By Santiago Jaramillo H.
The use of LED lighting in commercial buildings depends on many factors, explains Daniel Tatini, representative of Traxon Technologies of Brazil, who also warns that the main variables in the use of this technology depend mainly on the innovative mentality and dynamism of the project, as well as the choice of the designer responsible for the desired effects and the style adopted. LED solutions also involve integrating other aspects of a project, such as in a shopping mall you can create effects generated by the movement of people.
Tatini also warns that "there are different technologies available and not always the most appropriate is that of LEDs, although there are already enough products for practically all projects. The ability to control LEDs, from their intensity or changes in tones and colors is very interesting and begins to be used successfully by architects and lighting designers. The integration with other control systems of a center or commercial building can undoubtedly be decisive to integrate and simplify the solutions", emphasizes our guest, who also ponders that "the conditions of installation and operation are very important to guarantee a continuous and satisfactory operation".
According to Jenaro Briñón, project engineer of the company ImanCorp and the ProLED brand, when choosing lighting for buildings or shopping centers the alternative of using LED luminaires is very intelligent, that is why our guest from the Colombian industry exposes the following points: as determining items when choosing this technology:
- The energy savings are remarkable compared to traditional luminaires.
- Maintenance costs are significantly reduced and as we know in many cases for this segment there are difficulties in accessing the luminaires, either because of the height at which they are installed and / or because the replacement costs are in most cases higher even than the intrinsic value of the lamp.
- The dangers of overheating in installations far from the control panel are minimal due to the reduced electricity consumption.
- The waste of this type of luminaire is very little polluting so it does not generate environmental risk.
- Good advice is important when choosing luminaires to observe details such as color temperature and chromatic performance index, in addition to looking for the most appropriate type of lamp to replace the particular luminaire.
Innovation, the starting point
The development of new LED products has been dizzying, offering yields of the order of 120 lumens per watt consumed, commercially. Likewise, within the latest developments, luminaires are obtained to replace almost all their conventional counterparts, and really the prices have been reduced to the point that many luminaires can recover their initial investment times previously unthinkable. Currently, the return on initial investment can be achieved in less than four months at sites of permanent use.
Briñón says that companies that develop high-efficiency LEDs are looking to reach 150 lumens per watt by mid-2011. "In Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and China, various companies offer us every day innovative products for the replacement of conventional luminaires and also for other applications. In the decorative part, the walls bathed with light of different colors or with RGB systems controlled by digital systems (DMX), are frequently used. Also in water sources, water mirrors, etc. are very applicable, "he says.
On the other hand, he warns that "the development of organic LEDs promise in the medium term, wonders from the point of view of non-focal diffuse lighting. It's a completely new concept in this area, which we can now start to enjoy."
Meanwhile, with regard to the latest trends in LED lighting for the commercial segment, the representative of the company Traxon Technologies of Brazil, affirms that "there are already a series of specific products for each segment and without a doubt the ability to integrate these solutions into the control systems is what stands out the most. LEDs can give many faces to the same project for their dynamism, in addition to bringing topics such as sustainable development and the execution of projects without waste of light, since the optical control, by means of more precise lenses, allows to avoid such waste, "he stresses.
At the same time, Tatini reveals that there are some aspects that must be essential when it comes to LED lighting for centers or commercial buildings, as is the case of proper sizing and layout because it is a new solution. Well, it is clear that for the people who use the spaces nothing should change.
Tatini also notes that "an adequate study, as in a conventional solution, is always the critical part of a lighting project. For that a lighting designer is the most suitable professional. Many manufacturers also do these studies, but the specification is usually conditional only on their products."
Jenaro Briñón, for his part, expresses that from his experience he can ensure "that the replacement of filament luminaires, whether of bulb or reflector type, are those that recover the initial investment in less time. Portholes, reflectors, light bulbs and dichroics, are the first on this list. It must also be recognized that we are still on the way to replace street lighting luminaires and fluorescent tubes, because we require first of all greater light efficiency to achieve a return on investment in a reasonable time and second, in the case of luminaires for public use, we have to achieve more appropriate radiation patterns. In the next two or three years, developments are already expected to be really competitive in this niche," he explains.
As we saw in the previous point, Briñón emphasizes "that the challenges that follow are basically of the order of efficiency in the replacement of high pressure mercury vapor luminaires, and obtain monofocal LEDs of very high efficiency, which give us the appropriate goniophotometry for specific applications. Another challenge we have is to be able to break the paradigms created with the first LEDs of very low efficiency, which make many believe that LEDs do not serve to illuminate, but the strength of the results will be responsible for demonstrating the opposite. "
In this same sense, Daniel Tatini concludes that the main challenge would be mainly in the facilities. "A good project has an adequate sizing and layout, but the installation is always very specific in each project. In the same way that we suggest the execution of a project, we indicate experienced installers. It is not a difficult job, but it is not the same electrical installation with which we are accustomed. It is a mixture of electrical and electronics. With attention everything is done normally and we should not have problems. The problem is that many times we do not contemplate the right value for this installation and, consequently, we do not do it as we should."