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Lighting & Electrical

LED lighting – the benefits to staff and their working environment

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Obviously organisations need buildings, which need to be lit, of course – but most of all they need stimulated, healthy and committed employees and as such, getting the best out of your workforce means giving them a quality and comfortable environment that aids their concentration and gives them daylight indoors.

MHA’s portfolio of energy efficient LED lighting products are suited for a variety of internal and external environments, including precision manufacturing, food production and high-risk environments, where it is imperative that light output, light quality and uniformity are high quality – so as to aid precision working and safety.

This is already proven with our customers who manufacture medical supplies, food and essential pieces of safety equipment where lives are at risk if any imperfections occur – such as global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline, North Devon Hospital Trust, safety equipment manufacturer Scott Safety (a Tyco Company) and food manufacturer, Park Cakes.

LED Lighting – the benefits, researched-based
The benefits of LED lighting go beyond the sales literature, as studies from Netherlands-based Maastricht University show, how lighting can have a positive impact on the healing environment.

This research, along with other studies show light has a positive effect on health, mood and well-being, not just for people in a care environment but also for healthy people.

led2Further exploration into how lighting affects people’s well-being & performance-levels indicates that the human eye and the human brain are very sensitive to light quality where colour temperature, absence from flicker, glare and hum, as well as correct colour rendering are all key factors. LED lighting – unlike existing artificial light sources – does not produce potentially harmful heat, infrared or UV radiation.

This indicates that LED light sources could be important to a healthy environment, as well as the huge cost savings and massive reduction of C02 emissions.

Additionally, certain wavelengths are known to be conducive to certain biochemical reactions such as hair growth, production of vitamin D, mood and emotions as well as the levels of some complex dopamines and enzymes.

The incidence of SAD – seasonal affective disorder – is well documented in northern latitudes during the shorter daylight hours of winter months. The effective treatment is for sufferers to sit in front of a suitable wavelength light source to top up the body’s light deficiency.

Apart from being a subtle but significant environmental factor, light is fundamental to virtually all living cells and thus careful selection and deployment of the right lighting conditions can make a big difference to health and well-being, both physically and mentally.
led3LED lighting is a more controllable type of illumination and overcomes many of the drawbacks and disadvantages of existing conventional light sources.

All forms of electromagnetic radiation have an effect on living organisms and this field is one where further study could produce some interesting facts that will help us develop the best environmental conditions and possible therapeutic applications for light.

Light – as well as temperature, humidity, ventilation, air quality, barometric pressure, vibration, sound, electrical charge, negative ion concentration and magnetic fields – are all conditions with direct effects on the human body. Much as MHA lighting’s key benefits for the manufacturing sector suggest:

  • Energy savings
  • High quality light uniformity
  • Occupation health standards are met – no flicker / or hum
  • Maintenance free4000 Kelvin colour, 80 CRI LED for precision working
  • Intelligent controls

The health benefits of LED lighting are very real and are still being researched, so much so that Philips has started eight LED research projects into a many diverse areas including how LED lighting affects health, and energy savings in buildings, to how it can help patients better take in nutrients.

Key Universities

  • Maastricht University
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Eindhoven University of Technology
  • FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Amsterdam

LED Lighting – the pitfalls (& how to avoid them)
Of course all of the above benefits will materialise only if a high quality & high reliability LED fitting is installed. The LED market as described above remains a young & immature one, notwithstanding the huge growth it is experiencing.

Light quality from a LED source varies significantly between good and bad examples for a number of reasons. Light emitted from the LED itself is a focussed beam and if not optically-managed effectively, the transmitted light from the fixture will be highly directional, non-uniform and very unpleasant (if not painful) on the eye.

Colour temperatures and colour rendering (CRI) which are crucial to high quality lighting are frequently abused by suppliers of lower quality fittings who use “cold” colours which produce blue-tinted light (to appear brighter than they actually are).

Product Reliability & Longevity of a LED lighting fixture is crucial. LEDs claim to have a “long life” and as they are much more expensive than traditional fittings and long life is crucial to justifying the capital investment. The industry being both young and immature, with an abundance of “horror stories” detailing failed fittings with questionable warranties.

Worse still, the biggest cause of failures is poor thermal management of the LED, such that it burns out over time rendering the fitting completely redundant.

The good news being that these pitfalls can all be easily avoided provided one knows what to look for. Test documentation (from qualified 3rd party European Test Houses) for photometric data, Manufacturer’s LED specification, including LM80 “life” and “lumen depreciation testing, coupled with the equipment manufacturer’s TM21 test reports as well as basic CE qualification which should all be available from a professional manufacturer and supplier of LED fixtures. If it’s not – then don’t touch it!

MHA’s TiLite – benefits to the healthcare sector which transfer to manufacturing
One such example from MHA’s range of products is the TiLite. The TiLites range was initially developed throughout 2009 and early 2010.

The Low Bay TiLite was intended to replace fluorescent fittings in lower ceiling applications (2.4 metres and 3.2 metres), in a variety of applications in the suspended ceiling grid tiles where four and five foot florescent tubes would be replaced.

The TiLites’ versatility meant that it would be particularly popular in applications such as offices and corridors plus retail and certain manufacturing environments.

Having installed TiLites in certain applications where cleanliness of both the fixture itself and what it emitted proved to be an important buying factor, the team at MHA were prompted to conduct thorough market research into other sectors and applications where these factors may also be key.

One important element of this research involved Healthcare and it became quite evident that there was a number of highly beneficial USPs that our technology was able to offer to this sector.

Critically Doctors and Nurses wish to examine patients at a colour temperature of 4000k and with a very high CRI. MHA worked with Philips Lumiled to develop tolerances which achieve American National Standards Institute (ANSI) levels of binning. This means that we were able to deliver every single light fitting at such a minimal variation to 4000k that the human eye simply cannot see the difference.

Infection Control was also a critical consideration and so MHA developed a range of sealed lighting fixtures into which neither insects nor dust can ingress. Ingressed dust in the form of skin from sick patients substantially cultivated in the warm environment of a hot fluorescent luminaire and tipped into the atmosphere when the light fitting is changed is a contribution to infection.

This has seen the TiLite win multiple awards for its contribution to infection control and ability to provide the customer with significant energy savings.

Our sealed TiLite unit eradicates this issue as dust cannot get into the fitting. The TiLite has also been designed to operate maintenance free for 66,000 hours – meaning the luminaire is left undisturbed for the duration of its lifetime. The 66,000 hours is determined by the life of the driver – the LEDs typically have a life of 100,000 hours which means that a maintenance programme to replace the drivers at 60,000 to 65,000 hours will provide a “mid-life upgrade” extending the product life to 100,000. This mid-life upgrade is a fraction of the cost of new fittings.

All of the foregoing apply equally to the work environment – whether in offices, manufacturing, assembly and ware-housing, the benefits to the work force of having high quality lighting in terms of uniformity, colour, colour consistency in addition to colour rendering create an environment in which peoples’ health and well-being , not to mention the quality of workmanship are paramount.

As we have already seen huge success with at Tyco Company, Scott Safety and other companies in relation to the above.

With its huge energy saving potential, MHA Lighting can significantly contribute to your sustainability and your corporate social responsibility policy, helping enhance your brand reputation – an increasingly important consideration for potential investors and employees.

www.mhalighting.co.uk

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