Green route.
Firstly, if you just swap a 600 x 600 fluorescent luminaire in an office for an LED alternative it will not necessarily give you the same amount of light or more importantly the same distribution of light.
Secondly, because the lighting levels and uniformity may have changed you may now not be meeting the code for interior lighting. This could be putting your staff and their health at risk not to mention the possibility of law suits if you are found to be causing harm to your employees with the wrong type of lighting.
Often no design has been done with the new alternatives so you cannot prove light levels and are not reaping all the benefits you should from a new scheme This is because you probably not allowing for dimming, daylight saving or indeed reduced quantities of luminaires should you have a full design service performed for the space.
So what is the solution? Yes, change your client’s luminaires to a more energy efficient version. Of course strive to save them carbon and keep their bottom line costs reduced. However, please make your clients have a design done by a competent professional. Make sure that they are saving all they can by perhaps being able to reduce luminaire quantities or introducing dimming/daylight saving and/or presence detection.
Finally, think about the long term implications of a new scheme, give them the most effective scheme possible that will last them well into the future. Don’t let it be just a box ticking exercise for now.