Obsession with SSL by Willard Warren, PE, FIES - Energy Watch News

Obsession with SSL by Willard Warren, PE, FIES

I am getting thanks from readers on my comments on how we’re being distracted from our mission as lighting professionals by our obsession with SSLs, especially LEDs with the delivery of lighting sources and complex energy codes, when we should be focusing equally on the viewer. We are supposed to be concerned with the ability to extract information from the field of view, and improving our visual performance. That depends upon many factors; our visual acuity and comfort (absence of glare) plus the environmental conditions like the contrast and size of the visual task, the lightness and color of the surround and the non-visual responses we get through our eye/brain and nervous systems like circadian rhythms.

We lighting experts should be exerting our influence on getting attention for necessary eye care and corrective devices, especially for children, and for mandating surround conditions that can optimize our visual performance rate and comfort. Instead, we’re almost totally concerned with source efficacy, luminaire efficiency and electrical energy conservation, not human efficiency. If we’re serious about reaching Net Zero Energy by 2030, we can conserve more energy by mandating better visual surround conditions than by enforcing energy codes with lower lighting power densities.

The two factors, sources and responses are interdependent and must be considered equally.


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3 comments on “Obsession with SSL by Willard Warren, PE, FIES

  1. Howard Wiig says:

    I believe that lighting efficacy and human efficacy are one and the same. The closer lighting design can mimic the comfort our distant ancestors enjoyed in the shade of a tree or under moonlight, the better.

  2. BillAttardi says:

    There is no definition of human efficacy, but visual performance with today ‘s visual tasks in modern enclosures requires another solution than that for hunter gatherers.
    Bill Warren

  3. The key to successful lighting design is always to remember the purposes of the design. First and foremost is to provide for human vision. A simple statement, but not so simply accomplished. In addition, we need to also remember that humans aren’t light meters, meaning that there is a psychological component involved in providing a lighting system under which people will function successfully. Energy codes restrict our choices and means for accomplishing those goals. But the most important thing is to first remember what we are trying to accomplish, and then find ways to get there while working with our real-world constraints. Easily stated, not necessarily easily accomplished, but that’s what makes the lighting profession so special!

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