Researchers in Ottawa test radical new ways to use LED lights
June 19, 2012
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Researchers at the National Research Council's Institute for Research in Construction in Ottawa have completed a four year study, looking at the new potential that LED lighting presents for people like office workers. They brought together...
Researchers at the National Research Council’s Institute for Research in Construction in Ottawa have completed a four year study, looking at the new potential that LED lighting presents for people like office workers. They brought together people from diverse backgrounds and expertise to test what a novel LED lighting system might achieve. The researchers noted that LED offers lower energy consumption, longer life “and the possibility of exciting new ways to use light.”
In one experiment, they built a row of LED luminaires to function as a different type of visual fire alarm. Installed along a corridor at the NRCan CANMET Energy Ottawa Research Centre, the LEDs flash red to guide occupants to the closest exit by scrolling through the corridor from one luminaire to another. During normal office conditions, the LED luminaires function as regular indoor light sources and emit a high quality white light.
In another experiment, they built a 1.2-m x 1.2-m panel incorporating over 280 individual LEDs and had it play back – in real time – a low resolution image of the sky captured from the outside. The idea is that such an installation giving people a sense of the outdoors might help people in windowless rooms have a better sense of wellbeing.
To gauge how office workers might want to adjust LED lighting to their own preference, the researchers conducted an experiment where participants could use custom software to adjust the colour temperatures and spectral power distributions of LED lighting individual lighting areas. They conducted one of the tests for an entire day.
They found that people “have a wide range of light spectrum preferences, which they could not previously demonstrate with fluorescent lighting systems.”
Although people had the ability to create extremely saturated coloured lights with LEDs, most of the participants “created reasonably white lights with high colour rendering quality.”
The researchers also found that a high quality LED light can render colours as well as an incandescent lamp of the same correlated colour temperature.
Erhan Dikel is leading the research. Click here.