Lighting School

Watt

A watt is a unit used to measure electrical power. Electricity charges are calculated according to the number of watts consumed. A standard halogen incandescent bulb runs at 50 watts whilst LED lighting of equivalent brightness will use a quarter of this.

Lumen

A Lumen is a measure of brightness, gauging the total amount of visible light emitted by a source. The higher the amount of lumens, the brighter the light will be. Colour Rendering (CRI) The CRI is a measure of a light source’s ability to show an object’s colours realistically or naturally compared to a familiar reference source, either incandescent light or daylight. In other words, it’s a measurement of the light colour quality. The index ranges from 0 to 100. A light’s CRI can only be compared to another light if they have the same colour temperature.

Colour Temperature

The measurement of colour expressed in Kelvin (K). The lower the Kelvin rating, the “warmer” or more red and yellow in the light. The higher the rating, the “cooler” or more blue the light.

Design Lifetime

Design Lifetime is the average life of a lighting product when operated at nominal lamp voltage. A light’s lifespan will depend on its type – cheaper, incandescent bulbs typically last approximately one year whilst an LED equivalent may last for up to 30 years.

Luminous Efficacy

Luminous efficacy is a measure of how well a light source produces visible light. It is the ratio of luminous flux to power. Efficacy = lumen / wattage Incandescent = 12.8 lm/W Halogens = 14.4 lm/W Compact Fluorescents = 45 lm/W Love LEDs Equivalent = 68 lm/W

Beam Angle

The Beam Angles refers to the degree of width in which light emanates from a light source. Narrow beam angles will create a spot light in a smaller area and a broader beam angle will flood a larger area with light.

Lux

Lux is the International System unit of illumination, it is equal to one lumen per square meter. This measurement determines the brightness of a light in a space and is governed by Australian standards. It is possible to determine lighting levels and evaluate the efficiency of lighting design or choices by using a Lux Meter. Daylight Harvesting Daylight Harvesting refers to systems that use daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to properly light a space, in order to reduce energy consumption. This is accomplished using lighting control systems that are able to dim or switch lighting in response to changing daylight availability.

Dimmability

Dimmable lights can be adjusted to the right intensity and deliver different amounts of light for different occasions and times. The range of light levels a bulb can produce will be affected by its dimmability.

Gimbal

A gimballed light allows its direction to be adjusted to a certain degree. Gimbals are useful if you need the light to be projected in a certain direction, such as if light needs to point down a hallway.

What is an LED Light?

LEDs (an abbreviation for Light Emitting Diodes) are solid-state semiconductor devices. LEDs create light when their semiconductor crystal is stimulated. This technology has been around since the 1960s and was first used in traffic lights and alarm clocks. LEDs are much smaller in size than traditional light bulbs and fit easily into electrical circuits. Recent technological advancements have led to LEDs being desirable for home, office and commercial lighting spaces. Their extensive benefits include long life, superior energy efficiency, generate very little heat, have low maintenance, low environmental impact, instant light, easily dimmable, silent operation and low voltage power.

What is an Incandescent Light?

Incandescent lights are the second oldest form of electric lighting. They work by heating an electrical element until it is white hot and can create light. Incandescent lights are an inefficient source of lighting, as almost all their energy is converted into heat and little is converted into light. They also require high power usage and have a low lifespan. Australia has placed a ban on producing these lights and has restricted imports as well. The only suitable replacements for the incandescent lights are CFLs and LEDs. What is a Halogen Light? Halogen emits light by passing electricity through its tungsten filament, which is enclosed in a bulb containing halogen gas. Halogen lighting is an extension of incandescent lighting; both are relatively small in size and easily dimmable. Halogen is superior to incandescent lighting as it lasts longer and offers a brighter, more vibrant light. The lights however are more expensive and radiate a huge amount of infrared heat, making them a fire hazard as well as an inefficient light source.

What is a Compact Fluorescent Light?

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) are miniature versions of full-sized fluorescents. CFLs produce their light by heating a gas, which can be harmful to both the user and the environment. CFLs screw into standard lamp sockets and offer a similar light to incandescent bulbs. Although CFLs are energy efficient and often less expensive then other energy-efficient lights, they have many disadvantages. Firstly, they contain small amounts of mercury; secondly, they have a flicker effect and are unable to turn on instantly; thirdly, they can produce a constant humming sound, which – on top of being annoying – can lead to headaches. Lighting plays an important part in how we experience our world. It impacts how we think, how we feel and how we occupy the spaces we live in. Along with time, it is commonly referred to as the 4th dimension of architecture. Lighting techniques shape our moods and affect the ambience of a space. We can feel alert or calm depending on whether cool or warm light is present. Similarly, we can add drama to a space through direct light, or soften a space through indirect light. Employing accent lighting will emphasize the depth of a space, while installing orientation lighting will encourage specific passages and influence the flow of movement through a space. More of these techniques are outlined below. When it comes to choosing a light, knowing its Colour Rendering Index (CRI) is one of the most crucial and valuable features to be aware of. A high CRI will ensure spaces, their occupants and furnishings appear vibrant and colourful, rather than dull and bland – one downfall of fluorescent light. LED lights often vary significantly with their CRI, so check product information carefully. Brightness however is the most important aspect of lighting design. A bright light will set a positive mood and allow tasks to be performed with ease. Australia has established a set of standards that enforce minimum brightness levels for a range of settings. Below we have recommended types of downlights and their spacing requirements to meet the standards and bring exceptional lighting to your space. Good luck with your lighting design. David O’Driscoll Brightgreen CEO and Senior Product Designer

Australian Standard Lux Levels

Brightgreen recommends the following lux levels for both residential and commercial spaces. All residential recommendations are only suggestions, as there are no Australian standards dictating light levels in homes. All commercial recommendations however are in accordance with the Australian Standards Lux Levels (AS 1680 series) for commercial settings.

*Lux Level measures the light intensity falling on a surface. One lux is equal to one lumen per square meter. For more information visit Lighting School Terms. ** No luminaries closer than 2m to the walls. The following assumptions were incorporated into the data: all roofs 2.7m, all tables, benches, desks are 0.7-0.8m high.

Types of Lighting

Lighting can be categorised into the following application types:

  • General Lighting
  • Indirect Lighting
  • Direct Lighting
  • Task Lighting
  • Accent Lighting
  • Projection Lighting
  • Orientation Lighting
  • Wash Lighting

General Lighting

General lighting refers to an even illumination, commonly found in horizontal spaces. It can include a basic lamp on a table or a lighting fixture in a ceiling. General lighting can be further divided into direct and indirect forms.

Indirect Lighting

Indirect lighting uses room surfaces such as ceilings or walls to act as light reflectors. By bouncing light off different surfaces, a soft and uniform distribution of light with minimal shadowing occurs. Indirect lighting is helpful for making spaces appear brighter and more spacious, as well as useful for lighting vertical surfaces such as bookshelves.

Direct Lighting

Direct lighting occurs when 90 to 100% of the emitted light is distributed in the general direction of the surface to be illuminated. Often the light is cast downward, making it suitable for working areas. Brightgreen’s award-winning D900 downlights available in both Curve and Cube offer direct lighting.

Task Lighting

Task lighting occurs in functional spaces that require concentrated purposes such as reading or writing. Task lighting is often brighter than other forms of lighting, but varies depending on the nature of the task. As an example, hospital surgical rooms require brighter light levels than libraries.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is generally applied to decorative lighting designs and is intended to highlight elements and objects in a space. Accent lighting allows certain objects to stand out or attract more attention in a given space. This type of lighting is commonly found in jewellery stores and other retail settings.

Projection Lighting

Projection lighting is used for projecting signs, patterns and images with lights. Projection lighting can be seen as its own art form and is often found in contemporary art spaces and exhibitions.

Orientation Lighting

Orientation lighting provides orientation and guidance around a certain space or landscape. An example of this type of lighting are the lights highlighting each stair in a cinema. This type of lighting requires low illumination levels and often uses small light sizes.

Wash Lighting

Wash lighting is a form of lighting often used to emphasize architectural designs or objects in a room. This type of lighting allows room properties to be highlighted and noticeable to occupants in the space. Wash lighting is often applied in museums or large public areas and can further be divided into symmetrical and asymmetrical forms.

Standards & Policies

Building Code Australia

The  Building Code of Australia  (BCA) contains the technical provisions of the minimum safety, health, amenity and sustainability specifications required of new buildings. It also acts as the nationally consistent building regulations of all states and territories. As of May 2011, the BCA requires lights in all new building designs to operate under five watts per square meter and provided a calculator for this new standard that can be viewed here. This requirement makes halogen bulbs an unfeasible option due to their energy inefficiencies.

Green Star

Green Star  is as an environmental rating system that evaluates the design and construction of buildings in relation to the environment. There are nine different rating tools to guide building developments, and points are awarded for each level achieved. A project will be Green Star certified if it achieves a score of 45 or above. Eleven percent of Australia’s CBD commercial buildings are currently Green Star certified.

National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE)

The  National Framework for Energy Efficiency  ensures the Australian market is receiving its full economic potential of energy efficiency. The NFEE has two stages; the first consists of nine policy packages that focus on extending or developing current energy efficiency measures. The second package focuses on new energy efficiency measures, including MEPS and Halogen Phase Out (see below).

Halogen Phase Out

The Australian Government is gradually phasing out all inefficient sources of light and replacing them with energy efficient types, such as LEDs. To achieve this, the government has introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all lighting products and placed a restriction on imports of incandescent lights.

The Halogen Phase Out will deliver considerable savings to the environment and the economy, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, energy-efficient types of lighting will be made more available and encouraged in a mass market.

MEPS

Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are included on products so consumers can recognize energy-efficient products. Since being implemented in 1999, MEPS has increased energy-efficiency ratings across a range of appliances and equipment. Products manufactured in Australia or imported here must meet Australian MEPS or face execution from the market.

NEW RESIDENTIAL

BASIX

The New South Wales Government has designed a web-based planning tool called BASIX that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions released from homes. All home builders must submit a BASIX certificate in order for their home development to be approved. BASIX is a free online program that analyses and scores information relating to prospective homes, such as size, building materials and location. This data is evaluated and assigned a score based on recommended targets for energy efficiency.

EXISTING COMMERCIAL

Building Code Australia

The  Building Code of Australia  (BCA) contains the technical provisions of the minimum safety, health, amenity and sustainability specifications required of new buildings. It also acts as the nationally consistent building regulations of all states and territories. As of May 2011, the BCA requires lights in all new building designs to operate under five watts per square meter and provided a calculator for this new standard that can be viewed here. This requirement makes halogen bulbs an unfeasible option due to their energy inefficiencies.

Green Star

Green Star  is as an environmental rating system that evaluates the design and construction of buildings in relation to the environment. There are nine different rating tools to guide building developments, and points are awarded for each level achieved. A project will be Green Star certified if it achieves a score of 45 or above. Eleven percent of Australia’s CBD commercial buildings are currently Green Star certified.

National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE)

The  National Framework for Energy Efficiency  ensures the Australian market is receiving its full economic potential of energy efficiency. The NFEE has two stages; the first consists of nine policy packages that focus on extending or developing current energy efficiency measures. The second package focuses on new energy efficiency measures, including MEPS and Halogen Phase Out (see below).

Halogen Phase Out

The Australian Government is gradually phasing out all inefficient sources of light and replacing them with energy efficient types, such as LEDs. To achieve this, the government has introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all lighting products and placed a restriction on imports of incandescent lights.

The Halogen Phase Out will deliver considerable savings to the environment and the economy, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, energy-efficient types of lighting will be made more available and encouraged in a mass market.

MEPS

Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are included on products so consumers can recognize energy-efficient products. Since being implemented in 1999, MEPS has increased energy-efficiency ratings across a range of appliances and equipment. Products manufactured in Australia or imported here must meet Australian MEPS or face execution from the market.

NEW RESIDENTIAL

BASIX

The New South Wales Government has designed a web-based planning tool called BASIX that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions released from homes. All home builders must submit a BASIX certificate in order for their home development to be approved. BASIX is a free online program that analyses and scores information relating to prospective homes, such as size, building materials and location. This data is evaluated and assigned a score based on recommended targets for energy efficiency.

ESS

In July 2009 the NSW government launched ESS, a scheme that creates financial incentives to reduce electricity consumption and encourage energy-saving activities. The scheme awards businesses that undertake projects designed to reduce their electricity consumption or improve their energy efficiencies. Participants of the scheme are provided with energy savings targets to meet and awarded accredited certificates when these are achieved.

Green Star

Green Star is as an environmental rating system that evaluates the design and construction of buildings in relation to the environment. There are nine different rating tools to guide building developments, and points are awarded for each level achieved. A project will be Green Star certified if it achieves a score of 45 or above. Eleven percent of Australia’s CBD commercial buildings are currently Green Star certified.

1200 Buildings

Regulations now require new office buildings to meet minimum sustainability standards and levels, however most existing buildings in Melbourne do not meet these requirements. To change this, 1200 existing commercial buildings will be installed with more efficient technologies and materials to reduce their greenhouse gases emissions. The program is currently in operation and aims to be complete by 2020.

Green Building Fund

The Green Building Fund offers grants to reduce greenhouse emissions from Australia’s commercial buildings. Very similar to 1200 Buildings (see above), existing buildings are retrofitted to improve their energy ratings and lower their greenhouse gas emissions. The fund is looking to expand its grants to shopping centres and hotels in the future.

NABERS

NABERS, an acronym for the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, is a performance-based rating system applicable to existing commercial and residential buildings. NABERS measures a building’s environmental impacts such as energy, water and waste. NABERS assessors educate building owners or occupants on how to manage or reduce their environmental impacts. NABERS ratings are publicly available and included on property signs when leased or for sale.

National Solar Schools Program

The National Solar Schools Program offers Australian schools a head start in tackling climate change by implementing various conservation practices. Grants are available to both primary and secondary schools to install various energy-efficient practices and technologies, such as solar power systems and rainwater tanks. The program also informs students about climate change and increases their awareness of sustainable living practices.

VEET

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme (VEET) is an energy-saving incentive that applies to energy retailers. Energy retailers can be VEET certified if they provide energy-saving products and services that are suitable for households. The scheme is designed to help families purchase energy-efficient products, which will decrease their power bills as well as reducing their greenhouse emissions. VEET’s primary goal is to reduce residential greenhouse emissions by 60% before 2050. You can work out the rebate on our products by downloading the calculator here.

National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE)

The  National Framework for Energy Efficiency  ensures the Australian market is receiving its full economic potential of energy efficiency. The NFEE has two stages; the first consists of nine policy packages that focus on extending or developing current energy efficiency measures. The second package focuses on new energy efficiency measures, including MEPS and Halogen Phase Out (see below).

Halogen Phase Out

The Australian Government is gradually phasing out all inefficient sources of light and replacing them with energy efficient types, such as LEDs. To achieve this, the government has introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all lighting products and placed a restriction on imports of incandescent lights.

The Halogen Phase Out will deliver considerable savings to the environment and the economy, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, energy-efficient types of lighting will be made more available and encouraged in a mass market.

MEPS

Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are included on products so consumers can recognize energy-efficient products. Since being implemented in 1999, MEPS has increased energy-efficiency ratings across a range of appliances and equipment. Products manufactured in Australia or imported here must meet Australian MEPS or face execution from the market.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund

The Sustainable Melbourne Fund invests in sustainable projects that will enhance Melbourne’s environment and deliver economic benefits to the city’s citizens. Established in 2004, the fund focuses on projects relating to water, energy and waste, as well as business ventures and new technologies. Drapac and Waterless Woks are two successful projects the fund has invested in. Melbourne organisations and businesses that have ideas for sustainability projects are encouraged to apply.

Sustainability Fund

The Sustainability Fund invests in a variety of projects relating to green innovation, green practices and methods of increasing sustainable behaviours. The fund currently supports eco-living education centres, waste-management technologies and an ABC television series. Since its creation in 2005, the diverse array of projects has helped drive innovation and increase Australian awareness of environmental issues and solutions.

EXISTING RESIDENTIAL

NABERS

NABERS, an acronym for the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, is a performance-based rating system applicable to existing commercial and residential buildings. NABERS measures a building’s environmental impacts such as energy, water and waste. NABERS assessors educate building owners or occupants on how to manage or reduce their environmental impacts. NABERS ratings are publicly available and included on property signs when leased or for sale.

National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE)

The  National Framework for Energy Efficiency  ensures the Australian market is receiving its full economic potential of energy efficiency. The NFEE has two stages; the first consists of nine policy packages that focus on extending or developing current energy efficiency measures. The second package focuses on new energy efficiency measures, including MEPS and Halogen Phase Out (see below).

Halogen Phase Out

The Australian Government is gradually phasing out all inefficient sources of light and replacing them with energy efficient types, such as LEDs. To achieve this, the government has introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all lighting products and placed a restriction on imports of incandescent lights.

The Halogen Phase Out will deliver considerable savings to the environment and the economy, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, energy-efficient types of lighting will be made more available and encouraged in a mass market.

MEPS

Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are included on products so consumers can recognize energy-efficient products. Since being implemented in 1999, MEPS has increased energy-efficiency ratings across a range of appliances and equipment. Products manufactured in Australia or imported here must meet Australian MEPS or face execution from the market.