Circular Lighting Report

US govt funds sustainable lighting metric

LEA metric

A sustainable metric dubbed lighting application efficacy has been developed in a US Government-funded research project. 

The new measure – designed to quantify lighting use in a building – takes into account how useful the delivered light is in a space.

Dr Dorukalp Durmus, assistant professor at the Department of Architectural Engineering at Pennsylvania State University and project leader believes the metric would useful for lighting designers.

Dr Durmus concedes that it’s not appropriate for residential or hospitality but for an office environment it could be a useful measure to check efficiency.

Durmus – who was awarded a  £373,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant to develop the metric – says current measures such as luminous efficacy in lumens per watt provide a reliable metric to quantify the energy efficiency of individual lighting devices but do not address how that light is used in the building.

He believes that the ‘application efficacy’ may be a more targeted way to measure the usable visible light produced by a unit of electrical power.

‘The ability to measure application efficacy will drive the adoption of more energy-efficient design practices, foster product innovation and, ultimately, reduce the energy consumed by lighting.

He points out that practices such as uniformity don’t take into account where people are looking in a space, and he challenges lighting professionals to rethink their approach to design from illuminating a space to considering how effective the lighting is to the application.

‘This work is intended to not only provide a functional measurement method and framework for future research in the area but to also facilitate advancement in lighting design practices,” Durmus said. “The proposed work will serve as an impetus for the lighting design community to critically examine standard practices and re-think the customs and traditions that are no longer advancing the field.’

Durmus worked with Wenye Hu, associate lecturer of illumination design, both with the University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning in Australia.

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.