The influence of LED-light on our well being and health was discussed at a seminar in Dalarna in dec 2013. One of the lecturers, professor Lars Bylund from Bergen School of Architecture, Norway, made it very clear that daylight has a much greater impact on us than any other light source. The more artificial sources resemble daylight the better for our well being and health. LED-light has definitely potential in this aspect. It has a good daylight spectra, is reproducing coloures better than other artificial light sources and is very energy efficient.
Swedish municipalities have a job to do!
Even though the advantages of LED – lightning are becoming more obvious the more research is being done, Swedish municipalities are not really front runners in this aspect. Only 41% of the municipalities lightning investments are done in LED-light, the major part is still invested in metal halide bulbs (28%) and high-pressure sodium devices (24%). One of the reasons may be the poor availability of high-quality LED technology. In Sweden there still are only a few suppliers of this technology and in addition clients and consultants often lack lightening-knowledge not calculating long term costs and health aspects.
LED gaining ground
However the biggest manufacturers on the market lead the development in the right direction and that on high speed. It is expected that more than 50% of all electric lighting in the world will be LED-light in 4-10 years. In the U.S. there is a strong trend to invest in LED instead of uppdating traditional technology. An example is New York City where 300 000 high-pressure sodium lamps will be replaced by LED-sources during the next few years.
How consider public health aspects in procurement?
Up to now health aspects have hardly been taken in consideration in the procurement procedures of lightning-equipment. In order to measure these aspects experts from different ranges of knowledge have to cooperate. U.S. studies on lightning have shown so-called Non-Energy-Benefits when comparing different light sources. The influence of LED-light on better working conditions, higher working efficiency and better health has to be investigated more. At the moment everything points atLED-light as a sound source of light in these aspects but we need good indicators to measure health- and well being aspects in order to convince politicians and procurement departments in the municipalities.
Finally some recommendations for municipalities:
– Make sure to calculate on the total cost including operation, replacement, longevity , etc. , and not just the purchase price ! Use life cycle analysis to find the best solution.
– “Lumen per watt” is the most relevant term for comparing different light sources today.
– Include non-energetic aspects such as health-aspects, color-reproduction etc. in your decisions.
– Make an inventory and put up a strategy for changing the lighting in your housing objects.
– Follow the development of technology (globally) .
– Find other providers than the usual wholesalers.
– Become aware that lighting is not something simple but needs experts.