22% of Employees Admit to Changing Fluorescent Tubes at Work

Findings even though concurrent survey suggests that more than half of employees surveyed don’t know how to change one

A recent survey of 1,000 people by online fluorescent tube retailers Lamp Shop Online has revealed that nearly a quarter of office workers have changed a fluorescent tube at work, even though they don’t know how to do so safely.

Faulty or dead fluorescent tubes in the workplace can cause health issues such as headaches, migraines and eye strain, which can cost businesses millions of pounds each year.

Poor lighting can also put employees at risk of trips and falls, as well as reducing staff productivity. Many business owners are unaware that it is their responsibility to maintain the lighting in the workplace, so the burden often falls on employees.

The survey also showed that 58% of employees don’t actually know how to change a fluorescent tube, which presents a serious safety issue.

Faulty or dead fluorescent tubes in the workplace can cause health issues such as headaches, migraines and eye strain, which can cost businesses millions of pounds each year.

Poor lighting can also put employees at risk of trips and falls, as well as  reducing staff productivity.

Falls and trips due to inadequate lighting could lead to employers being sued, as failure to take responsibility for implementing the correct lighting at work may be illegal in some circumstances.

Rob Holroyd from Lamp Shop Online comments: “The results of the survey are worrying as employers are not taking responsibility for the lighting in their building, which is a key maintenance issue. The Health and Safety Executive states that employers are responsible for maintaining lighting in the workplace, so employers could actually be breaking the law by not stepping up and looking after their lighting.

“Employers need to regularly assess and maintain the lighting in their premises to ensure employees don’t have to take matters into their own hands and put themselves at risk.”


Rugby High School enjoys ‘significantly improved’ illumination from energy saving LED upgrade

The comprehensive LED-based lighting upgrade is expected to deliver annual savings of £12.5K and a return on investment of only 4.5 years.

Increasing instances of lamp failure, a recognition that the quality of the illumination could be better, and a desire to take advantage of energy savings accruing from the latest LED technology informed a recent upgrade at Rugby High School in Warwickshire. The major, site-wide overhaul was undertaken by Energys Group and funded by Utility Rentals’ operational lease scheme.

As the school’s Business Manager, Allan Kerr, explains, “it had been clear for a while that the old lighting was nearing the end of its useful life. Lamps were beginning to fail on a more regular basis, meaning that we were spending more money on replacements and maintenance. In addition, we were working on plans for a new sports hall, and if we had kept with the existing lighting we would have had to increase our electricity supply.”

Having engaged the services of energy efficiency technology specialist Energys Group to advise on the project, it quickly became clear that a comprehensive LED lighting upgrade would both reduce demand on supply and enable substantial energy savings. Consequently, the two parties began work on a lighting overhaul to encompass the main hall, music theatre, classrooms, science labs, gym, sports hall, corridors, staircases, communal areas and the languages block.

‘Dramatic improvement’

The resulting installation draws on LED products from across the Energys Group range, and includes tubes, panels, down-lighters, spotlights, wall-lights, outdoor fittings and flood-lights. Mere weeks after the project was completed – with a minimum of disruption to the operational practices of the school – it was evident to school management and personnel quite how much of an improvement the new systems had delivered.

“For the first few weeks after the deployment staff kept coming up to me to remark upon the new lighting. In particular, the increased standard of illumination in the main hall, gym and science labs was singled out for specific praise,” recalls Kerr.

Whilst the quality of the lighting was immediately apparent, its benefits in terms of energy savings will become more evident over the medium to long-term. As a result of the massive upgrade – which ran to 712 new LED lamps and 575 LED fittings – Energys predicts a return on investment of just 4.5 years. Annual energy savings are expected to total £12.5K and approximately 104,985 kWh’s, with a reduction in CO2 emissions of 55.84 tonnes per year.

Raj Gunasekaran, Business Development Manager at Energys Group, says that “the improvement in lighting conditions across the entire site is very discernible, and of course the energy savings are also going to be very welcome – particularly in the current challenging economic climate for the education sector. But it’s also important to highlight that improved lighting often translates to happier pupils and staff, meaning increased productivity and quality of work.”

‘Brilliant scheme’

However, there is another important element in the mix here and that is the funding provided by Utility Rentals. Having investigated some other schemes but concluded that they were unlikely to deliver the finance in the necessary time-frame, Kerr instead applied to the Utility Rentals operational lease initiative, with Energys Group providing guidance and assistance throughout the process.

As Utility Rentals director Steve Mattey explains, the scheme is fast, guaranteed and “available for any school in the country – no matter what size or establishment type. The rental scheme is cash-positive from day one, with repayments covered by the energy costs saved. The repayments are also fixed and won’t go up year on year, and can even be deferred until 12 months after the lighting has been installed.”

The Rugby High School application was successful, and Kerr reports that he was struck by “how straightforward the process proved to be. I am also pleased with the fact that if any failures occur, replacements will be provided at no cost. It really does take the risk element out of what has been a substantial undertaking.”

Reflecting on the completion of another comprehensive lighting upgrade in the education sector, Gunasekaran says that “the benefits Rugby High School is now experiencing as a result of implementing the latest LED lighting technology are now increasingly commonplace throughout this market. At Energys we are able to support this transition with a comprehensive range of LED solutions, so it’s no surprise that we have many comparable projects on the agenda for the rest of 2017.”


The light fantastic

Earlier this year, the USA marked Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Jane Embury, marketing director at advanced glazing system supplier Wrightstyle, looks at light in the UK workplace, and why we should all be aware of eyesight issues.

In the creation, it’s what God made first.

You can see it but can’t feel or touch it.  Prosaically, it’s electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Us humans, and most living creatures, see it through our eyes, which are clever photon detectors tuned to observe the visible spectrum.

As we inch closer to fully understanding light, we are already investigating its quirky properties to develop new kinds of encryption codes and next-generation computers – part of the reason why the United Nations designated 2015 as the International Year of Light.

In a building, light has both form and function – from the intimate restaurant to the intensity of a hospital theatre; from the serenity of a cathedral to the floodlit arena of a football stadium.  Light possesses absolute functionality with the power to change ambience and transform mood.

However, although we receive the majority of information through our eyes, we can still take light for granted.  Too often, particularly in the workplace, its primary importance is still undervalued both in new build and renovation projects.

It’s why in March the USA marks Workplace Eye Wellness Month, to raise awareness of eye strain in the workplace, what can be done by employers and individuals, and how good building design has a fundamental role to play.

Good building design balances form and function in a finished article that looks good from the outside and performs well on the inside.  However, having excellence in both the exterior envelope and the interior lay-out doesn’t necessarily mean that the building will work to optimal effect for its human inhabitants.  It needs light to function – both natural and artificial – and it needs the right kind of light to function properly.

One reason is that the nature of work has changed in recent years.  We no longer just go to an office to move paper from one horizontal in-tray to another horizontal out-tray.  The laptop and desk-top computer, with their horizontal keyboards and vertical screens, have seen to that.

Building design has certainly evolved to take the computer into consideration with, for example, raised floors and large open-plan spaces.  However, what is still not fully recognised in many older buildings – and some new ones – is that the lighting requirements of the computer operator have also changed.  A computer terminal, apart from being vertical, is glossy and luminous.

Studies show that many office workers say that eyestrain is still a serious health hazard in the office.  Not surprising as many workplaces still incorporate lighting systems that were designed for the paper-based office.  Simply, poor lighting coming from overhead sources are reflected off computer screens and into the operator’s eyes.

Modern regulations say that the employer has a responsibility to provide “satisfactory light conditions and an appropriate contrast between the screen and background, taking into account the type of work and the vision requirements of the user.  Furthermore, possible glare and reflection on the screen shall be prevented by co-ordinating workplace and workstation layout with the positioning of the artificial light sources.”

It’s all part of what has become known as sick building syndrome (SBS), a catch-all phrase to describe illness, or illnesses, brought on by the buildings we work in.  The National Health Service says: “Anyone can be affected by SBS, but office workers in modern buildings without opening windows and with mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems are most at risk.  The likelihood of experiencing SBS symptoms can be higher if you’re employed in routine work that involves using display screen equipment.”

Importantly, there is a correlation between light and Sick Building Syndrome, because a lack of daylight is regarded as one of the most important contributors to it.

Making better use of daylight is the obvious solution, particularly when it comes to designing new buildings or refurbishment projects, because daylighting is dynamic and changes throughout the day, providing natural variation and connecting us to the outside world.

Most building designers now understand the properties of light, and how a well-designed working environment can boost productivity and morale.  But the advantages of using glass in the building environment go further: from reducing heating costs to solar control and, using photovoltaic (PV) cells, converting photons into electrons and, therefore, generating electricity.

Modern glazing systems, with their optical brilliance and safety characteristics, have become as fundamental to good building design as light has always been fundamental to life.  After all, it’s why God created it first.

A Health and Safety guide to Display Screen Equipment (DSE) can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg36.pdf.


Brightest in the class

The benefits of switching to LEDs have been well documented in recent years. Facilities managers, tasked with reducing energy costs as well as carbon emissions, have opted to use LED luminaires – often retrospectively – and as a result have been able to enjoy significant savings. Applelec managing director Ian Drinkwater discusses how the latest generation of LEDs is driving innovation forward.

It is well documented that LED lighting systems offer significant benefits compared with traditional schemes, generating less heat and providing up to 50,000 hours of illumination per luminaire, leading to a longer lifespan as well as lower maintenance costs and reduced CO2 emissions. On average, LED luminaires use around 75% less energy than traditional sources, while reducing carbon emissions by around a third.

Many of the early snags of the first generation of LED systems – a ‘cold’, dimmer light, the higher cost of replacement luminaires and so on – have now been overcome. Technological advances are rapidly driving development forward, with the latest LED modules boasting reduced power consumption and carbon emissions while emitting the highest quality light.

What’s more, these advances are changing the way we use lighting throughout buildings as a whole. Inspired by research and development, lighting is no longer confined to use in ceiling pendants and wall lights. Increasingly, designers are incorporating illumination into fixtures and fittings to draw attention to important areas such as reception desks and information areas, while attractive, decorative wall panels add considerable interest.

Large-format lightboxes are used to display information or advertising messages, or alternatively to create a centrepiece attraction which is both stunning to look at and economical to run.

Technology in practice

The first direct arena in Leeds is one example of how new-generation LED technology has been utilised to produce a stunning showpiece which was both easy to install and is cost-effective to power.

Applelec supported corporate branding specialists Nebula Creative in the design and installation of two rock ‘n’ roll lightboxes for the arena’s VIP bar, renamed the Black and White Lounge, pairing SloanLED PosterBOX 3 LED modules with a textile framing system.

The display features around 240 classic album covers from artists who have played the venue, such as Robbie Williams, Lionel Richie and JLS, since it opened in September 2013. The covers have been incorporated into two large-format lightboxes – one almost 10 metres long and the second just under five metres long – both with a textile frame.

Using LED tape or ribbon for such a scheme would be time-consuming to fit. However, using the PosterBOX 3 modules, the feature was assembled quickly and easily.

High brightness illumination is achieved across a width of up to three metres using the SloanLED PosterBOX 3 system, with just two rows of facing modules are required to provide light. In addition, the product significantly reduces the installation time required to populate a lightbox in comparison to the use of LED tape or ribbon.

The result is an eye-catching, bright and evenly lit feature which has transformed one of the arena’s most vital areas, yet was easy to fit with modules along just the top and bottom edges of the frame. The installation is so bright it is even noticeable outside the venue, through the windows of the VIP bar.

Energy efficient

Benefits are about more than just looks. Using 56 PosterBOX 3 modules, the entire system is extremely cost-effective, drawing just 756.8W. This compares favourably with alternative equivalent systems, with a similar LED tape installation using 14.4W tape using approximately 2344W – and a fluorescent scheme using an estimated 86% more energy than the PosterBOX 3 modules.

As products develop, the potential for use increases. The PosterBOX3, for example, is impressively bright yet slim, with the ability to fit into depths as shallow as 50mm for a single-sided application. Ease of installation is another bonus – the modules are available with a ‘peel and stick’ option as well as regular mechanical fastenings, eliminating the possibility of tape becoming unstuck.

The modules are compact enough to fit into spaces where previously only LED ribbon systems could go, yet provide better performance in terms of luminance, energy efficiency and longevity. A module spacer is incorporated into the design, eliminating the need for measuring and consequently reducing the installation time.

What’s more, LED ribbon carries both a higher failure rate potential and a greater heat output than the PosterBOX 3 modules, as well as requiring a larger number of drivers for powering purposes.

Where next?

With technology moving on apace, many manufacturers of LED luminaires still do not offer warranties beyond one or two years. While many system manufacturers are still not committing to longer than a couple of years, some such as SloanLED are underlining their confidence in the reliability and longevity of their products by offering a five-year warranty.

Applelec is a trade supplier and manufacturer of signs, displays and lighting, based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. In January, it became an official UK distributor for SloanLED systems, including PosterBOX 3 modules. Applelec has used SloanLED systems within fabricated signage and lettering for many years and as a result, has a comprehensive understanding of the products and how to get the best from them. For more, please go to www.applelec.co.uk.


London secure storage facility invests in integrated Power over Ethernet lighting system with Prolojk’s Lightmatrix

The Armitage Bolsover Street, London

Lighting control system designer and manufacturer Prolojik has supplied its award-winning Power over Ethernet Lightmatrix system to prime secure storage facility, The Armitage, in Marylebone, West London.

Specified by facilities technology consultancy firm Tuckers Consultancy Ltd and installed by R B Emerson Group Ltd, the unique system was chosen in part to meet the challenge posed by a particularly low service void throughout the building. As a Power over Ethernet product, Lightmatrix is powered via data cabling rather than electrical wiring, which means that the majority of final circuit and associated containment are not needed, significantly reducing the amount of space required to house its infrastructure.

As well as powering and controlling super low energy and highly efficient LED lighting, Lightmatrix also enables integration with other building controls for an integrated services network and seamless user experience. With this in mind, Tuckers Consultancy commissioned Prolojik to integrate Lightmatrix with the door entry system. Storage clients may use their key fob for entry and upon entering the building the key fob acts as a wireless controller for the lighting system for the individual units. Communal lighting is controlled by PIRs, enabling the areas to be lit as people enter them.

Launched in 2015 and winner of Lux Controls Product Award in the same year, Lightmatrix is the only Power over Ethernet system of its kind in the UK. It combines plug-and-play data cabling with DALI standard features to provide a highly energy efficient, simple to install lighting control system that allows specifiers to bring the much talked about ‘Internet of Things’ into their projects, either new build or retrofit. Due to the significant reduction in electrical cabling and electrical power used in its installation and operation, it produces savings of around 11% in energy output and installation cost savings of around 30% in a typical commercial building, compared to 240V LED systems.

Lightmatrix was installed throughout all client areas within the facility, excluding the reception and garage areas.

“This project was particularly significant for Prolojik as, being one of the first to market with a Power over Ethernet system, we’ve been in an early adopters phase for the past 18 months but we now feel like we’re moving into a different stage of the Power over Ethernet journey,” commented Mark Vincent, Commercial Director, Prolojik. “The possibilities of the technology in terms of integration, communication, energy efficiency and cost savings, are gaining much more traction with building control specifiers as the Internet of Things phenomenon gathers speed. We’re excited to be leading the way with our Lightmatrix system and were pleased that the innovative design behind Lightmatrix met the challenges posed by the specific requirements for The Armitage storage units.”

The Armitage provides high quality secure storage units in the centre of London, featuring an on-site dedicated management team and security concierge. The climate-controlled units are secured within concrete vaults.

For more information on Prolojik’s products and services, visit prolojik.com



Brightgreen joins the RIDI family

The RIDI Group is delighted to announce that it has signed an exclusive deal with Brightgreen to distribute the Australian LED specialist’s lighting solutions in the UK. Brightgreen utilises the latest LED technology combined with forward-thinking product design to create beautiful, high quality lighting solutions for high end residential and hospitality applications. Brightgreen is a young, energetic company that is B-Corp Certified and has a refreshing approach to working. We are delighted with the opportunity to work alongside such an innovative and exciting company as Brightgreen, says Mike Attard, UK MD of the RIDI Group. Brightgreen’s focus on quality of light and an exceptionally high standard of engineering aligns perfectly with the RIDI Group’s vision.

We believe that the addition of Brightgreen’s range of fresh, modern light fittings will really complement the RIDI Group’s existing product portfolio.

Brightgreen offers a comprehensive range of LED lighting, from spotlights and downlights to track lighting systems, suitable for residential, hospitality, retail and gallery applications. Brightgreen’s focus is on providing high quality fittings that are efficient, easy to install and deliver exceptional light quality. Integrated within Brightgreen’s premium lighting solutions is its Tru-Colour LED technology, which provides phenomenal colour rendering and an evenly balanced colour spectrum to enhance the visual appearance of colour and interiors. Brightgreen’s Digital Driver ensures smooth, flicker-free dimming capabilities and comprehensive surge protection that can extend the lifespan of the LED for up to 10 years. The Digital Driver also ensures integration with leading smart home control providers, including Control4 and Crestron.

The RIDI Group will be the exclusive UK distributor for Brightgreen, following on from the announcement of an exclusive distribution partnership with German industrial LED specialist Norka, to further expand its product portfolio and strengthen its multi-brand offering to the market.

RIDI UK is part of the RIDI Group, based in Germany, and its range extends from simple bare batten fittings through to complex luminaire and control systems.

For further details on any RIDI product, contact the company direct on 01279 450882, fax 01279 45 1169, email: enquiries@ridi.co.uk or visit the website at www.ridi.co.uk


Lamp recycling should be free

Recolight still come across many FM companies that are being charged for their waste lamp recycling.  All too often, they are not aware that under the WEEE regulations, they should be able to access a free recycling service, funded by lamp producers.

WEEE compliance & recycling explained

The WEEE regulations were introduced to the UK 10 years ago to make producers take responsibility for recycling electronic equipment at the end of its life. This concept is referred to as Extended Producer Responsibility.

In the UK there are around 35 WEEE compliance schemes all operating different business models. Recolight’s operating model is unique for WEEE lighting. Recolight scheme members pay a small fee to Recolight for each lighting unit they place on the UK market.  Funds received are used to provide a free lamp collection and recycling service.

The Recolight free lamp recycling service

The Recolight lamp collection service includes free collection, recycling, and consignment notes. For quantities over 1000 lamps each quarter, Recolight also provide a free container. If you collect less than 1000 lamps each quarter, a container lease option is available, but collection, recycling and consignment notes are still free.

For smaller quantities, Recolight has established a network of drop off points located at Electrical Wholesalers across the UK. Search the map found on the homepage of the Recolight website.


St James’ gets an overwhelming reception

A range of custom Spectral Lighting products have created a spectacular lighting solution at a mixed-use development in the heart of London. The company’s H-PROFIL and TURUS luminaires are combined to innovative effect to create a stunning centrepiece in the building’s reception area, while STORA completely transforms the lift lobby area.

The development is located at 55 St James’ Street’s and consists of 32,000 ft² of office accommodation spread out over five storeys, and at the top of the building, five high-end one bedroom apartments offering spectacular panoramic views across St James’s. Working alongside EPR Architects, and with lighting design by renowned lighting guru Miles Pinniger, Spectral has produced a completely bespoke solution, mirroring the unique design of the space.

A 5.9 metre diameter ring using Spectral’s H-PROFIL 150 system offers a central focus of the lighting installation. The ring was constructed using the all new aluminium extrusion and features an opal diffuser for direct lighting and RIDI L-TUBE segments in the top for the indirect component. This allowed the lit effect of one single fixture to cover a large reception area while also creating a beautiful halo effect on the ceiling.

Complementing this is a smaller 2.7M ring made from Spectral’s TURUS fitting.  This was produced using the inward lighting section from the standard double decker TURUS to create an intense circle of light within the main ring onto the ceiling, and a mild hotspot of light beneath. In the lift lobby area, a beautiful 1.4M STORA LK creates a focal point.

“All of these luminaires come complete with an external DALI driver for colour 830 LEDs, allowing for a combination of both style and functionality,” comments Mike Attard, Managing Director of Spectral Lighting. “We took the initial brief from the lighting designer and architect and using our own facilities, had the manufacturing ability and creativity to realise the concept.”

All luminaires were finished in a bronze coating, which blends with the leather cladding on the walls throughout the space.


Reliable even under harsh conditions – LED modules for industrial applications

Warehouses, factories and multi-storey car parks all need robust luminaires that provide high lumen values. Industrial lighting has to be energy-efficient and durable. Tridonic offers the right LED light sources for diffused lighting in the form of its CLE G1 ADV IND and QLE G1 ADV IND modules. A luminous flux of 26,000 lumen per module and three different colour temperatures of 4,000, 5,000 and 6,500 K make it easier to develop and manufacture LED high-bay luminaires for industrial applications.

Industrial environments place special requirements on lighting systems. Long operating times and critical atmospheres impose heavy demands on any lighting system, and maintenance is often associated with major effort and high costs. The luminaires are often difficult to access so production is disrupted and machinery has to stand idle.

The following four examples illustrate the specific demands of these situations and the benefits of LED lighting. Long-life components with high light output reduce the number of luminaires needed and the maintenance costs in high-ceiling rooms such as warehouses. In production facilities, high quality of light and high Illuminance lead to an increase in productivity and also help improve safety and reduce errors. In cold rooms, a good lighting system should operate reliably and provide full luminous intensity within only a short time despite low ambient temperatures. In multi-storey car parks, the lighting components need to be energy-efficient and durable, with low maintenance costs.

For such applications, Tridonic combines the benefits of the indoor segment with those of outdoor products. This results in LED solutions with high efficiency, low standby losses and increased dielectric strength for extended temperature ranges. LEDs modules are perfect replacements for fluorescent and HID light sources as they meet the requirements for industrial lighting. The round CLE modules provide uniform illumination. They are suitable for use in wall lights, for example. The rectangular QLE modules are also suitable for ceiling luminaires.

Offering a luminous flux of 26,000 lm, they were developed for luminaires designed to be installed at ceiling heights of up to 16 metres. They are based on standard boards, and luminaire manufacturers can therefore add them to their portfolios without the cost of developing new optics. The modules offer a high module efficiency of up to 153 lm/W (tp=85°C). Reproducible colour rendering is specified as MacAdam 3. Tridonic offers an 8-year guarantee on the modules, which have a nominal life of 100,000 hours.

Luminaire manufacturers will be offered drivers compatible with the LED modules. LED Drivers from Tridonic for industrial applications are designed to reduce stress on the modules so they achieve long service lives (thermal load/peak voltage). The LCI 100W–1050mA OTD EC driver with overtemperature protection and overvoltage protection up to 6 kV (between L/N and earth) is suitable for the CLE ADV IND module, for example. www.tridonic.com


Spectral eyes up the competition with IRIS at SDS17

Taking centre stage at Spectral Lighting’s Surface Design Show stand this year was be the stunning Iris L, a larger variation on the popular IRIS LED luminaire. This was the company’s fourth year at the show.

Visitors to Spectral’s stand at the Surface Design Show were able to see the Iris L demonstrate a flicker free, smooth transition from warm white to cool daylight white, showing the potential of truly tunable white light. This potential became reality recently when Spectral’s IRIS luminaire was used in the award winning project at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners office in London, utilising the tunable white capabilities of the IRIS to add a level of physical and psychological comfort to a space where the team often work long hours.

IRIS has a striking and memorable design and is made with dual-sided LED Boards, bringing the benefits of highly efficient LED lighting to its visually stunning aesthetic. The unobtrusive circular construction draws the eye through, enhancing exposed ceilings and the geometry of any backdrop.

Iris can be specified in wall mounted, recessed ceiling mounted or ceiling surface mounted versions. This flexibility ensures that the light can be fitted to suit a multitude of applications, and its wide choice of coloured foils also allow for complete customisation to complement any interior design.

All versions feature a unique hollow centre which is possible by means of a bespoke in-house manufactured circular circuit board. As this can be replaced, it ensures the fitting is maintainable for the life of the LED.

Jon Estell, UK Head of Design at Spectral Lighting comments: “A key feature of the iconic IRIS design is its transparency. This gives an inherent lightness to the fitting in any space and avoids the dark ceiling effect of direct only light.

A further strength of IRIS LED is its flexibility. It is equally at home in the boardroom or in the office, and with a variety of colours to choose from as well as several mounting options, it can be tailored to suit individual needs and preferences.”  www.spectral-lighting.co.uk