The Orion luminaire, a light fixture for museums

Airfal’s Orion luminaire has been chosen for the lighting of the Moshen art gallery in Tehran, one of the most important art galleries in the Iranian capital. A total of 48 units of this model left the Aragonese capital, which have been installed in the exhibition halls and corridors of the gallery.

Airfal luminaires for industrial kitchens

Airfal International presents its range of luminaires specialized in hotel and restaurant spaces. Airfal models for industrial kitchens and cold storage rooms are more resistant to more adverse conditions such as extreme temperatures, constant presence of hydrocarbons or the need for cleaning with corrosive products. 

Luminaires with Class II LED modules and DALI dimmable: which issues do they raise ?

In recent months, customer demand for luminaires with Class II LED modules and with DALI dimmers has increased, something which Airfal’s technical department advises against due to the lack of guarantees for their correct use.

To understand better the situation, it is important to know what a Class II luminaire is.

Class II luminaires are characterised by additional safety measures such as double insulation or reinforced insulation. This type of insulation is mainly intended for manual electrical appliances, where extra insulation is required as they are used by people for many day-to-day activities.

Thanks to this double reinforcement, it is not necessary to use a ground connection when installing luminaires with Class II insulation. They do not depend on space conditions, which means a significant saving of time and, above all, of money when installing them.
However for some electrical appliances and installations it is recommended to use Class II insulation, such as lighting in the interior of a swimming pool. However, the use of Class II is not recommended for luminaires with LED modules and DALI dimming.

The elimination of the grounding of the installation can cause various electronic malfunctions and this implies several drawbacks and for that reason Airfal advises against this practice.
In the case of luminaires with LED modules, the reduction of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) cannot be guaranteed by suppressing the earth connection, so it is not possible to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements. On the other hand, the grounding of LED luminaires ensures that the phenomenon of “LED GLOWING” or ghost lights does not occur. This phenomenon occurs when the luminaire with LED modules continues to emit a residual light when switched off or on standby. In the case of Class II luminaires, it is impossible to guarantee that there will be no “LED GLOWING”.

On the other hand, in the case of transients or voltage/current peaks in the power supply network, the presence of grounding causes the filters of the LED drivers to act by reducing or eliminating them. Without the presence of an earth ground connectionn (Class II), any transient will pass through the driver and reach the LEDs, shortening their life span or even destroying them.
We see in this graph a simple explanation, being the left part without grounding, and the right part with grounding:

On the right-hand side with earth connection the transient arrives much more damped than on the left-hand side without earth connection.
In the case of Class II DALI luminaires, it must be explained that DALI drivers are very sophisticated devices controlled by a small internal computer. The control and regulation of the LEDs is carried out under the supervision of a software integrated in the driver microprocessor.
For the correct operation of these devices, the computer that incorporates it needs to “measure” the reference potential 0. Without grounding, the measurement may be inaccurate, and the dimming may fail or have uncontrolled random effects (Current differences between luminaires, synchronism faults…). We can find cases of correct operation in which regulation problems may appear after some time.

In addition, the standard governing a DALI installation (IEC 62386) specifically specifies the need to have an earth connection to protect the control circuits and drivers, as shown in the following figures:

As stated at the beginning of the article, the lack of guarantees for quality, uninterrupted lighting is the main reason why the installation of Class II, LEDs and DALI dimming is not recommended.

Productivity of farms: LED lighting is more sustainable and economical

lighting farm housesAccording to Airfal, lighting plays a significant role in poultry and hog production, and has a huge impact on the performance of farms. Adequate lighting is necessary to ensure the health and growth of poultry and hogs, as the lighting needs vary according to the stages of the breeding. A well-designed, energy efficient lighting system can mean better brightness, better performance and lower energy costs.

Lighting in poultry farms

World farmers are facing a price war and must reduce their operating costs as much as possible. To meet this challenge, some farms will be forced to expand, as for example, dairy farms that will double their average size. This development implies an evolution in the technical equipment of the farms, especially the lights.

For that reason, LED lighting, which is modern and ecological, is presented as a solution that can be broken down according to the layout of each farm.

To illuminate a space as large as a building for livestock, significant savings are at stake. IN addition, maintain lighting facilities may be expansive. In this context, LED lighting, which does not require maintenance once installed, allows the farmer to focus on the day-to-day tasks inherent in his operation. Solidity is also an important criterion especially in poultry houses. The savings are measured very quickly in the short term with low power consumption.

Compared to a compact fluorescent lamp, a LED bulb has a very long life span, depending on the model, from 25,000 to 50,000 hours, ie between 6 and 12 years of use. It also has the quality not to heat and resist shocks while having high light yields with few watts consumed. Finally, the LED installations allow a variable lighting which turns out to be a real advantage in a hen house, for example, where you have to simulate a sunset.

Lighting for cattle farms

There is evidence that cattle are sensitive to light in buildings and the best results in milk production and fertility are achieved with a 16-hour light cycle of 150 to 180 lux followed by 8 hours of darkness. Indeed, the lengthening of the duration of days by means of stable lighting influences the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. By prolonging the duration of daylight in winter, melatonin production is reduced and cows are more active.

With the Farm LED light fixture, Airfal intends to limit the consumption of electrical energy. Compared to current (sodium / halogen) and fluorescent (neon) lamps, Airfal light fixtures saves up to 75% in costs. Indeed, the lifetime of the Led lamps, established at 80,000 hours and the superior production of Lumens per Watt (130 lumens / Watt) allow a lower energy loss in the form of heat.

Led lighting for parking lots and car parks

Lighting in parking lots must be functional in order se as to meet with standardssafety. Motorized vehicles walk alongside pedestrians and cyclists in places that are often cramped and difficult to access. The diversity and quality of Airfal’s luminaires make it possible to create lighting that combine safety and luminous efficiency. Due to their long service life and very low power consumption, Airfal’s Led solutions reduce maintenance and energy costs, which represent a significant part of operating expenses for operators.

Choice of luminaires

Motor vehicles emit highly charged dust that is often conductive, and that affects electrical appliances. On the other hand, many modern parks are open to the outside, which brings direct or indirect projections of water on the luminaires.
It is therefore recommended to use waterproof luminaires with IP65 rating.
For luminaires placed in the lower part at low height, the use of grilles with anti-vandal screws is strongly recommended to avoid breakage during shocks with vehicles, or vandalism-related damage.

LED technology

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) generate and distribute light differently from HID luminaires. LEDs generate light via a semiconductor, unlike HID lamps, which produce light directly from electricity. In addition, they distribute light using multiple individual LEDs and optics, unlike a single bulb and reflectors inside the unit for HID lamps. Thanks to LED technology, the light is more evenly distributed over the planned surface, while consuming much less energy.

Energy costs

When it comes to energy savings, we need to look at the powers that are usually used for HID lighting compared to LED lighting. For a typical HID lamp, the average power is between 70 and 400 watts. If we look at the same range for a comparable LED light, the power is between 24 and 82 watts.
So, we can see that just by switching to LEDs, there will be a saving of 40% to 60% of energy consumption. From a cost point of view, switching to LEDs will save you about € 300 per device per year in electricity costs. Depending on the size of your facility, this can be a very important saving.
Reducing maintenance costs
In addition to the enormous cost savings associated with energy consumption, LEDs can also save you money by reducing maintenance costs. Due to the way in which LEDs generate light, their lifespan is maximum. Instead of stopping working properly after a while, the light output generated by the LEDs degrades very slowly over time.
As a result, the functional life (often greater than 100,000 hours) of a LED luminaire can be significantly longer than that of a HID lamp. For example, by replacing a conventional 250W HID luminaire with a LED fixture, a typical installation will generate significant savings in maintenance costs.

Lighting performance

Finally, although energy savings and savings in maintenance costs are important, it is imperative that lighting performance is not compromised. Here again, the performance of LEDs is far superior to other forms of lighting. Thanks to a multi-point design, LED lighting applications often provide a more evenly distributed light. This means that the light levels on a given surface will vary less between the mounting locations of the fixtures. HID luminaires, on the other hand, often produce a “point of light” directly below the luminaire, with light levels decreasing considerably as the distance between the luminaires increases.
In addition to a uniform distribution of light, LEDs are available in a range of CCT (Correlated Color Temperatures), and therefore offer a range of options to increase the visual perception of “light”.

For more information on Airfal’s LED parking lighting solutions, contact us today. We will be happy to inform you about the potential return on investment obtained during an LED renovation.

What is a lux? How to measure the luminous flux per unit area?

Lux measures illuminance. Its symbol is “lx”.

Practical applications of lux

A Lux number indicates the luminous flux received per unit area. As an example, the human eye operates in a large amplitude of luminous flux:

  • Our full moon night vision is possible from 1 lx
  • During a very sunny summer day, our eyes are subjected to luminous flux of 130,000 lx
  • Our movements require a minimum of 5 lx to be secured
  • We read, write or work easily when the luminous flux is about 150 lx …

To understand this process, it is necessary to consider three concepts: illumination, light (lm) and lux (lx). The first is considered as the luminous flux that affects a certain area; In other words, how much light is coming from a light source on a surface?

To know the answer, we can imagine a lighting process in which a light source emits a certain amount of light; According to the international measurement system, the emitted light flux can be measured from lumens (lm). The higher the number of lm, the higher the illumination intensity provided by the source.

A Lux number indicates the luminous flux received per unit area.

When the light emitted reaches a specific area, the term lux (lx) is used. It is a unit of measurement equivalent to one lumen / m² and with which it is possible to calculate how much lighting affects a given area. However, in order to evaluate the amount of light, it is necessary to take into account aspects such as the dimensions of the space, the height of the luminaire and its distance to the target surface, as well as the photometric data of the lamps and their amount.

It should be noted that if the light source is close to the target area, there will be more lux, but if it is far, there will be less. For example, a luminaire emits two thousand lumens on a surface of one square meter, in this way one will have two thousand lux emitted on this zone, which represents a lot of light. On the other hand, if the same amount of light is used on an area of ​​20 square meters, the illumination of this spot is only 200 lux, ie less light.

To reach a luminous equilibrium, one will be able to use means, techniques and software to calculate it. In addition, the aesthetic and functional aspects should be considered according to the use of each area to be illuminated. The use of luxmeters makes it possible to obtain an optimal level of illumination.

Low temperature lighting and cold storage light fixtures


low temperarature lightingLow temperature and cold storage environments are really challenging regarding lighting. Airfal, manufacturer of industrial and technical lighting, has been developping light fittings to address these challenges, so that you can get enhanced visibility and safety in cold storage environments and in low temperature chain logistics.

Incandescent bulbs, which are scheduled to be discontinued, are not impacted by cold temperatures. However, the light bulbs replacing incandescent bulbs — compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) — are impacted by cold temperature,  though energy efficient.

Exposure to cold temperatures makes it difficult for the common CFLs to heat properly, affecting the level of illumination. Standard compact fluorescent bulbs decrease flux by up to 50 percent at 0 degrees Celsius. For that reason, the lighting industry is including substances in the bulbs, so as to enable compact fluorescent lights to work under temperatures as low as seventeen degrees below zero Celsius. For that reason, compact fluorescent bulbs takes an average warm up time of several minutes to reach full flux.

The TR3 light fixture has been developed for lighting in extreme temperature locations, such as refrigerators, freezers, coolers, and outdoor places in cold weather.

This cold weather light fixture can withstand temperatures of up to –40ºC. The variety of mounting systems allows this light fixture to be installed in places  exposed to very adverse weather conditions such as high winds, snow, heavy rain, etc. This luminaire has a degree of protection of IP 67 offering total protection against dust and against the penetration of water in prolonged immersion.

Lighting in poultry houses – Chicken farm lighting

Lighting is an essential factor in the success of the commercial production of layers and broilers. The demand for food worldwide is expected to double by 2030. To meet that demand, chicken producers are adopting new approaches to increase production at a reduced cost, with less stress on the environment. Generally speaking, the focus id on enhancing traditional inputs such as water, air, nutrients, and housing, however lighting would deserve more interest.

Light is an important aspect of an animals environment. Avian species respond to light energy in a variety of ways, including growth and reproductive performance. The value of regulating the exposition to light of poultry and livestock to stimulate reproduction has been recognized for many years and is used regularly by commercial poultry and farmers.

Many poultry producers still utilize old residential and commercial incandescent lamps in their barns. These lamps are not the best suited for poultries. Indeed, iincandescent light is not the same as sunlight, and the best light for humans is not necessarily the best light for animals.
Animals used to live under the sunlight, whose spectrum differs substantially from that of incandescent light. Sunlight is a combination of all colors. Modernfarm lighting system should attempt to mimic the sun’s spectrum. Read more

Led replacement bulbs: potential technical and electrical risks in lighting

Replacement  LED lamps (only the lamps that are replaced and installed in the already existing luminaire) have been available on the market for some time. However, there are  potential technical and electrical risks associated with this type of substitution lamps. This type of renovation can also lead to an increase in light nuisance and discomfort to users if the necessary conditions are not met.

Note: these article deals with  functional public lighting intended to ensure the safety of the users’ travel for all types of traffic (pedestrians, cyclists, motorized vehicles) and irrespective of the duration of illumination chosen. Some ambient lighting fixtures (outdoor lighting fixtures without required photometric performances for example) are not affected.

Reminder

Between 2012 and 2017, almost 80% of public lighting lamps in Europe should have been replaced according to European regulations. In Europe, many of the luminaires in service are over 25 years old and therefore present an urgency for renovation (with some  mercury vapor lamps, mostly concentrated in rural municipalities).  within the framework of the law of energy transition and the fight against light nuisance. A large number of  luminaires are still equipped with discharge lamps (SHP – metal halide) with less than 15 years of installation.

An investment not necessarily profitable

If these replacementLED lamps are cheaper to purchase, the investment expenditure , even lower, may not be amortized due to unsatisfactory performance and reliability guarantees for the safety of the users. Electrical safety, malfunctions and consequent maintenance are also questioned.

On the other hand, the guarantee of the equipment could no longer be assured by the manufacturer of the luminaire. Consequently, any breakdowns resulting from the substitution are no longer part of this guarantee and will represent an additional cost for the communities

Healthcare lighting and lighting for hospital or clinic patient rooms

healthcare lightingThe hospital environment has very specific lighting requirements. Optimum conditions must be ensured by meeting multiple expectations: for doctors and nursing staff, lighting must be able to work in good conditions. For patients, it is the atmosphere that counts, and the need to create an ambient that inspires well-being. Read more

Street lighting: nearly 73 million units installed in 2026

Worldwide, the number of intelligent lights used for street lighting could reach 73 million in 2026, compared to 6.3 million in 2017.

These figures were published by Navigant Research in its new Smart Street Lighting for Smart Cities report. This study analyzes the evolution of smart technologies in street lighting and provides a forecast for their development and diffusion in the future. Read more

Anti-vandalism and vandal-resistant light fixtures for safe and secure public places

Lighting is key for the safety of our everyday life. It is also required to deter crime and identify potential risks. In many public areas, however, light fixtures are being damaged by vandals. Whether committed by young teens throwing rocks or criminals looking for darkness, vandalism can represent a huge cost for our society.

For many years, public utilities and municipalities have been using Airfal luminaires to help eliminate the problem of vandalism.

What is an anti-vandal luminaire

A vandal-resistant luminaire is a luminaire with mechanical properties that allow it to be protected against break-in (anti-tearing, difficulty to disassemble – specially shaped screws for example, strong mechanical resistence ….). These luminaires are intended for specific applications such as public passages or penitentiaries.

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Lighting for refrigerated areas and cold rooms

Given the growing demand for fresh products, the need for refrigerated space is increasing in logistics centers and supermarkets. Appropriate lighting is essential in refrigerated warehouses because it helps to preserve the quality of stored food and helps employees to perform their work safely. Effective lighting must also take into account optimization of capital investment and maintenance costs. Read more

Farm luminaire: the latest addition to our range of light fixtures

Airfal International is introducing a new luminaire, named Farm and specifically designed for the agricultural sector.   Farm is a waterproof lighting fixture featuring an IP68 protection rating and is also shock resistant thanks to an IK10 index. The Farm luminaire is suitable for providing lighting in greenhouses, farms and nurseries.

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Lighting solutions for tunnels

Lighting in tunnels is very important as well as complex because it is not only a question of illuminating a space, but it is also necessary to provide security and visibility to a transit zone. In addition, it is necessary to take into consideration the humidity that is usually concentrated in the environment, the type of vehicles that are going to circulate through the tunnel, whether it is road or railway, as well as the length of the tunnel. Therefore, not any luminaire is suitable for these installations.

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Secure: the best selling range of Airfal luminaires

Airfal is the only Spanish company approved to manufacture ATEX lighting, luminaires for areas with potentially explosive atmospheres. Thanks to this,  Airfal a leading company in the lighting market, in which it stands out for the quality of its products, and for the fact that its range of light fixtures is 100 % made in spain.

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Professional lighting: safety and risk prevention

In addition to the search for greater energy efficiency, redesigning and optimizing lighting in the workplace can help to improve safety and prevent potential risks to people’s health and well-being.

The lighting of premises and professional lighting must at least comply with local regulations and in particular meet the legal requirements for safety at work, which can vary not only according to the sector of activity (industry, tertiary sector, agricultural sector, etc.) Read more

Waterproofing and impact luminaire protection

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Waterproofing  and impact luminaire protection

 When you open a catalogue of luminaires, we are accustomed to seeing nomenclatures and symbols that perhaps sometimes we don’t know how to interpret. Two of those parameters that more defines a luminaire are the IK e IP of the fixtures. But, what do they really mean? Do we know how to interpret it? In the following lines we will define these parameters that will help us choose which luminaire fits better our installation and its environment.

 

IP code

IP code indicates the degree of protection against penetration of solids inside the enclosure and against the penetration of water. This code shows its impermeability and their insulation from the environment, as well as ease of access by persons inside the luminaire. This code is composed of the letters IP and two digits.

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Infographics on emergency lighting: the importance of power for life safety

This amazing infographics will help us understand the importance of power for life safety. Did you know for instance that you are required to provide up to 90 minutes of backup UPS power ? And that emergency lighting consumes up to 10 – 20 % of an average building lighting consumption ?
It also sheds light on the differences between a distributed backup solution Vs a switching solution for emergency lighting.
emergency-lighting

Airfal launches the Piston Eco Waterproof luminaire

Airfal International sends to the market its new luminaire Piston Eco, a waterproof model with IK07, manufactured in Airfal and that counts with LED modules of the latest generation. This model is perfect to be installed in humid areas and outdoors.

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How to select luminaires for sports facilities?

Campo del MalecónHow to illuminate sport facilities is often a dilemma for architects and engineers. There are many parameters to take into account, depending on lighting requirements, the positioning of the luminaires and the type of sports facility. Read more

6 Reasons why you should upgrade to LED industrial lighting

A high quality industrial led lighting system will significantly improve operating costs of your company, as well as working conditions, and provide added safety. We highlight in this article some of the reasons why you should consider upgrading your industrial lighting system to LED, if you haven’t already.industrial led lighting

Industrial LED Lights are longer lasting
LED light bulbs tend to last up to 25 times longer than traditional industrial light bulbs. . One of the amazing advantages of installing LEDs is their long operating life. . Unlike other industrial lighting technologies, LEDs don’t burn-out, but they gradually fade over time. Some industrial LED light fixtures have very long operating life, with a lifespan of more than 80,000 hours.
Improved energy efficiency with industrial LED Light fixtures
LED lights usually cost more to install initially. However, those costs can be reduced due to their longer lifespan, and overall electricity usage. It is generally agreed that LED bulbs tend to use around 75 percent less energy than other types of bulbs.

Higher light quality thanks to led light fixtures

Improvements in lighting technology for led bulbs have increased lighting efficiency, as well as color quality. Improved lighting quality can affect worker performance and accuracy in a variety of activities. A new lighting installation can have a marked improvement on employee output in industrial installations.

LED lights produce less heat

Halogen and incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat. If there are combustible materials near the industrial light fixtures, then this added heat can be dangerous and increase the fire risk in your industrial facility. This also results higher energy spending since more air conditioned is needed.

Improved safety

By installing led light fixtures in industrial environments, we can improve safety in industrial areas, such as warehouses and manufacturing facilities. A new LED installation also offer higher brightness that reduce the number of LEDs required for a fixture while improving worker safety. Brighter lighting on the shop floor can lead to fewer safety problems, while improving worker output.

Maintenance of the industrial lighting installation
Regular maintenance used to be vital to ensure that industrial facilities received the desired quantity and quality of light, with traditional lighting systems. Periodic maintenance used to produce a range of benefits, including a brighter workplace, a higher level of security in the industrial facility, and enhanced productivity. Airfal industrial LED fixtures are nearly maintenance-free, which results in less time and less expenses spent in replacing light bulbs. Operational downtime is also avoided, since LED bulbs have a longer time span .

LED lights for industrial facilities are more sustainable
Green lighting is a key trend, also in lighting environments. If your company is looking to “go green”, then installing LED light fixtures into your factory on warehouse can be very effective. Becoming more sustainable can help to improve your company image, as well as reduce operating costs. LED light fixtures are more sustainable as they use less energy, and they require less overall maintenance.

Airfal adapts its TR2 for high temperatures and doubles its power

The lighting manufacturing company from Aragon in Spain has made some improvements to its TR2 waterproof model, in terms of both increasing its power as well as being able to withstand temperatures of up to 80 °C. Customer demand for the product, as well as Airfal’s ability to create and customise its lighting, have made the new version of the TR2 a possibility, and it is perfect for industrial extractor hoods.
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Blue LED lighting  to kill food-borne pathogens without chemical treatment

A new study show that  blue LED light could be used to kill common food-borne pathogens without the need for chemical treatment.  The team’s findings can potentially be applied  to preserve fresh-cut fruits, or ready-to-eat seafood such as sushi, as well as chilled meat products.

As published in Asian Scientist , a team of scientists from the National University of Singapore has found that blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) have strong antibacterial effect on major foodborne pathogens, particularly in cold temperatures (between 4°C and 15°C) and mildly acidic conditions of around pH 4.5.  Their findings, published in Food Microbiology,  open up novel possibilities of using blue LEDs as a chemical-free food preservation method. Acidic foods such as fresh-cut fruits and ready-to-eat meat can be preserved under blue LEDs in combination with chilling temperatures without requiring further chemical treatments that are commonly needed for food preservation. Read more

2015: International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies

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On december 20th, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared  that 2015 will be the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) .

Focused on the science of lighting and its applications, the International Year of the Light 2015 is a worldwide event that will stress the importance of light and optical technologies for the development of society.

This International Year is backed by a large consortium of scientific organizations including the UNESCO. It brings together many international players such as associations and scientific institutions, educational organizations, technology platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners.

With this event, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.

Light is a universal resource

According to the organizers of this global event, “Light plays an essential role in our daily lives and is located at the crossroads of many scientific disciplines in the 21st century. It revolutionized medicine, allowed the development of international communications via the Internet, and continues to influence many cultural, economic and global society policies. For centuries, the light has transcended all boundaries including geographic, gender, age, culture and race, and remains a tremendous resource to inspire training and research. »

Throughout this International Year of Light will be organized around the world at regional, national and international events, events, conferences, seminars, exhibitions and shows around the light, with among others the desire to promote technologies based on light and ensuring sustainable development.

For more information about the IYL: http://www.light2015.org/Home.html

Study reveals how light affects the well-being of patients in hospitals

lighting hospitalsA group of researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in the USA the has shown that there is a correlation between levels of exposure to light during the day and the psychological state, level of fatigue, and even pain of patients. The study suggests that patients in a normal hospital room, are sometimes exposed to too little light during the day and can not find a normal sleep-wake cycle. Other studies show that winter depression (SAD) is related in some countries to the lack of daylight during certain months of the year, during the fall or winter.

 Impact of lighting in hospitalized patients

To assess whether the light could play a role in healing inpatient, Esther Bernhofer, lead author of the study, and her colleagues collected data from 40 men and women hospitalized between May 2011 and April 2012. Patients wore a wrist device for 72 hours to measure their state (standby or asleep), and the level of exposure to light. These patients completed questionnaires to assess their psychological state, and the level of pain they felt. In general, the patients analyzed slept little, with frequent sleep interruptions, and an average of only four hours of sleep per night. Patients who were less exposed to the light during the day were generally more depressed and more tired than those who were exposed to a higher level of lighting.

 A minimum of 1500 lux during 15 minutes a day

On average, patients in the study were exposed to only 105 lux during the day. As a comparison, the average office lighting provides approximately 500 lux, and a sunny day can provide up to 100,000 lux. Previous studies have shown that a minimum of 1500 lux was necessary to establish a normal sleep-wake cycle, but it was better to be exposed to at least 4000 lux over eight hours, according to professor Bernhofer.

“So far, no one has analyzed the relationship between lighting and states such as sleep, mood and pain in the hospital,” said professor Bernhofer. ”

According to the authors, this study provides a basis to improve lighting in hospitals in order to favor cycles of sleep and wakefulness in patients, improving mood of patients and helping them to reduce pain in hospitalized adults. However, this study is only a preliminary basis, and should not be considered sufficient to change the lighting strategies in hospitals. It provides insight so as to improve the overall patient experience at the hospital, and try to accelerate the healing process.

How to assess the quality of lighting installations in the workplace

Lighting in the workplace is a key environmental factor for employees: we need to set up an appropriate work environment. Different levels of lighting are required for different types of work – close, accurate work such as soldering a control panel will require higher light levels than a waiting room.

Many laws and standards regulate lighting in the workplace. Units of measures are typically used by professionals to assess the quality of  lighting in the workplace.

Here is an overview:

Name Description Symbol Unit
Luminous flux This is the amount of energy emitted by a source in the form of visible light in the entire space per unit time. F Lumen lm
Light intensity Amount of radiated light emitted in a given point source direction. I Candela(Cd)
Luminance Luminance is a photometric measure of the luminous intensity per unit area of light travelling in a given direction. It describes the amount of light that passes through or is emitted from a particular area, and falls within a given solid angle. Measures the light intensity collected in a direction and at a point of the light reflected from an illuminated surface. L’appareil de mesure s’appelle un luminancemètre. L cd / m2(Candela per m2)

 

Illuminance Iilluminance is the total luminous flux incident on a surface, per unit area.The instrument is called a lux meter. This is an important unit of measur for the standards of comfort and safety. E Lux (lx)
Luminous efficiency The luminous efficiency of a system depends not only on the source, but also on the accessoriesof the light fixture (reflectors, light distribution grid, transparent protection). Lm / W Lumen / Watt
Color temperature The color temperature is used to determine the temperature (actual or “virtual”) of a light source, from its color. K Kelvin
Lifetime This feature is important when the cost of replacing the bulbs is expensive (if it is difficult to change the bulbs, for example in the case of high ceilings).  Hr

 

 

Lighting for greenhouses and grow lights

greenhouseThe LEDs have long been recognized for their many advantages over traditional light fixtures. Their long life span, energy efficiency and flexibility have made possible using LED lighting for a variety of applications. LED lighting is now commonly used in the agricultural sector.

Plants respond to the intensity and quality of light. Artificial lighting is frequently used to control plant growth under various conditions. Plants differ in the need for light, and most plants will grow in either natural or artificial light.
If the light is an obvious need for plant growth, it is also one of the least understood for greenhouse cultivation factors. In addition, lighting is often considered less important than the nutrition of plants. However, it is important to supplement natural day light in greenhouses. Many traditional lighting technologies can not be used because they result in excess heat, which can be harmful to plants. Photosynthesis is the use of light energy to decompose water and to transfer hydrogen from it to carbon dioxide in the presence of chlorophyll. For plants to grow well in a greenhouse, there should be a temperature and a light adapted to the plant. These conditions should allow optimal absorption of chlorophyll, essential for photosynthesis and plant growth. In recent years, research has shown that the plants are more sensitive to some particular wavelengths of light. Indeed, absorption of chlorophyll photosynthesis is increased when the plants are exposed to red light (640-660 nm) and blue (450 nm). These studies showed that the absorption peaks of the chlorophyll are within the ranges of 400 to 500 nm and from 600 to 700 nm. Read more

Lighting of car maintenance pits and car garages

lighting car workshop Car maintenance pits, in car workshops, are located below the ground level, and they are used for vehicle repair. The work carried out in the pits involves the use of highly corrosive chemicals such as brake fluids , detergents , fats … As car maintenance pits are under the ground level, there are additional risks such as fires, explosions, poisoning related to vehicle exhaust , the fall of a person in the pit ….

To secure a car maintenance pit, any sources of ignition should be removed, as explosive vapors tend to accumulate at the bottom of the pit. When working in the car workshop, we shall make sure that all the electrical and lighting installations must be explosion and flameproof. A lighting level of 550 lux is sufficient to work safely. Ventilation shall also be efficient. In addition, luminaires used must be resistant to shocks that may be caused by falling metal parts.

For this reason, it is necessary to use luminaires perfectly suited to this environment. The Secure waterproof light fixture, created by Airfal, has an IP68 protection. It offers a comprehensive level of protection against dust and against infiltrations. This light fixture is also IK -10, which is the highest level of protection against shock applicable to luminaires. It was specifically designed for ATEX zones 2 and 22 , and is therefore suitable for installation in locations where there are explosive gases or dust . This luminaire is perfectly suitable for lighting of repair and inspection areas of vehicles in garages and car workshops.

Airfal at the Light + Building Fair

We will be present, this year too, at the Light + Building Fair that will  be held in Frankfurt from March 30 to April 4, 2014, and we will be glad to welcome you in our booth. Read more

Surface mounted luminaires

superdeltaAirfal is continuously trying to create better, more efficient lamps and luminaires that balance energy consumption to quality of light.

Often there is insufficient space in the ceiling to install conventional suspended luminaires,  which leads to the use of surface mounted light fixtures:  that way, the lighting installation can be adapted to any  given situation. In addition, using surface-mounted light fittings considerably reduces the level of installation work in solid ceilings or existing buildings. The lighting installation can be easily adjusted to suit any given situation.

Surface mounted luminaires can be installed directly beneath the ceiling to create the level of lighting required for perfect working conditions. The flexible positioning of the surface mounted luminaires makes it possible to adjust the space and lighting requirements.

Airfal has a large range of surface lighting luminaires, perfectly adapted to lighting in industrial areas, offices, universities, hospitals… Well balanced luminance levels contribute to create a more cheerful and productive  atmosphere. These luminaires are a combination of cutting-edge technology, functional brilliance and aesthetic appeal.

Here are some of the surface mounted luminaires of the Airfal range:

Superdelta: an industrial luminaire with a decorative touch. Possibility of making continuous lines with the accessories, rails, etc. existing for the Delta model. Its main applications are in schools and shopping centres.

Metalic: With pre-lacquered steel plate body and gloss aluminium reflector or optionally pre-lacquered steel plate reflector included, it is distinguished by its aluminium slat, making it the perfect luminaire for schools and places with UGR (Unified Glare Rating) demands.

Deco: an innovative and economic option for lighting offices, shopping centres, etc. With a pre-lacquered steel plate body, it includes a gloss aluminium reflector and optionally a pre-lacquered steel plate reflector.

Lighting of the new San Mames stadium by Airfal

san mam

The first stone was laid on 26 May 2010 and the construction of the new stadium officially began on June 25 th,  the same year . The construction of the stadium took place in two stages: the first one, already completed, implied the construction of the two sides , the last step being the VIP lounges. It is estimated that the stadium will be fully completed in spring 2015, however the soccer team is already playing home games in the new stadium.

Lighting was regarded as a key element for the façade. Semi- transparent and waterproof luminaires were chosen for security reasons, such as the evacuation of the stadium for example.

White tone metal elements covering the stage helped to improve the visual aspect of the stadium, and to define its identity. At night, when there is no sporting event , the facade is illuminated and is  a true landmark in the city light . During the matches , it is the stadium interior lighting that take over.

Most lights used inside the stadium have been specially designed for Als Lighting, the company in charge of lighting, and manufactured by Airfal International. The architect is Cesar Azcárate , business ACXT – from  Idom .

Among the models used, not specifically designed for this stadium, there are two tubular polycarbonate fixtures, which are low consumption and high resistance to IP67 IK08 , and adapted to the lighting requirements of the entire project.

San-Mamés

For more information :
Ester Ariza Espierrez
Dep. Prensa
Airfal International

Recommended light levels for common types of working activities

A minimum level of illumination is required to read correctly and without fatigue objects and thus perform correctly (and sometimes safely) the intended task .
The level of illumination required depends on the activity to perform
Light Level or Illuminance, is the total luminous flux incident on a surface, per unit area. Usually, standards and norms define the light levels by task. The difficulty is to define the space in which the task is to be performed. The amount of light being given off by a particular source, in all directions, is called luminous flux (or “luminous power” or “lux”) and is a measure of the total perceived power of light. It is measured in lumens.
Measuring Units Light Level – illuminance
Illuminance is measured in foot candles (ftcd, fc, fcd) (or lux in the metric SI system). A foot candle is actually one lumen of light density per square foot,one lux is one lumen per square meter.
• 1 lux = 1 lumen / sq meter = 0.0001 phot = 0.0929 foot candle (ftcd, fcd)
• 1 phot = 1 lumen / sq centimeter = 10000 lumens / sq meter = 10000 lux
• 1 foot candle (ftcd, fcd) = 1 lumen / sq ft = 10.752 lux
How to measure ?
A light meter (also called lux meter) is very useful. A light meter measures the amount of visible light illumination in a given area tested. Illumination is expressed in units of LUX (metric) orFoot candles (English).

optimum levels lighting

Tunnel lighting

túnel-bielsaThe primary objectives of tunnel lighting is to ensure traffic safety by illuminating all important objects during the journey of vehicles, and to improve visibility and comfort. Proper lighting in road tunnels will ensure that traffic can enter, pass through and leave the tunnel with a great level of safety. These aims are achieved by the adequate illumination of the tunnel interior, which allows drivers to quickly adjust to the light within, identify possible obstacles, and manage to leave the tunnel without reducing speed.

For that purpose, it is compulsory that the carriageway and the tunnel walls give a clear picture of the road. The road markings and stripes should also be visible, and tunnel lighting should ensure that objects on the road are visible at a sufficient distance.

Lighting must then ensure an adequate luminance level on the road, throughout the tunnel, and that luminance ha to be distributed uniformly on the road, in wet or in dry conditions. The lighting should not give rise to glare. Read more

Lighting in parking lots and car parks

A well-lighted parking lot is a key pointlighting car park for a shopping center or a building. Well-lighted car parks do attract customers, improve traffic, as well as the safety of pedestrians. A parking lot that lacks efficient lighting may result in wasted energy, low pedestrian security, and less attractiveness, which may affect your commercial results. For these reasons, choosing the right light fixtures will result in positive effects for any parking lot.

A number of issues can arise in car park lighting applications, such as light loss that occurs due to lamp depreciation and the usual wear of the components of the light fixture. Light loss can also take place when external elements such as dirt and moisture break into into the housing and accumulate on surfaces of the light fitting, which may result in lower light efficiency. Another common issue in lighting of parking lots is related to light distribution. A luminaire’s vertical and lateral light distribution can affect the quality of the lighting installation of the car park. For instance, horizontal and vertical illuminances which are below recommended practices may reduce the visibility of approaching vehicles or pedestrians. Horizontal illuminance uniformity is important in parking lots for both comfort and safety reasons, and you will have to select the appropriate luminaire based on the required illuminance uniformity on the ground. Read more

Lighting solutions for educational facilities, schools, universities, institutions

lighting education

Lighting at school should provide a high visual comfort by ensuring an adequate and appropriate illumination level and strictly preventing the risk of glare. Lighting system has to respect the legal standards especially safety standards for electrical equipment, and to enable the rational use of energy by promoting the highest energy efficiency.

When designing the lighting system for educational facilities, the designer has to pay attention to important criteria which affect the quality of the overall lighting solution:

– Colour temperature:

The colour temperature of a light source is a numerical measurement of its colour appearance. This temperature is expressed in Kelvin degrees. Colours and light sources from the violet/blue end of the spectrum are referred to as “cool,” and those toward the red/orange/yellow side are “warm”. Light colour may affect the mood, and learning behaviour. Cool light lamps will provide similar outdoor environment, which may help some students who can’t stand staying inside for hours, while warm colours lamps will provide a more relaxed, non-threatening learning environment. A colour temperature between 3000–4000K is generally recommended for classrooms

– Light quality:

The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) expresses the quality of light. The CRI is a scale from 0 to 100 percent indicating how truthfully the individual light sources are able to copy the colouring of the object compared to the natural daylight. The higher the CRI the more faithful the colour reproduction. Light sources with a colour rendering index above 85 are recommended for classrooms.

– Energy efficiency:

Energy-efficient lighting directly affects lighting costs. By selecting efficient lamps the number of fixtures required in a school can be reduced. To calculate the total lighting costs, you should consider beyond the purchase price the average maintenance costs (cleaning, lamp replacement).

Energy savings:

Lighting can be an area for large gains in energy efficiency savings. The figures show that inefficient lighting systems in classrooms may represent 50 to 70% of electricity bills in many school facilities. Airfal offers efficient lighting solutions that help reduce energy costs while providing high quality illumination for students and teachers. Airfal lighting solutions for educational facilities (schools or universities) improve the feeling of well-being of the pupils and teachers, providing visual comfort and eye-protection that promote effective classroom teaching and learning in friendly and stimulating atmosphere.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the lighting solutions that best fit your educational institution, school or university and visit our website.

 

Lighting fixtures for gas stations

petrol pump luminaireLighting is a key factor for the proper functioning and the commercial success of a gas station. Lighting will guide your customers in the service station safely and with maximum visual comfort. Access and parking areas should be properly lighted, giving motorists a first impression of the station. Good lighting will help create an atmosphere conveying safety and quality. Researchers have found that the number of drivers turning into a gas-station and consequently the turnover of the business is affected by the quality of light. Better lighting encourages drivers to use a gas-station. Naturally, people are drawn to businesses that give a stronger sense of cleanliness, friendly service and an environment that feels safe and secure. A side effect of this tendency are the increased energy expenditures.

Lighting and fixtures must be designed to improve the energy efficiency of the petrol station. The costs related to lighting can significantly impact the financial results of your service station. In many cases, installation of an efficient lighting system will result in a significant reduction in energy consumption. Read more

Lighting in offices and workplaces

luminaria oficina

In the past, fluorescent tubes were used to illuminate workplaces, resulting sometimes in cold atmospheres, and inefficient lighting. Today, we must take into account multiples factors, including the quality of light, luminous efficiency (how well a light source produces visible light), the design of the lights , and  energy efficiency.

If lighting at the office is not adequate, the workers may get tired quicker, with more visual fatigue, which may affect their performance. To optimize work efficiency, we will therefore have to choose the right lighting. Not only does the lighting system must guarantee visual comfort, it must also contribute to create a pleasant lighting atmosphere in the office. To boost productivity of employees, a high level of illumination is required at the office. This is essential, since a physical and psychological well-being result in higher productivity.

For efficient lighting, we must take into account the activity undertaken.  Lighting levels should match the workplace and the work tasks being performed. The different areas which will be illuminated, the number of jobs, will also influence the lighting system and the quality of natural light, as well as the energy consumption induced. The laws and specific rules for office lighting should also be taken into account.

Visual comfort is influenced by many aspects of lighting . Proper lighting makes all work tasks easier. People receive about 85 percent of their information through their sense of sight. Appropriate lighting, without glare or shadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches at the office. Direct glare from the lights makes it difficult to work with computer, and over time can cause eye irritation to the employee . The ambient lighting usec should be low or glare free. Indirect or direct/indirect light fixtures provide the best lighting solutions for many offices. This kind of light fixture hangs from the ceiling and gives more even illumination. The office should be arranged to minimize glare from overhead lights, desk lamps, and windows. Excessive contrasts cause also variations in the adaptation of the eye , which slows down the work and result in errors .

Generally speaking , the minimum levels of lighting in the workplace are defined by regulations.  These levels are measured with a light meter and expressed in lux , and this lighting unit is produced by a lumen ( amount of light emitted by a light source ) on a square meter of surface. The CIBSE Code for Lighting recommends a maintained luminance of 500 lux for general offices (e.g. writing, typing, reading, data processing, etc.) and for CAD work stations and conference/meetings rooms. Where the main task is less demanding, e.g. filing, a lower level of 300 lux is recommended. 

Although it is recommended to have natural light in offices, there is no minimum requirement. But no natural light throughout the day ensures uniform lighting , and therefore it is recommended for to combine direct and indirect lighting in offices. To achieve this double exposure to direct and indirect light, we should use different light fixtures. For example, direct light from the ceiling ( neon tubes or LED lighting integrated in the roof ) can be completed with indirect lighting (desk lamps , wall … ) .

Airfal, the lighting manufacturer, features different lights  that are perfectly suited for office lighting in its catalogue :

DECO luminaire

An innovative and economical option for lighting offices , malls, etc. . With a body of pre-painted steel sheet that includes a polished aluminum reflector

SUPERDELTA luminaire

An industrial luminaire with a decorative touch. Possibility of making continuous lines with the accessories, rails, etc. existing for the Delta model. Its main applications are in schools and shopping centres –

METALLIC luminaire

With pre-lacquered steel plate body and gloss aluminium reflector or optionally pre-lacquered steel plate reflector included, it is distinguished by its aluminium slat, making it the perfect luminaire for schools and offices