SBA Architect Shines a Light on New Trends

 

nrique (Rick) Rojas, IALD, IES, LEED AP, has over 39 years of experience as an architect and an international architectural/urban lighting designer. Rick has an extensive background in interior and exterior lighting design, daylight design, and architecture among a variety of different project types. Throughout his career, he has received numerous accolades for his lighting design work, most recently winning three Edward F. Goodwin Awards and three Awards of Merit from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Below is a sampling text submitted for the May/June issue of Snap Magazine, where Rick discusses LEDs, new products and trends, sustainable lighting and daylighting. 

Written by Rick Rojas, IALD, IES, LEED AP

The Baystate Medical Center Hospital of the Future Emergency Department project recently won an Edward F. Goodwin Merit Award from the Illumination Engineering Society of North America.

There’s no question that the future of LED lighting is in the present and that greenhouse emissions, mercury pollution and cradle to cradle energy use to manufacture and transport luminaires will vastly diminish as LED fixtures continue to replace less efficient conventional equipment. Currently, the lighting industry is being proliferated by a myriad of LED fixtures which offer increased efficacy, greater choice in color temperature, beam distribution and improved color rendering. However, designers must exercise caution to avoid the overuse of bright luminous elements that can dominate the visual environment thereby distorting spatial forms and de-emphasizing design elements. Lighting itself is a design element but the hardware is not, unless it is meant to provide an appropriate a sense of sparkle or decoration. Regardless of the source used, there’s no substitute for a quality task-ambient approach to lighting for comfort and efficiency.

New Products/Trends in Lighting

Fortunately, knowledgeable lighting manufacturers continue to advance LED luminaire technology by using specially made refracting lenses and reflectors to develop luminaires that truly perform with excellent beam control, low glare, and no harsh cut-offs.  A new generation of LED fixtures are reaching the market that ‘really’ replace fluorescent cove lights, wall slots and wall grazers…they defy the most discerning eye to detect what the light source really is. But most importantly, these new luminaires provide the indirect ambient light component that has been missing in the LED lighting toolbox.

LEDs, Sustainable Lighting and Daylighting

One of the most exciting advantages to LED lighting is that, with readily available controllers, one can fine tune and balance illumination levels and thereby create various moods. There are now new products that change color temperature when dimmed! They also offer a terrific opportunity for sustainable lighting design when incorporated with daylighting. LED luminaires can be easily programed to harmonize the interior lighting level with the natural daylight cycle and the human biological clock.

The economics of LEDs is still on the pricey side but costs are dropping as their use becomes more common place and as long as power companies continue to provide rebates and incentives to promote their acceptance in the marketplace.

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