What Is Lighting Engineering Design?
Looking for a lighting and electrical engineering design company can be hard. There are just too many options to sort through and without a proper background or knowledge on the subject, how is one supposed to choose the right firm? Besides the overall cost, there are factors like energy efficiency, quality of light and lighting products, and design aesthetics to consider.
Let’s start by understanding what lighting engineering design is as a whole.
Lighting Engineering Design
Lighting design and engineering concerns itself with far more than just simply installing a couple of light bulbs in a room. It involves various architectural engineering aspects like aesthetics, energy efficiency and consumption, quality of light, and lighting products as well as the technical components of the process. Lighting engineers have product design, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering skills that produce innovative results and lighting layout designs in the built world.
An interior design focuses on aesthetics and combines form with function. Their designs center around the client’s image. On the other hand, an electrical engineer focuses on technical issues and utility and efficiency. More often the perspective of an interior designer and an electrical engineer clash with each other.
A professional lighting designer and engineer builds the bridge between the interior designer and the electrical engineer.
Goals of Lighting Engineering Design
Any professional lighting designer and engineer worth their money would concentrate on some common aspects of any project. The foremost factor will be energy consideration and efficiency.
A quarter of the electrical power generated in the United States is consumed for lighting i.e. 4 million barrels of oil per day. Lighting accounts for at least 20 to 30 percent of a commercial building's electrical energy usage, more so depending on the nature of work.
This is what makes lighting and engineering design important. Good lighting and the right placement can save up to half of the total electrical power used for lighting while still maintaining the vision of the built design and utility.
The second factor that needs to be included in the lighting engineering design is the heat load or thermal output. Lighting is a major contributor to the building heat load. Each watt of light used adds about 1 W of heat to the space. This takes 0.28 W of additional energy to cool during the summers although the additional heat (to a certain extent) may be welcomed in the winters. Lowering the lighting power energy levels to below 2 W per 0.09 square meters can lower the impact of light-generated heat on the HVAC system.
The Right Lighting Engineering Design
A lighting and design company worth its salt will incorporate high-performance and energy-efficient solutions while working on your project. Your lighting designer needs to be flexible, can adapt to the latest available technology as well as manufacture energy-efficient systems.
It is important to find a design firm that specializes in the kind of project you want to be done in your building. This will depend upon the profile of the company and their years of experience working in the field.