Blog

My blog - here is where I talk about the latest in lighting design and how to make it work for you. 

Testing the Power of Fiber Optic Art in Healing Spaces With a Tremendous Kickstarter Campaign

 I get a lot of emails asking me to accept a guest post on a promotional topic or write a post about this or that product or project. I usually don't entertain those requests. Then one floated into my inbox last week and it stunned me. So I have no choice but to share this project with you all.

Lyn Godley is a not a household name, but perhaps she should be. Over the course of her career she's worked at the nexus of lighting and art to create stunning installations for The American Craft Museum, NYC's Jewish Museum and the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, to name a few.

The focus of her recent work are art installations that weave together computer aided design, charcoal drawing and fiber optic lighting. The results are installations that are beautiful to look at during the day and inexplicably visually soothing when internally illuminated.

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What you're seeing in the photo above are photos of the ocean. The white caps have woven fiber embedded in them which are made to be luminous, giving the scene an otherworldly feel. These pieces have been found to be not only mesmerizing but therapeutic. Given my deep interest for how sensory input can impact health and well being, the Kickstarter campaign Lyn Godley's Design Studio has launched is of particular interest to me. From the Kickstarter Page:

Research shows that there are measurable physiological effects from both art and light that could explain the effect of "calming" that we witnessed during the solo exhibit in Cologne. This is why it is important for us to get this work installed where we can further test this work in healthcare settings.

I encourage you to watch the video below and then head to their page and make a donation. The power of the art is so evident that they've already hit their initial goal. Initially, the idea was to upgrade the light source and hardware of the piece to make it viable for institutional use. Once the final piece is upgraded it will be donated to a hospital. Having met that financial goal they've added a stretch goal - for every additional $10,000 they raise another piece will be donated.

 

One last note, I don't know Lyn personally. I'm not doing her a favor. I just think this art is beautiful and it could be a powerful addition to healing spaces. I hope this post raises exposure and good luck to the team at Lyn Godley Design Studio!

Big Changes For Me

For nearly the last two years, I've worked as a freelance independent lighting designer. To say it's been a wild ride would be a bit of an understatement. Being out on my own has afforded me the ability to work on a wide a variety of projects from pop-up stores to dance. Being a freelancer has been a terrific learning opportunity for me and it's been nothing if not an adventure. The adventure is taking a new path starting right after Labor Day. I've taken a job with Stan Deutsch Associates, based here in Long Island City. SDA is a lighting representation firm with over 30 different manufacturers on its line card including Cree, DesignPlan, ILight, Lumenpulse, The Lighting Quotient, Vantage and Wattstopper, just to name a few.

Joseph Abboud Showroom Market Week 2012

Joseph Abboud Showroom Market Week 2012

So what will I be doing with SDA? My job is to work with businesses and institutions in the Long Island area who would benefit retrofit projects geared at reduction of energy use. This goal aligns perfectly with my personal mission to reduce energy consumption through great lighting and it affords me the opportunity to take the concepts I've written and talked about and put them into practice in the field. I'm looking at this job as a great balance between being self starting and "on my own" but having the support of a terrific office and company behind me. 

The Jersey Couture Pop-Up Beauty Bar

The Jersey Couture Pop-Up Beauty Bar

As far as my online/social media life not much is going to change. I will continue to be one of the lighting people on twitter and G+. The website will be re-vamping a little bit in terms of focus as I won't be trying to build a book of freelance business any more I've taken down the pages offering architectural and event lighting services. As you can imagine my "about me" page will also be changing a bit too. However, I have no intention of taking down or changing the blog and my work in social media won't be changing either. As always I'll be writing about the lighting-related issues that are grabbing my attention and I think are important. 

Thank you all for sticking with me and this blog. I've tried to be one of the places people can come to for lighting information and I've always tried to get people thinking about light in new and bold ways. I have no intention of stopping that effort. Stick with me…who knows what this next chapter holds?

 

 

My Unsolicited Advice to Lighting Retailers

We're Selling Light Bulbs Wrong

I've worked in the lighting business for over a decade. I've installed lamps in every kind of fixture imaginable. From an HPL in a Source Four hanging over a balcony to a bi-pin halogen in an outdoor flood lamp. Yet when I go to Home Depot or Lowe's even I get a bit overwhelmed. There's a wall of lamps of different shapes and sizes all promising me amazing performance. 

If Home Depot or Lowe's or Walmart or Target or any other big retailer is listening, here's a piece of unsolicited advice on how to make the American public feel better about their lighting choices. If you're a manufacturer here's what your marketing materials should talk about.  

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Start Speaking the Customer's Language

What is often missing is the common language that home and business owners are looking for. They want to know if the new light source is going to feel the good in the space. Here's an exercise. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's on a Saturday. You'll probably find someone looking pretty bewildered in the light bulb aisle. Go talk to them, but not as a lighting expert. I actually like to play totally dumb. I'll look at the huge display of light bulbs and say something like, "it used to be easier, right?"

You'd be surprised at what such a small comment will spark. You'll hear home owners talk about specific problems. The light at the top of the stairs no one can reach. The new light bulbs in the kitchen aren't bright enough. They'll talk about wanting things to feel brighter or softer. They'll talk in terms like "pretty" or "traditional" and they'll describe a lamp with their hands. You'll hear things like "I want a lot of light in my kitchen."

 

Very few people walk into a retailer with the goal of saving money with their lighting choices. 

Very few people walk into a retailer with the goal of saving money with their lighting choices. 

When we work with this stuff everyday it's easy to forget the people who actually live with our specs don't. Here's a short list of things you'll never here in Home Depot. 

  • "Jeez, how many lumens per watt does this lamp get?" 
  • "When will someone break the 95 CRI Barrier with an LED A-Lamp Replacement?"
  • "Hmm I wonder what the accepted deviation in CCT is between lamps for this particular manufacturer."
  • "Boy I'm really looking for this light bulb to save me money."

OK, a couple of things. You're selling these fixtures, right? Why not get a bulb in every socket? Also label the fixture with the recommended bulb. Help people understand their choices visually.  

OK, a couple of things. You're selling these fixtures, right? Why not get a bulb in every socket? Also label the fixture with the recommended bulb. Help people understand their choices visually.  

How to Change the Lamp Buying Experience 

Retailers

  • Show off your stock. Light is meant to be experienced. Not talked about. If you're proud of your lighting stock then turn it on and and display it. Does it dim? Well then give folks dimmers to play with. 
  • Have someone friendly and knowledgable at the displays ready to answer questions. 
  • Label your display fixtures with what bulb is inside. This simple step alone would make it much easier for people to understand what lighting they're getting from a given bulb. 

Manufacturers

  • No one is used to buying a light bulb and expecting it to last a decade or more. Stop talking about long term savings and ROI. 
  • Start talking about beauty. People want the light in their homes to be beautiful. 
  • Very few people care about energy efficiency in lighting. Perhaps they should, but they don't. 
  • Explain the kind of light the customer is buying in terms like "perfect for your side table lamps" or "perfect for your recessed cans" give people a scenario for use. 

That's my unsolicited advice for the lighting industry. What's Yours? 

 

3 Ways Lighting is the Low Hanging Fruit of Residential Sustainability

We Need Sustainability Gains Now

The planet is facing huge challenges when it comes to the future of our natural resources. Buildings in the US use more energy than cars, and our homes are no exception. Between our major appliances, our electronics and climate control our homes use an incredible amount of energy. In 2005 the estimated total was 128 Billion Btu of energy. Lighting represents 13% of all residential electricity consumption roughly 186 billion kWh (Source: EIA 2011)

That feels like an awfully big number to chip away at, but there are reasons to be hopeful that lighting can lead the way to more sustainable American homes. Here are three ways lighting is the low hanging fruit of residential sustainability. 

The Rise of LED

The fully dimmable beautifully warm Cree A19 replacement lamp. 

The fully dimmable beautifully warm Cree A19 replacement lamp. 

 If you follow lighting news at all, then you've known about the growth of LED for a long time now. If you've kept up with my blog then you know that by and large I'm a big fan of LED especially in the face of the larger challenges our nation and the planet are facing. There was a time when LED was not ready for residential applications, that time has passed. With companies like GE, Philips, Cree and Lighting Science Group all vying to replace our 60 watt bulbs with LED alternatives, the race is on to create the workhorse lamp of the 21st century. 

There are countless amazing LED down lights and replacement lamps coming to market every few weeks. Each of these products offers not only the promise of reduced wattage but a much longer life of service. 

Infographic courtesy greenbusinesswatch.org

Infographic courtesy greenbusinesswatch.org

The Simplification of Advanced Lighting Control

When it comes to reducing the amount of energy used by lighting systems there is nothing more effective than a lighting control system. From turning off unneeded lighting, to dimming sources as part of a preset scene, lighting control systems are imperative to reducing the wattage of today's residential lighting.

The floor plan light switch gives you a graphic way of knowing what lights you're turning on and off. 

The floor plan light switch gives you a graphic way of knowing what lights you're turning on and off. 

Up until fairly recently programming lighting control systems only had complicated interfaces controlled by central hubs that no one could understand. Today, lighting control is getting more and more intuitive. On the high end lighting control firms like Lutron have residential control systems for your entire home that can be programmed from a smart phone. That's terrific, but what might be most exciting is a product like Philips Hue which relies on a control protocol born of the Internet. Once you open up the control protocol to something anyone can program, it becomes ubiquitous. Great lighting control is becoming reachable for everyone, not just those who can afford a fancy centralized control system. 

Total Sidebar: Using the online automation tool IFTTT you can program Hue to do all kinds of things like say, turn the lights pale blue when it rains.  

The Hue Starter Pack

The Hue Starter Pack

The Sustainability Opportunity of Exterior Lighting

When you're as much of a geek as I am you take time to read US Department of Energy reports titled: Residential End-Use Consumption Study: Estimation Framework and Initial Estimates. Let me tell you, it's a page turner. 

All kidding aside, through a formula I don't quite understand the people who created this study were able to take self-reported survey data and census data and extrapolate estimates on how much energy we use from lighting in our homes and where we use it. There are many incredible data points in the report but there was one that really struck me. The average American home's lighting uses 4,679 watt hours of electricity, 1,610 of those watt hours comes from exterior applications! That's right nearly 35% of all of our lighting watt hours come from lighting applications not within our homes, but elsewhere on our property. 

This represents a huge opportunity for efficiency gains, especially given our first two points. Exterior lighting rarely requires the kind of perfect color rendering and color matching demanded for interior art lighting. Exterior applications are ripe for LED retrofit which would dramatically reduce energy consumption in this sector. Let's take the simplest example possible - the driveway flood light. 

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A typical PAR30 halogen flood lamp uses 50 watts to generate 660 lumens. The new Cree BR30 Flood lamp uses 9.5 watts to generate 650 lumens. Average use of an exterior light is 3 hours per day. At that rate the LED lamp is estimated to last 22.8 years. It also casts a beautiful warm 2700k light. This is really is a no brainer.

Lighting Is the Forefront of Building Sustainability

I love being part of an industry that is innovating as rapidly as the lighting industry. By embracing LED technology and new control protocols the lighting industry is making it easier and more affordable to cut daily wattage usage down in American homes and businesses. Lighting is at the forefront of the sustainability movement. That makes me proud.  

Announcing The G+ Interior Design Community Sustainability Summit

Join Us September 5th at 8PM EST

Two weeks ago, we had a hangout in the Interior Design Community called "How Can We Help?" Susan Serra, Laurie Laizure and I explored some of the ways the interior design community can help make the world a better place. One of the many offshoots of the that great conversation was the need to have a hangout dedicated to the topic of sustainability. So I dug into the Rolodex (also known as LinkedIn) and started brainstorming on how to make a panel of terrific experts on the subject. The goal here isn't to solve the sustainability problem. It's to dive into the topic of sustainability from a high level so interior designers and brands in the interior design space can get a sense for what this sector of our economy is all about. If you're an interior designer we want to encourage your practice to get greener, and if you're a brand we want to encourage you to shift toward making more sustainable products.  

We've assembled a terrific panel for this discussion and I couldn't be more excited to get to sit with these ladies and discuss what I think it the most important discussion we're not having in the industry today. So without further ado let me introduce our panel of experts. 

KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz

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Founder and CEO of Sustainable Life Media and Sustainable Brands. She launched Sustainable Life Media in 2004, and its flagship brand, “Sustainable Brands” in 2006. Sustainable Brands is now the premier international community of change makers seeking to lead the way to a flourishing future through the power of better brands. The community now touches 500,000 professionals world wide on line, and hosts the world’s leading conversations on the role of business and brands to change the world, both online, at conferences on 4 continents and via an active peer-to-peer learning network.

You can connect with KoAnn on Twitter @KoAnn 

Rachel Hulan

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Owner of consultancy service providing specialized expert advice and guidance targeting sustainable interior design projects. Hulan Design is aimed at helping interior designers, architects, home owners, real estate developers and anyone else seeking expert guidance in creating residential or commercial projects that adhere to sustainable, environmentally conscious principles.  Rachel Hulan completed her first LEED Platinum for Homes project last year, and is currently working on her second.  She is also a professor at Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach where she teaches sustainable practices to the next generation of designers.

You can connect with Rachel on Twitter @RachelHulan 

Lauren Sparandara

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Lauren Sparandara is a Senior Consultant with DNV KEMA’s Sustainable Buildings and Communities (SBC) team. Ms. Glasscock obtained her management degree from Yale University and her architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Her expertise is in corporate environmental management, life cycle assessment, and green building. She is a LEEP AP and GRI Certified Sustainability Reporter. During her nearly six years at KEMA she has consulted on over 35 LEED projects of varying scale and and through all LEED systems. She was previously a LEED reviewer of LEED-NC and LEED-EBOM projects for the USGBC and is a “guest expert” on the LEEDuser.com website providing advice on all LEED criteria. Mrs. Sparandara has taught numerous LEED courses to various design teams. Notable projects include the Porto Olímpico Olympic project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the UC Davis Winery, Brewery, and Food Pilot facility, and the Oakland Airport.

You can connect with Lauren on Twitter @lsparandara.

Julie Urlaub

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Founder and managing partner of Taiga Company. Leveraging 36,000 Twitter followers and a blog with global reach, Julie speaks, consults, trains, and assists clients to powerfully engage in sustainability related issues and stakeholder communications in the social media space. Her passion is helping clients effectively pair their sustainability strategies with authentic and transparent communication for stakeholder engagement so that their social media marketing makes a bottom line impact in their business and a positive contribution in our world.

You can find Julie all over the social web, on Twitter she is @TaigaCompany 

 

Heidi Vassalotti, LEED®AP ID+C

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Architectural and Design Representative for domestic tile manufacturer Crossville, Inc. Her work in the Chicago market led to company wide innovations in the use of reclaimed porcelain and tile materials, resulting in the first cradle-to-cradle tile installation (in the John C. Kluckzynski Federal Building in downtown Chicago) and a powerful partnership with sanitary ware manufacturer TOTO USA to recycle that company’s fired porcelain refuse. Today, Crossville uses recycled material in 100% of its U.S.-made product lines and has initiated innovative programs like Tile Take Back, a unique waste reclamation program that contributed to the company’s 3rd party certification of its manufacturing processes. The company saves millions of pounds of fired porcelain waste from entering landfills each year.

Learn more about sustainability at Crossville.  

Connect with Crossville Tile on Twitter  @crossvilleinc

Don Hirsh

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Don Hirsh is manager of Cree’s state-of-the art Lighting Experience Center (LEC).  Cree, a publicly traded manufacturer of LED components, lamps and fixtures, developed the LEC to serve as an interactive educational environment where visitors can learn about LED lighting through first-hand experience.  The center is an expression of Cree’s long history of innovation and commitment to delivering top-performing LED lighting products. 

Don is a technologist who has been involved with developing and evangelizing illumination and display products for almost two decades.  You can connect with Don on LinkedIn.

Becoming a Part of the Event

As with all of our hangouts you'll be able to watch live on G+ or on YouTube. But if you have questions for our panel of experts we want to hear them! Head to the Interior Design Community on G+ and post a question with the hashtag #IDCSusty or tweet your question with the hashtag #IDCSusty and we'll do our best to include it in the conversation. 

Want to Learn More? Head to the Interior Design Community on G+

Or

Head to Our Event Page

 

Every Criticism of LEED You've Ever Heard Justified in One Building

The Failure of the Bank of America Tower

The Bank of America Tower Image Courtesy ArchitectureWeek.com

The Bank of America Tower

Image Courtesy ArchitectureWeek.com

The LEED program of the USGBC has been criticized since it's birth. Some that criticism is fair and some of it is unfounded. Well this article in the New Republic goes a long way to knocking the legs out from under the LEED program.  

From the Article (the emphasis is mine):   

According to data released by New York City last fall, the Bank of America Tower produces more greenhouse gases and uses more energy per square foot than any comparably sized office building in Manhattan. It uses more than twice as much energy per square foot as the 80-year-old Empire State Building. It also performs worse than the Goldman Sachs headquarters, maybe the most similar building in New York—and one with a lower LEED rating. It’s not just an embarrassment; it symbolizes a flaw at the heart of the effort to combat climate change.

Anyone who's ever really done any study of LEED can tell you that the program is flawed. It provides a framework for creating a more sustainable building, but it doesn't do anything about how that building is occupied. The article goes on to explain why the building is performing so much worse than advertised. 

The biggest drain on energy in the Bank of America Tower is its trading floors, those giant fields of workstations with five computer monitors to a desk. Assuming no one turns these computers off, in a year one of these desks uses roughly the energy it takes a 25-mile-per-gallon car engine to travel more than 4,500 miles. The servers supporting all those desks also require enormous energy, as do the systems that heat, cool, and light the massive trading floors beyond normal business hours. These spaces take up nearly a third of the Bank of America Tower’s 2.2 million total square feet, yet the building’s developer and architect had no control over how much energy would be required to keep them operational.

So in the end despite the green design of the building and the bells and whistles that went into it, the actual use of the building is nowhere close to "green." So what's the lesson here? I think it's important not to blame the building for the tenant's occupation. The rain water collecting roof, the waterless urinals and all of the other green bells and whistles are a good thing and we shouldn't throw out good design features because of bad metrics.  

At the same time, it is completely disingenuous to have a building rating system that presents a building as "green" while taking no account of the occupancy of the building. This allows Bank of America to relish in the press' praise at the ribbon cutting, then immediately consume inordinate amounts of energy when the building is occupied. This allows developers and owners to get all of the praise on the front end and none of the criticism on the back end. 

Lastly, this story proved to me the importance of municipal energy auditing. We know about this because NYC commissioned a study of energy use. So we have real data and not fuzzy math. We need more of this kind of data not less.  

As a designer, my take on this is simple. We can only control what we control. Designing a lighting system that is efficient and beautiful is the charge of the lighting designer. Designing a building that's as energy responsible as possible is the architect's charge. We cannot be responsible for occupancy. I just wish LEED reflected that.  

 

Can Natural Light Be An Inspiration for Lighting Design?

The Power of Natural Light

This morning I had to walk Frankie very early for reasons we don't have to get into. As I stumbled toward the local park (only 1/2 a block away) my senses were awoken not by the scent of coffee, though that would have been wonderful, but by the beautiful first light of morning gently pouring in from the east. 

This morning's sunrise was obscured by trees and reflected off the pond. 

This morning's sunrise was obscured by trees and reflected off the pond. 

The entire park was bathed with a blueish purple light a light that felt more suitable to swim through than walk through. The tranquility of the morning light was stabbed through occasionally by the bright orange street lighting surrounding us. There are so many lessons a lighting designer can draw from a moment like this. For instance:

  • I'm sure my light meter would have read 1-2 foot-candles as I walked through the low grass toward the pond, yet everything was visible. Our eyes adjust.  
  • Contrasting shadow is beautiful - even light isn't necessary.
  • Light can have color if it's subtle.  

I've been fortunate enough to see lots of decorative and architectural lighting. I've seen beautifully lit rooms and spaces. I've worked on custom fixtures designed by some of the most recognized names in the world. At the same time, walking with Frankie exposes me to a lot of natural light. I will tell you hands down that natural light continues to inspire far beyond anything I've ever seen in an architectural application. 

It was actually this view that first snapped me out of my morning haze. Something about the gentle brightness of the sky set back behind the darkened leaves. 

It was actually this view that first snapped me out of my morning haze. Something about the gentle brightness of the sky set back behind the darkened leaves. 

Maybe it's because I come from the theater where light is meant to do all kinds of amazing things like replicate forests or sunrise. Maybe I just l love big bold statements, whatever the reason my internal inspiration scale always lights up when in surrounded by beautiful natural light. 

This was last night's sunset. The light burst through the clouds as the sun made it's way to bed. This level of contrast and shadow would never be allowed in an architectural lighting design. Yet it is completely stunning in the natural world. Why can't we take more risks?

This was last night's sunset. The light burst through the clouds as the sun made it's way to bed. This level of contrast and shadow would never be allowed in an architectural lighting design. Yet it is completely stunning in the natural world. Why can't we take more risks?

What inspires you? What makes you think big thoughts and makes you want to change the way things are done? 

 

When Will We take Collective Action on Sustainability?

The Earth Is On It's Way to 10 Billion People

Think about that for a second. Population growth (though slowing) is continuing and it's estimated that we will hit 10 billion people by roughly the year 2100. While there is certainly debate about what that means, there can be no doubt that there are already too few resources for the world's population to share. Don't believe me? Here are a few stats:

  1. 1.2 billion people don't have access to electricity. (Source: Washington Post)
  2. 11% of the world's population 783 million people don't have access to clean drinking water. (Source: UN) 
  3. 870 million people are hungry. (Source Worldhunger.org citing the UN
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 Now consider that average American uses:  

  • 11,040 Kilowatts of electricity 
  • 441 gallons of gasoline
  • 4,759 cubic feet of natural gas

...per year. (These facts are nicely inforgraphic'd here. They come from EIA.) 

I don't bring up these facts to make us feel guilty. I bring them up because the developing world aspires to someday be, well, us. They want our cars and our big houses and our glowing televisions. At the rate of population growth and as the rate of wealth increase in places like China and India, it is becoming clear we are on a path of too few resources for too many people. 

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I won't pretend to have a grand plan for how to solve this problem, though Richard Branson has a pretty cool idea. However, in the face of these facts and simply looking down the road ahead it is flatly irresponsible to go on with business as usual. We must reconsider how we do everything and get ourselves on a greener, more sustainable path.  Our kids will wonder how we knowingly continued to consume in the same manner, kept up with business as usual.  

Stop Passing the Buck

  • No, lighting designers, energy consumption isn't a supply side issue. Stop being wasteful.
  • Yes, it's possible to build a luxury home out of sustainable supplies. Don't do what's cheapest and fastest.  
  • Interior Designers - specify brands with a commitment to sustainability.  
  • You are a decision maker on some level. Decide to conserve resources, try to work differently. Make the world a little better.  

 

Defining White Light with an MR16 is Nearly Impossible

The White Light Problem

Later on this afternoon I have a site visit with a client. We'll be trying out a number of different MR16s to re-light her living room and kitchen. This morning I did a little testing just to refresh myself on the quality of light between the different lamps. The testing revealed to me that consistency in the MR16 form factor, whether it's halogen or LED is completely lacking.  

 

Halogen MR16 Flood versus two LED MR16s

Halogen MR16 Flood versus two LED MR16s

The purpose of my initial testing was to compare the color of a common Halogen MR16 flood light (the beam on the left and two 3000k LED MR16s. As you can tell, even the iPhone's camera picks up the subtle differences in the color temperature of the different sources. I expected LED to be different from the halogen, but not as different as they were from each other.  Keep in ming the LED MR16s are from one manufacturer and were ordered at the same time. 

 

Halogen MR16 Flood on the left, LED MR16 Flood on the right

Halogen MR16 Flood on the left, LED MR16 Flood on the right

This test was meant to compare a halogen MR16 Flood to an LED MR16 flood. They were closer in color temperature, but there were some other interesting things. Note the strange warm area in the halogen beam. and the un-evenness of the center beam. Meanwhile on the LED side you can see the edge of the beam are trending warmer than the center, though for the most part I thought the LED had fewer artifacts within the beam than the halogen.  

 

Three different beam spreads of LED MR16 all from the same manufacturer. 

Three different beam spreads of LED MR16 all from the same manufacturer. 

As an LED advocate this test might have been the most disappointing. These are three different lamps with three different beam spreads all from the same manufacturer all stamped 3000k. I don't know about you, but I see three different colors here. Granted the iPhone camera actually exaggerates the differences here, but I can assure you they were equally noticeable to the naked eye.  

 

Three different halogen beam spreads same manufacturer.

Three different halogen beam spreads same manufacturer.

Before traditionalist lighting folks walk away smugly, here's one last shot comparing a flood a medium flood and a narrow flood MR16 from the same halogen manufacturer. Each lamp is brand new. Yet again I see three distinct colors on the white wall. There are also distinct artifacts and "junk" in the beam from all three. 

So let's not pretend we already had a perfect lighting technology before LED came along.  

Conclusion

In the field it would be much more difficult to notice the inconsistencies between these lamps. When you have a downlight system especially, the inconsistencies between lamps tend to blend into one another. The problem comes when you want to pin spot a piece of art or table tops. Will these look the same as the rest of the room? Based on today's test it's fair to say that the MR16 form factor while small and elegant is also enormously inconsistent in terms of light quality.