Lighting systems in buildings consume

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1.1: Study Background

Climate change is rapidly increasing in our environment due to an increase in gases such as carbon dioxide and methane produced by humans and animals in the Earth’s atmosphere. As humans we have a moral responsibility to control and save the environment. The built environment is one of the major impacts towards greenhouse gas emissions. Designers are now pressured to design sustainable buildings that have less impact on emissions that damage the environment.

The term sustainability means to save natural resources for future generations. Many buildings indirectly use resources such as fossil fuels which are converted into energy.

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Lighting systems in buildings consume some of this energy. “Lighting accounts for around 15% of the energy bill in most homes, and around 25% in commercial buildings. It is supplied by electrical power plants using fossil fuels, and is responsible for a significant percentage of carbon dioxide emissions” (Marshall 2009)

To help combat how we as consumers use electric lighting an alternative can be achieved via sustainable lighting. Sustainable lighting can be defined as, “Lighting that meets the qualitative needs of the visual environment with the least impact on the physical environment.” (Service Lamp Corp. 2001)

Light is an electromagnetic radiation, which means it is partially electric, magnetic and radiates.  Light starts off from atoms (electrons that orbit the nucleus). When energy is absorbed by an atom the electrons shift up to a bigger orbit. When the atom loses the energy the electrons shift back down to the original orbit, while the electrons shift back down they emit light in the form of electromagnetic radiation. (Sarlina 2009)

This document will review material on lighting systems in the office environment. The document will start with a brief history of the light bulb and then go on to how humans interpret light. The document will discuss how LED technology would be utilised more in offices and discuss the importance of migrating to LED lighting systems in offices for a more sustainable environment.

The thesis will include three known case studies on LED lighting installed in offices to gather and compare data in order to evaluate how LED lighting would suffice in real life environments.

1.2: Brief History

The history of modern lighting starts off with the invention of the arc light in 1810 by Humphrey Davy. This worked by connecting a battery to a strip of charcoal using two wires. The strip of charcoal was charge with electricity and glowed. (Jacks 2003)

In 1820 Warren De La Rue used a piece of platinum placed inside a tube.  A current was passed through the tube and the platinum lit well but the bulb did not go into production because platinum was very expensive.

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