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Is White Light Good For You?

White light isn't the best for our biological clock, and studies have linked bright white light with increased health risk when using at night. Apparently the least evasive light for night vision is red light. Why use white light? Well, it's a trade off of safety for humans and the negative effects on the environment.

For example, if you are working in a factory with a lot of machinery using red light or warm colours would increase the risk of injury and death to workers, clearly white light is better for the visual working environment in these cases. When you have dangerous machines driven on the road by humans that can cause serious injury and death adequate light is needed to reduce risk, especially in high traffic areas or dangerous intersections.

 However in areas where there are less traffic, cities often use warm colours to reduce glare and this is especially the case in residential areas as this is where night light can have the most negative effect on human health, reports and complaints are coming in from members of the public around the world complaining about the bright white light and glare from LED street lights, there are a number of campaigns from residents to get the cities councils to replace with warm colours or going back to the old HPS street lights. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609957/Coming-street-near-lights-awake-make-people-ill.html

ANSES, the French Agency For Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, published a report entitled Lighting Systems Using Light -emitting diodes: health issues to be considered, which focuses squarely on potential problems caused by LED lighting.

In summary, the report says they have identified health concerns for the general population and professional's with certain LED lamps. The Agency was most concern with the eye due to the toxic effect of blue light and the risk of glare, adding that the blue light necessary to obtain white LEDs causes toxic stress to the retina.

Blue light causes a photochemical risk to the eye, says the report, the level of which depends on the accumulated dose of blue light to which the person has been exposed... Blue light is recognised as being harmful and dangerous for the retina, as a result of cellular oxidative stress, says the report, adding that 3 groups are particular at risk; children, a population which is already light-sensitive, and workers likely to be exposed to high-intensity lighting.

The other main risk is from glare. Because the emission surfaces of LEDs are highly concentrated point sources, the luminance of each source can be 1000 times higher than the discomfort level. the level of the direct radiation from this type of source can therefore easily exceed the level of visual discomfort. Other risks related to the use of LED lighting systems have also been raised, but further study is required.

ANSES, the French Agency For Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, published a report entitled Lighting Systems Using Light -emitting diodes: health issues to be considered, which focuses squarely on potential problems caused by LED lighting.

In summary, the report says they have identified health concerns for the general population and professional's with certain LED lamps. The Agency was most concern with the eye due to the toxic effect of blue light and the risk of glare, adding that the blue light necessary to obtain white LEDs causes toxic stress to the retina.

Blue light causes a photochemical risk to the eye, says the report, the level of which depends on the accumulated dose of blue light to which the person has been exposed... Blue light is recognised as being harmful and dangerous for the retina, as a result of cellular oxidative stress, says the report, adding that 3 groups are particular at risk; children, a population which is already light-sensitive, and workers likely to be exposed to high-intensity lighting.

The other main risk is from glare. Because the emission surfaces of LEDs are highly concentrated point sources, the luminance of each source can be 1000 times higher than the discomfort level. the level of the direct radiation from this type of source can therefore easily exceed the level of visual discomfort. Other risks related to the use of LED lighting systems have also been raised, but further study is required.

Induction lighting is an excellent solution and out of all lighting used it is the least evasive light, With a very low glare at the point sources removes the problems with high glare point source lighting, Check the link to see how much flicker and glare induction bulb has. http://www.atl-lighting.com/does-led-lights-flicker 

Because of the unique way induction light works it produce a soft white light with lower Bluewave frequency, but the amazing thing about induction is that it works better with the way our eyes see than any other artificial light, increasing visual acuity because it has a higher scotopic and photopic light frequency ratio, http://www.atl-lighting.com/better-light  this makes induction light ideal for the working environment especially where precision work is required and at the same time reduces the stain on human eyes. Also for street lighting it reduce glare, high blue wave light frequency that causes so much problem's and provides best visuals for drivers and pedestrians as well as the least negative effects to the environment out of all artificial light. Induction light has high colour rendering (85%CRI) from warm to natural light spectrum so cities can use in residential areas where they need warm colour and in high traffic area where they need white high visual light to alert drivers. 

From an energy point, induction produces about half the energy needed than current HPS or HID lamps but has been field tested to last up to 100,000-hours lowering maintenance by 80% http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/induction-lighting-old-lighting-technology-made-new-again 

If a problem does develop its easy to replace the bulbs and ballast whereas with LED fittings either you have to replace the entire fitting or if you replace the led panels or driver's, you still may not have solved the problem of why the light failed as there are a number of other components in the fixture to reduce heat for the LEDs, if any of these have failed it will result in failure of the new LED panel. Sometimes the best answer to a problem is  a simple solution. Induction is that simple solution and yet people continue to spend lots of money on difficult and problematic products and ignore a proven field-tested and safe solutions.

So if you have to use white light then Induction lighting is proven to be the safest and least evasive white light for both human and animal life-limiting negative impact on the environment.

For more information on the history of Induction lighting read about Nikola Tesla Incredible Inventions And Induction Lighting Post, http://www.atl-lighting.com/home/untitledpost 



Why induction lighting is so good for light dispersal!
To start with since everyone is focused on LED lightings let's use the difference of how LEDs disperse light. Using led downlights which are easy for you to test. If you have a small room that has 4 x 12W LED downlights with a 45º beam angle at 1100lm for each unit, It will light up the room well but most of the light are directed to the 45º beam angle downwards, so what you have is brighter spots on the floor under the down lights but drop off of outer light spread creating shadow, you can get more light spread by doing two things, one is to put more led fixtures in closer together or to get 90º down lights, these have 90º lens over the LEDs but if you're using the same wattages you get a drop off of overall light output, you can overcome this with getting higher wattage 90º down lights but then your affecting energy savings.

Now if you have the same size room you can light the whole room using only 1 x 8W 360º led bulb position in the middle of the room, the bulb is designed to push even lumens out at 360º, so it's projecting downwards as well as vertical light, all though it may be a lower output of lumens say 900lm than the 1100lm down lights it's actually producing more of that 900lm light at 360º which makes it more effective at lighting up the room. So you have 1 x 8W at 900lm bulb compared to 4 x 12W downlights at an 1100lm each or total 4400lm, but over all the light spread is as good if not better with the 8W LED 360º bulb than the down lights. So you can achieve good room lighting using 1 x 8W led bulb which cost about $15 or 4 x 12W downlights (total 48W) at a cost of $200

To get market share many LED manufacturers are obsessed with high lumens per watt, this is to out compete other led manufacturers and sell us on the idea that is the main reason for improved lighting. Most buyers of LED lighting don't understand much about how light is really dispersed. They think all problems are solved by having higher lumens, but if you have higher lumen output say for the 45º down lights what you end up having is over lit 45º spots on the floor producing more light than you need. Or they may be able to lower the wattage so it's an 8W down light that can produce the same results as an old 12W down light, but isn't it more effective to have a simple 8W 360º led bulb to do the

To get downlights with higher lumens per watt you have to have far superior electrical components and heat sinks which drive the cost up, and the more parts you add to something the more potential problems you have and the higher the maintenance and replacement cost are.
Induction is a far simple technology using 360º light dispersal, So with an Induction high bays its not only projecting light down but vertically as well with equal lumens in all directions, so it doesn't need to have as much lumen efficiency as led for achieving the same or better results.

Induction lighting using high-quality polish reflectors to project light down and vertical and with some fittings upwards as well, thus it utilises wall, ceiling shelving etc to reflect light, thus producing an overall even field of light. This is why induction is so good for area lighting for warehouse, factories etc.


Another example! If you take an induction fitting like in above picture and put black tape on the bottom of the circular bulb to block out light that is projecting light at 120º beam and turn the light on you will notice that the fitting is still producing usable light, it may be a 50-70% drop off of light output depending on the quality of the reflector but it's still producing compounding light, that's because of the rest of the bulb including the polish shell and funnel in the middle of the bulb is projecting light down and vertical. So the induction bulb uses every angle of the bulb to produce even lumens of light output. LED Highbays are basically big down lights producing directional light, Do this same experiment on a 120º led high bay and put black tape over the 120º led panel and what do you have? No matter how many Lumens per watt you have, you will have no light at all. We can't underestimate reflective technology using 360º light dispersal, its like having two light sources in one fitting. Induction high bays reduce energy by 40-60% over traditional Highbays and with 100,000-hour bulbs, The lights do not flicker and produce a softer white light making it excellent to reduce eye fatigue and for detailed work. 


Laying insulation Over Down Light May has Disastrous Results For Lighting Manufactures And Suppliers

Some years ago I worked selling and installing radiant barrier in the US. Radiant barrier is a reflective foil with a Milar insert to reflect radiant heat. We would roll the radiant barrier over the insulation in an attic, This would reflect radiant heat coming through the roof back out before it got to the insulation thus keeping the home cooler in summer and reflecting the heat back into the insulation in winter from heating travailing upwards from house heating.

 What does this have to do with Down Lights? On some hot days we would measure the heat in insulation in the roof prior to radiant barrier and found that the temperature was often over 180º F that is very hot! With LED down lights Electricians were asking for a down light that they could install in the ceiling and then laying insulation over the top of the LED down light, this cut their installation time down and time is money. In countries like Australia and New Zealand now if you are selling LED down lights to homeowners the fittings have to be IFC or Similar qualified certification to show that you can lay insulation over the top of the down lights and they wont burn your house down. Also now you have to have a S Doc to show that your IFC certification is real, more bureaucracy which cost the manufacture and lighting supplier.

 Because of the competitive nature of this market many lighting suppliers and manufactures are offering 5 year warranty on these down lights, this is to give peace of mine to the house holder that they are fully cared for if these lights fail.

Will LED down lights last the five years if insulation is over them? I doubt it. LED down lights do not work well in a hot environment as the LED chips are heat sensitive, it order to try and keep the LED chips as cool as possible manufactures have developed heat management systems such as heat sinks to draw the heat away from the LED chips, but if the fitting is trapped in insulation which is design to trap heat and transfer it what do you think will be the outcome for LED down lights? This would especially have consequence in hot environments like Perth, WA .

 Some suppliers are offering to replace the lights and pay for the electricians to do it under warranty issues, Imagine that after a couple of years these lights installed in homes started to fail on mass! The suppliers would be going to the manufactures to recoup cost but will the manufactures pay? I think in order to save their skin the manufactures would go to their lawyers and their lawyers would tell them that they have meet their obligation that although the lights are certified not to burn homes down the warranty doesn’t cover over heating! Can you see a problem here? I don’t think that would be the end of it, but possible litigation from homeowners and consumer groups. Lawyers would love to take on suppliers and manufactures and the bad publicity would be a killer for many lighting suppliers. Right now testing done on LED down lights are in a laboratory not in real world conditions where there is a lot of variables, I think the lighting industry needs a paradigm shift to protect themselves and home owners, so they are making quality LED down lights and warning not to put insulation over top of them to give these lights the best chance of long life and customer satisfaction. That warranties will be void if you place insulation over them. Energy departments should get behind this as the longer an energy efficient light last the better it is in reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption. Thus it protects the home owners and the interest of LED manufactures and lighting suppliers that are leading the way to a greener world.


Warning about LED Down lights!

Homes and business that have halogen down lights are changing to LED down lights to reduce energy up to 70% and maintenance. All this sounds really good and well worth the change over to LED down lights for big savings but there is a number of problems that the average householder and business owner are not aware.

With the current halogen down lights when a bulb dies out you simply go to a store and replace you halogen bulb at a very low cost may be as low as $3.00, you can also replace the bulb your self nice and easy. However when a LED Down light fails you have to replace the entire fitting and you have to have a qualified electrician come out to replace the fitting and hook the fitting up to power. An average call out price for an electrician in Australia and New Zealand is going to be from $50-75 and then about $20+ per fitting not to mention the price of the complete fitting which will be from $38-$48each. So to replace one LED down light fitting you may pay as much as $143, do you know how much that impacts on the energy savings? Which is the reason why you brought LED down lights in the first place.

 The market for LED down lights have become extremely price driven over the past few years as LED manufactures try to dominate the market. LED down lights are complicated fittings as you have LED chips and they need to have very good heat sinks in order to draw away the heat produce by the LEDs. Although LEDs produce far less heat than halogens, LED chips are very sensitive to heat, this can reduce the light out put and quality of the light in a relatively short period of time. Research has shown that many LED down lights have a reduction of light output up to 30% just in one year. Good quality LED down lights with high quality heat sinks have far less reduction in light and colour shift.

 The market now is more price driven rather than quality driven which means the potential for higher rates of failures is in my opinion assured. Many of the major well know manufactures have lowered the quality of the fittings so they can sell cheaper to the public to get more sales. This is affecting those well-known LED quality brands as they fine it harder to compete. What this means is the down lights are cheaper for the average person to purchase but the potential for high replacement costs in a few years is a real risk of which the house holder knows nothing about.

 My advise if you are a business and want down lights do your research and buy good quality over price as in the long run this will be the most economical way. For home owners if you are looking at changing your halogen down lights choose a recess fitting where you can use replaceable LED bulbs , that way if a long life LED bulb fails all you have to do is go to the store and buy another and replace your self. You end up with saving energy and protecting your self for the potential high replacement cost of cheap LED down lights.


Bulbs LED

Don't Replace Old Fluorescent Tubes With New LED Tubes!


It sounds like I’m shooting myself in the foot since I’m an owner of an LED company supplier to say that maybe replacing fluorescent tubes with LED tubes may not be the best way to get long term energy and maintenance savings.

Whats the Problem! When LED tubes came out it was recommended to remove the ballast and starters in the existing fluorescent fittings, the ballast effectively reduces the long life of the led tubes and they are more likely to get to their expected life span of 30-50,000 hours if the ballast are removed. So now you have an energy efficient product that you have to get a qualified electrician to remove ballast and rewire to direct power, and you have to pay for the higher cost of this replacement plus any warranty on the fitting from the manufacture  is now void.

Many LED tubes don't work with the different brands of ballast fittings especially with electronic ballast and since most fluorescent tubes being produced in the last few years are manly electronic ballast how do you know unless you have tested that they will work? Of course now LED tube manufactures are making electronic ballast compatible LED tubes and providing starters to change out from the older ones, Getting complicated now isn’t it! And an update now you can get both electronic and magnetic compatible LED tubes that work with some brands but not all brands of ballast, Ok this is making my life more complicated than it already is. Initially when these came out I thought this is great news! However!

The electronic and magnetic ballast compatible tubes don’t meet Australian and New Zealand SAA certification which makes them illegal to sell and voids insurance from damage cause by fire from these units and can make the electrician and seller open to lawsuits. Not a good idea or the best way to save money!

So you go to the trouble of testing and making sure the LED tubes work with your current ballast and they do and you think great! I have cut my lighting energy in half and I have no maintenance for a very long time as these led tubes will last from 30,000-5000 hours, Right! Well no! How old are the ballast in your fittings? If they have been operating for along time you might fine that in a few years the ballast start failing, you see this some times when you see that the fluorescent tubes start flicking and the tubes are not old, its because the ballast are failing causing power fluctuations which is not good for the fluorescent tubes and can’t be good for LED tubes either.

Problem for me then is when I have a client who relied on me to give him  the right advise to change to LEDs and he calls me up to complain about his LED lights are failing and then when I tell him that its not the LED tubes but their ballast are old and he needs to go out and buy new fluorescent fittings he will ask why I didn’t tell them that in the first place. Thats a very good question! More problem! If any of their failing ballast have damaged the LED tubes the warranty will be void. I hate to think how much of this is going to happen over the next several years!  Also one other problem with the old fluorescent fittings to changing to LED tubes, if they are old their connection on these old fittings will break off when you either take out the old fluo or put in the new LED tube this is because of the heat of the fluorescent light that makes the end connection very brittle over time. and you end up having to buy new ones anyway!

Solution! As a company that wants to look after our clients and make it a win win for them and us we are no longer going to sell LED tubes to our clients, we are pulling our LED tubes from our website. We know people will be thinking that this is mad as there are big sales to be had in selling LED tubes right now, but as far as we are concern there is far better Led technology that is cost effective and removes all these complicated issues and we can sell these with full confidence to our clients. We can supply our clients with a sleeker and lighter LED fitting that produces good light output and maximise energy savings and lower maintenance. So to us the old Fluorescent fittings are out! We are not going to retrofit a problematic fitting! So what can we replace with?

The ATLT8 batten is a sleek lower profile batten with more than half the hight of a traditional fluorescent fitting, its very light weight at only 2.5kg and lengths of 1.2m 36W or 1.5m 60W versions which is the standard lengths for fluorescent fitting. It can be connected to create a continuous line of light that looks great in spermarkets. They can be surface mounted or suspended and are very easy to install and replace old fluo fittings, and with a long life of up to 50,000 hours it will be a while before you have to change them. The price on these fitting are excellent as well especially for volume orders.
They are excellent for manufacturing facilities, stores, supermarkets, school, offices etc. If you want more information I can send you a brochure, just email me at alvyn@atl-lighting.com or you can go to www.al-lighting.com and click on T8 batten icon and down load direct.

Alvyn Long
Director
ATL Lighting Systems

LED T8 Battens Lights

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