Throughout the end of March into April there are several events that encourage environmental conciousness including Earth Hour and Earth Day. One other environmentally concious event that takes place every April is the United States premier lighting eventLightFair International® . EcoGreenHotel has attended this amazing event for the past several years. And this year I was blown away by the advancements in LED Technology. The energy reduction techonlogies displayed at LightFair will have a huge impact on reducing the environmental impact of our planet.
LightFair International® 2013 toughted over 500 exhibitors, 200+ hours of accredited training and educational lectures lasting 3 days hosted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This year was by far one of the most successful showcases of the latest & greatest technology being released on the market in the coming months.
Oh The Places You You’ll Go! —- (Dr. Seuss 1/22/90)
LED technology was by far the most prominently represented technology this year at LightFair. LED technology solutions showcased ranged from decorative lighting to parking and site luminears. One of the most impressive decorative applications displayed was the flexible micro-LED tape. Taking this flexible tape to mount vertically behind frosted glass created an effective accent illuminated wall.
Another application for this “flex-tape” identified was to apply it to the outside of a simple glass cylinder; an effective pendant fixture resulted that was both unique and a prominent announcement piece of your facility’s “green efforts.”
A unique applications for green hotel closets utilized an LED studded closet bar to illuminate the clothes hanging below. Capable of operating on a door switch, the statement this subtle feature can make should not be overlooked. Outside, LED luminaries have migrated, coming down off the pole lighting parking decks & garages. Garage luminaries entering the market promise lower wattage, longer life, and better CRI lighting quality than the existing metal halide standard on the market today. Better CRI light quality leads to easier night vision for patrons equaling higher safety & security.
The bottom line simply is that “if a hotel or any facility wishes to eliminate all “screw-in” lamps, there is today an LED product capable of satisfying most sought after applications.”
New LEDs Unveiled
Touched on above, LED applications are becoming prolific. One of the “sharpest” new LEDs was found over at the GE pavilion for an edge-light supermarket suspended aisle troffer. This product, seeking to expand upon those glass LED exit signs most have become familiar seeing, utilizes the same principle to provide light through a sleek sheet of clear glass to make a modern sleek energy savings statement.
In the upgrade realm, CREE has unveiled the UR-series capable of retrofitting a facility’s existing 2×2 & 2×4 fluorescent troffers with LEDs. The CREE approach with this series, instead of the “linear LED” re-lamp & ballast bypass, has been to replace the ballast and connect the UR’s LED “light sabers” to the new ballast. By upgrading the existing troffers via this method, the entire troffer fixture is able to maintain its UL listing; the linear T-8 LED relamping is not able to maintain the fixture’s UL rating once the original ballast is completely bypassed.
Finally, Phillips new A-lamp has eliminated its yellow enclosure – opting for a completely new LED light engine and a white shell. Switching out the yellow, Phillips hopes customers are more comfortable and less weary of trying out their LED A-lamps.
Big Projects Need Big $$ Bucks
Despite the advancements & price drops from early-gen products, its no secret a large LED lighting project can cost a lot of money. While federal, state, and local utility incentives are widely available, the remaining capital outlay can prove daunting for many institutions. A new offering by Phillips & GE seeks to erase these financial obstacles; both companies’ capital divisions have unveiled direct financing options for LED projects with the goal of creating day one cash flow positive projects! These programs have specified flexible financing options of up to 10 years and are open to any non-residential projects. While these program’s goals are designed to foster their specific LED products’ installation, GE has offered to include financing for non-GE LED products (provided “a majority” of the project is still GE).
Rise of the Plasma
The newest technology beginning to blossom is plasma lighting technology. Plasma lamps are a type of electrodeless lamp energized by radio frequency (RF) power. Despite having a minor presence at LFI this year when compared to LED, the technology is advancing every year with newer, warmer color temperatures being unveiled every year. Cost and viable applications are also maturing highlighting this technology will become a major consideration in the coming years, so stay tuned!
Although I covered a large percentage of lighting that a typical lodging facility requires there are some areas such as guest rooms that have a lower time of burn that makes it tough to come up with LED solutions that will deliver a palatable payback. EcoGreenHotel is just wrapping up a new build project for the Kana Hotel Group where we eliminated over 60% of their lamps at the Embassy Suites Knoxville West, which will be hosting their grand opening this spring. Although we are not at a point to say we can build a stylish hotel with 100% LED Luminaires Fixtures we are closer than ever.
For more information on lighting rebate administration, lighting design or lighting savings analysis contact me at email@example.com or 888.229.0213.
About the Author
GEOFF GROCHMAL, DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILTY – EcoGreenHotelSince early 2011 Geoff has worked in the Energy Solutions Division, specializing in Energy Star benchmarking and Energy Modeling. Lighting Rebate Submissions and Project Management. Geoff graduated from The George Washington University with a BA in Economics. Prior to his work at EcoGreenHotel, Geoff had conducted an extensive array of quantitative research – choosing to focus on Californian “green” legislation AB 939 Integrated Waste Management Act for his senior thesis research project. His findings showcased a fundamental link between an area’s wealth and its ability to meet the state’s “green goals.”