Lighting Solutions For Outdoor Applications
Helping to meet the ever–growing need to sustain our environment through the use of more energy–efficient and durable solutions, these lamps also deliver high–efficiency and an average life expectancy of up to 12,000 hours plus.
Traditionally, when it has come to exterior lighting, less energy–efficient lamps have remained the predominant choice due to their low price. However, as the issue of sustainability continues to dominate modern life and with further EU legislation surrounding low efficiency lamps set to come into force in September 2009, contractors need to take action now when specifying exterior lighting and make the switch to greener technologies.
Exterior lighting continues to enjoy a boom. In today's ever safety–conscious world, illumination of both public and private spaces is becoming increasingly important as a way to heighten security. More specifically in the domestic setting, there is an increased focus on the garden as an additional living space, leading to further demand for exterior lighting solutions as a means of improving the outside environment and creating extra room.
Lighting New Public Spaces
The multi–million pound preparations around the 2012 London Olympic Games are also likely to have a major impact on demand for exterior lighting. Under plans to prepare for the Games, the government is committed to raising the nation’s international profile as a visitor destination and develop sport in the UK. This will involve an investment in facilities and structures to meet growing needs, from sports centres to businesses involved in the hospitality trade, all of which will cause a greater demand for exterior lighting in the supply chain.
Looking ahead, the exterior lighting offering to meet this growing demand is set to change dramatically over coming years. As the European Union plans to phase out many traditionally used tungsten lamps in steps starting from September 2009, in a bid to slash carbon emissions and promote sustainability, it is important for contractors to be aware of emerging technologies and understand their benefits. This will allow them to offer up–to–date products and advice.
Making it easier for contractors to do this, manufacturers have dedicated significant resources over recent years to research and develop new energy efficient products. However, despite the associated problems with traditional solutions, such as inefficiency and low life expectancy in the tungsten halogen lamps and poor colour rendering of SON lamps, these options have remained the predominant choice with contractors.
Sustainable Metal Halide Lamps
In a bid to resolve all related issues with traditional options, the new metal halide lamps coupled with corresponding fittings offer an effective, sustainable solution. Originally created for industrial use but increasingly used in the commercial sphere, these lamps produce light by passing an electric arc through a special mixture of gases under controlled pressures and temperatures.
Producing a distinct white light with high colour rendering capability, metal halide is suitable for outdoor lighting in commercial and domestic areas, in particular those where security systems are used. Helping to meet the ever–growing need to sustain our environment through the use of more energy–efficient and durable solutions, these lamps also deliver high–efficiency and an average life expectancy of up to 12,000 hours plus.
LEDs are also making their presence felt in outdoor lighting. Looking to the immediate future, improvements are being made in LEDs to make them brighter and more suitable for all types of applications, particularly outdoors. Further benefits include a lifespan of anywhere between 30,000 up to 100,000 hours, high reliability and minimal maintenance requirements, making LEDs ideal for use in all types of outdoor applications.
In particular, LED solutions are becoming the obvious choice for outdoor applications which require aesthetic elements. This is due to the fact that they can be controlled digitally, offering the ability to produce millions of colours and colour–changing effects at the push of a button. This makes them ideal for use in decorative lighting schemes for arenas and outdoor venues for concerts, sports events, and other gatherings.
Promote Benefits of Sustainable Options
As one might expect, the additional benefits offered by both of these lamps can result in higher prices which may act as a deterrent for contractors inclined to favour the cheapest option as a means to offer the most competitive quote. However, looking deeper than the initial investment, it can pay dividends for contractors who take the time to enlighten their customers to the many benefits attached to using this newer technology, installing the most effective solution and maximising profit potential.
In terms of energy for example, the first point to remember about the majority of the more advanced energy efficient options, such as metal halide lamps and LEDs, is that it’s not just about the output of these products but increasingly about the longevity and overall lifecycle costs. While a tungsten halogen lamp may offer a quick and affordable fix in the short–term, it actually makes more financial sense to switch to more efficient solutions as they require less maintenance and also incur lower energy bills, making it a more appealing option for them to pay a little bit extra.
As the issue of sustainability continues to dominate all aspects of modern life, the exterior lighting sector will adapt according. This is why it is important for contractors to look to the future needs of the customer and the project as a whole. They must select not only a light source that meets the requirements of the application but should ensure an energy efficient installation that will be sustainable for years to come.
Exterior Lighting Sector Will Grow
Although, times as they are, it is understandable that cost can be a major factor, the future focus will be on efficiency and longevity. The exterior lighting market is expected to see significant growth over the next few years and, in order to take full advantage of the opportunities this presents, contractors need to look at the bigger, long–term picture. Rather than automatically favouring the low–cost option, it is important to give customers the choice of the latest technologies, before they eventually go to someone who will. As well as enjoying the additional profit this will bring, contractors can rest assured that they have helped customers to reduce their energy bills and maintenance requirements, in the long term this more than offsets the initial cost.