Monodraught recently published a new CPD module in the CIBSE Lighting Supplement (December 2015). 

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The module focuses on hybrid lighting, sustainability and wellbeing. It explores the evolution of lighting systems and the impact of hybrid systems on the built environment and energy costs in multiple sectors from healthcare through to education.

Hybrid lighting systems enable the use of available natural daylight, supplementing it with artificial light to meet the required level of room illumination. As well as the financial prerogative to use more effective lighting, there is a growing responsibility to design sustainable lit environments. The article considers the evolution of lighting systems and how hybrid lighting can create opportunities to meet the natural requirements of humans, improving productivity and effectiveness of the built environment while reducing energy costs.

Modern lighting emerged in 1802, when Humphry Davy created the first incandescent light, but it was not until 1879 that Thomas Edison developed the first commercially practical incandescent lamp. Incandescent lamps consist of a sealed glass enclosure (the ‘bulb’) containing inert gas, with a filament of tungsten wire inside the bulb. The halogen lamp is an evolution of the incandescent lamp, with a tungsten filament sealed in with an inert gas ‘doped’ with a halogen. The earliest commercial lamps, called quartz iodine lamps, were launched by General Electric in 1959. The compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) was invented by Ed Hammer, an engineer with General Electric, in response to the 1973 oil crisis. Today’s CFLs are cheap to purchase and energy efficient, but typically have poor colour rendering. The first light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were made in 1971 by Jacques Pankove at RCA Laboratories. Dramatic improvements in efficiency and form have been made in the past couple of years so LED lamps that appear almost identical to traditional GLS ‘bulbs’ are available. Many LED-based products now available can be controlled to alter their colour and output.

Hybrid lighting systems combine natural daylighting systems with energy efficient and ‘intelligent’ LED lighting solutions.  Hybrid lighting systems have been developed to take account of real-world applications and take ‘smart lighting’ to the next level by adding circadian controls to the more traditional on-off and dimmable controls.  By combining natural light and artificial sources currently available – potentially applying centralised, high-efficiency light sources – energy costs for lighting could be reduced significantly.  It is thought that hybrid lighting systems designed for circadian lighting in industrial and commercial working environments can reduce daytime artificial light by 50%. 

These have been applied in many installations – for example, residential spaces, schools, supermarkets, hospitals, warehouses and airports.  There have been many research projects in the education sector that have linked natural light with increased achievement rates, health and attendance. In healthcare applications, natural daylighting systems can reduce the likelihood of SAD. In retail stores, various studies have indicated that natural daylight is positively and significantly correlated to higher sales. Productivity in offices served by natural daylighting systems has also been shown to increase, with a 20% rise in output from employees – along with reduced absenteeism because of sickness. 

The CPD can be accessed through the online issue of the journal Monodraught CIBSE CPD or the printed December issue.

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