Award Magazine, October 2016, by Stacey McLachlan
When you talk about lighting today, you’re talking about LEDs. While a few years ago, they may have only come into the conversation when talk veered to sustainability, today’s LEDs are more than just a token energy-efficient element of a project; they’re designed to perform beautifully and look great doing it. There’s plenty of reasons that LEDs are the light of choice right now. Ben Rajewski, engineer at Williams Engineering Canada, credits the ever increasing popularity of LEDs not just to the high efficiency, but to the low maintenance requirements, too. “Almost all projects, from small restaurants to massive recreation centres are going with the majority of the fixtures as LED, and this will continue.” But there’s likely a top-down pressure at play in this as well, as the new National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) that comes into effect in Alberta on November 1 has everyone shifting towards energy efficiency.
“We’re seeing a huge shift towards increased lighting controls,” agrees Rajewski. “Lighting control not only allows the occupant to dim or adjust the lighting levels to suit the needs of the space, but can actively save huge amounts of energy through methods such as vacancy and occupancy control, daylight harvesting and photo-cell/time clock control.” By putting in automatic measures like these, energy can be saved with little time or work. Control is also a huge part of the new NECB, so this shift is only going to get stronger. The dimmer systems you know today are also rapidly evolving: though uncommon now, in a few years, we may all have the systems in place to control our home lighting right from our smartphones.
“The lighting industry is at an exciting place in history,” says Rajewski. “Technology keeps getting better while the need for increased control and energy efficiency continues to grow. The focus on reliable, quality energy-efficient lighting fixtures and designs continues to get better.
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