The lighting industry is changing all the time and 2018 is set to be another great year for the sector. Embracing smart lighting, investing in IoT and implementing more energy efficient lighting projects, the general public, business owners, facilities managers and project managers are all seeing the benefits a great lighting system can bring. So, what’s next? How can the lighting industry keep this momentum going and create even more hype around how we light our spaces?
We’re at an interesting time. LEDs are approaching a saturation point in energy efficiency. The USA Department of Energy estimates the theoretical maximum of today’s LED technology is just under 250 lumens per watt. Several manufacturers today exceed 200 lumens per watt.
As LEDs are approaching this saturation in energy efficiency, I believe the next wave of lighting technology will be about leveraging that efficiency and focus on optimisation of the spectrum. Currently, there are several companies who are optimising their spectrum to maximise colour rendition and likeness to replicate incandescent lamps.
At BIOS, for example, we have optimised our spectrum to maximise health and wellness without compromising light quality and preferences. Specifically, we have been hyper-focused on a relatively recent discovery of a sky-blue receptor in the eye that does not contribute to vision, but rather drives our alertness levels and timing of our circadian rhythms, which dictates almost everything in our bodies including sleep and wake timing. The lighting industry has long focused on the visual impacts of light in the built environment, but we now know that our current approach to lighting is insufficient from a biological standpoint and contributes to a phenomenon known as social jet lag. This means that often our sleep patterns do not align with our social requirements (such as work schedule). Social jet lag is associated with a whole host of increased medical risks.
“I believe the next wave of lighting technology will be about leveraging that efficiency and focus on optimisation of the spectrum.”
A recent study shows that more than 87 percent of standard day working people (9am-5pm) have some form of social jet lag. We believe that social jet lag will be exacerbated by the fact the current LED spectrum that is approaching the theoretical maximum is terrible at stimulating this non-visual photoreceptor. We feel very strongly that it is important to focus on this sky-blue photoreceptor in effort to combat social jet lag and help create environments that optimise wellness and health and give great light quality whilst being energy efficient.”