52 in 52 – Design Three Complete

Give me some color!

I know, there are those spending millions to blend RGB light to eliminate color separation. I prefer in this case to embrace it, and enjoy the effects. By placing these devices at different angles and distances in relationship to a subject, the effects on walls and ceilings is interesting and painterly (odd word, but fitting.)

Each of these modules includes a 1A driver, 3 Lumileds Rebel LEDs, 25 degree optic and individual intensity control. Just aim and adjust the balance between the colors and dig the results. I chose to use the Red-Orange, Green, Blue combination, as it produces the best whites in blended areas, and can make yellow.

The heat sink is thermally bonded to the aluminum body, while the end caps are Delrin. The little diffuser surrounds are Teflon and produce a nice glow.

The pattern areas will be a combination of mixed light background, or can fade from one color to another. Shadow patterns can be intense, and are magenta, cyan and yellow. The light the three modules delivers is impressive, totaling around 650 lumens total.

52 in 52 – Week Three Kickoff

01/18/10 – Week Three
I like gadgets and toys as much as anyone. I particularly enjoy clever little doo-dads that put out. This week I’m going to indulge myself with a trio of little gadgets in matte black, powered by Lumileds Rebel R-G-B LEDs, producing around 150 lumens per gadget, with a 25 degree optic to get things under control, the individual controlĀ  and aimablility will create interesting mixes and special effects in the corner of a room. Rather than hide the hardware, I’m thinking t them hang out and be seen, all black oxide, black anodize and a little italian gloss red to create a touch of contrast. Stay tuned!

Design Is Key to Efficiency and Quality of Illumination

In response to a growing sentiment that “playful” design is doomed due to the demand to cut energy use, that we must give up quality to cut watts quantity. I could not disagree with this more. In fact design plays a much larger role in cutting energy use than anyone is, giving it credit for. In fact, I contend that design of an application plays a larger role than reaching for some ultimate efficiency number. The two renderings shown here were created in AGI32 using photometric data from available LED products. The effect of design on the quality of a space and its energy use are clearly illustrated. The only factor changed between these two renderings is the lighting system applied. All other factors are identical.

72Watts – This “efficient” design uses (6) 12W”high efficiency” luminares rated at 52 lumens per watt to meet the illuminance requirements necessary for the space – an average of 12 Fc throughout. Yet, there is not a lot of interest here – the space just looks flat. There is very little focus or dimensional definition beyond the physical objects themselves.
40 Watts – This space uses more luminaires with narrower beam spreads, and lower efficiency – but of smaller wattage each. The result is greater definition of the space, more visual interest, and an energy savings of 48%!

Don’t buy into the baloney that energy conservation requires one must eschew design. Instead embrace the use of artful application of light to reduce the amount of light being thrown into a space from luminaires with poor control but high efficiency – use less light, with greater focus onto target surfaces. The art of lighting design is about design for vision, not meeting prescribed illuminance levels on some plane above the finished floor. The best designs create the most interesting and visually attractive space with the least amount of energy. We do not want to live in a world where the only qualifier of efficiency is the luminaire manufacturers data sheet above all else. Not only will this lead to greater energy consumption, it will reduce the quality of space we all live within for no reason. We need more design, more interest in the application of light, and less influence of purely empirical calculation.

Design has been devalued by those who believe lighting is something to be applied to meet minimum standards, that “effect” is a luxury that we can live without. This is why we live in offices with uniform illumination levels and flat surface rendering that gives us all headaches and eye strain. We know we don’t like it, ut live withit it. Why? Dynamic vision is created as much from the design of dark releif within a space, as it is from applying light onto horizontal planes within a calculation tool. The difference in these renderings are subtle in 2 dimensional presentation. In the 3D space we all live within, the effect is far greater and more readily felt and seen. With a greater degree of design expertise, we can realize greater energy savings AND an improvement in visual performance and quality.

More 120VAC LED Experimentation – The Frankenstein PAR20

In the process of retrofitting lighting into new and existing designs, I come across particularly problematic situations that no products on the market seem to exist. The most recent was a single head pedant I needed a light source with a light pattern somewhere between an old R20 spot and a PAR20 Flood, at around the R20 flood light output. The fixture was designed around the R20 and its soft beam.

I tried a couple commercial R20 LED products, and found them all to be too harsh and splashy, and too narrow in distribution. So, I figured, how hard can this be? I was impatient and tired of buying stuff that don’t work…

Igor! gather me up some parts!

With a heat sink from an older project salvaged from a spare parts bin, a PAR20 cadaver, a tortured to its death screw-base CFL lamp, a fresh 4W 120VAC Acriche LED and my precious collection of epoxies (glue is what holds the world together) – I headed to the lab. The surgery started with cutting the PAR lamp apart with a glass-cutting band saw to separate its optic head from the body. Next was to cut the socket off the plastic CFL ballast compartment, leaving its remains on the floor. After soldered the leads onto the LED, it was glued it to the heat sink with thermal epoxy, then joined to the PAR 20 optic with standard 5 minute epoxy. Wires lead through the heat sink into the socket, grafted to the internal lead wires left from the CFL separation. I filled the socket with epoxy putty to stabilize it and keep the nervous system in its place, then pressed it onto the back of the heat sink. It was done… and not a drop of blood was spilled.

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