A Light is Just a Light, Right?

Prospective client question #21: “What’s the big deal? LED, fluorescent, incandescent, it’s just a light bulb right?

There is some truth to that question isn’t there? Why make a big deal out of it? When it comes to energy efficiency lighting there is more to LED technology than just saving some coin.

“We just need people to stop thinking about sockets and how to fill them. With LED lighting we can do things we’ve never done before. Our only limitation is our imagination.”

Don Peifer, director of product development, Architectural Lighting Works (ALW)

Researchers are finding that LEDs positively impact:

  • shopping
  • learning
  • healing

Retail – Did you know that lighting can impact shopping behaviors? It is more than just being able to get around the store without bumping into things, good lighting improves the image and atmosphere for the shopper. LEDs are better on the eyes, more controllable, and better able to accent product. The better a product looks the more likely it will be bought.

“Retailers need to recognize that investing in lighting is as important as investing in store layout, merchandising, design, and branding.”

Mai Carr Zakerin, product strategy manager, Cree Inc.

Schools – How about in schools? What can LEDs do for learning? Research has found that specifically designed lighting, now easily available with LED technology, demonstrated both retention and comprehension of ideas as well as reduction of observable hyperactive behaviors. LEDs’ ability to change the color or intensity of the classroom lighting can increase engagement with materials or have a calming effect.

Hospitals – Research has also shown that static artificial lighting, without adequate daylight, can wreak havoc with patients’ circadian rhythms. It disrupts sleep patterns, lowers mood, and subsequently interferes with healing. Full-spectrum light that changes dynamically throughout the day and night, on the other hand, can help keep patients’ sleep on track, creating a pleasant atmosphere that transforms and personalizes the hospital experience. This is what Philips lighting calls people-centric lighting – understanding the visual, biological, and emotional effects on humans and putting their needs first.

While in its simplest application, a bulb is just a means to give lighting. LEDs, however, offer so much more than older technology.