Many architects and lighting designers are using LED strip lighting because they can be installed anywhere to add powerful lighting in a wide range of colour and brightness. The LED strips can be installed in places where conventional lighting systems are not possible. They are easily customizable in various lengths and cuts for a project.

Berkeley Lab worked with Building Energy Exchange (BEEx) on a LED lighting project composed of comprehensive light and occupancy sensors including connected window shade controls. Berkeley Lab hopes that the project will speed up the market’s adoption of smart lighting systems. Meanwhile, BEEx will continue with its work to further its educational mission for the benefit of lighting designers and specifiers that are working on commercial projects.

In the office smart lighting trial in New York City, the project manager monitored the energy consumption as well as the characteristics of the office space for a full year before it was retrofitted with solid state lighting (SSL) and controls. During the retrofit, fluorescent T5 lighting was replaced by dimmable LED fixtures like LED strip lighting to deliver direct and indirect lighting. The floor-to-ceiling windows were installed with automated shades. Connected sensors were spread along the open space to detect local light levels and occupancy.

The project also considered the thermal elements of the mostly open space particularly the windows and daylight that can heat up the space. Linear slot diffusers were installed on the top of the windows to mitigate rising temperatures. Underfloor air distribution diffusers were used to improve air flow and allow localized control.

The aim of the smart lighting project is to create a balance between natural light and visual and thermal comfort so that workers can still enjoy a good view. Whatever will be learned from the project will allow BEEx to develop a series of tools for design professionals and building managers.

With the availability of a wide range of products, customers are increasingly looking at LED strip lighting for their homes and offices. Since LED lighting strips can be virtually installed anywhere, they can be used as an ideal replacement for conventional lighting systems that have limitations for creative design and special effects.