The balance of lighting. 

The definition of what constitutes a good quality lighting installation is changing. It is not expressed in terms of photometric measures and recommended illuminance levels, but rather in terms of the impact lighting has on more distant outcomes. Based on that, the lighting installations can be divided into 3 classes of quality:

  • Bad quality lighting

  • Indifferent quality lighting

  • Good quality lighting

With this in mind, the SLL Code for Lighting encourages the lighting professionals to go beyond just following the guidelines  and quantitative lighting criteria like the CIBSE recommended lighting levels. It acknowledges the importance of the influence of fashion and stimulating environments that lift our spirit. Good lighting installation should match the particular environment.

Lighting cost

Lighting enables our 24 hour society to exist, making a huge difference to the lives of millions of people. At the same time, it has a financial and environmental cost. With this in mind, the lighting recommendations have to strike a balance between the benefits and cost.

There are no recommendations for the financial cost of a lighting installation, although the lighting recommendations that are made in this guide affect the cost of a lighting installation.

The financial cost of lighting will depend on who is paying. The initial financial cost of a lighting installation is easily quantified; it would be the light fittings, controls, systems, installation cost. This all adds up to the first cost of an installation and is usually for the landlord to cover. Operating costs of a scheme will depend on how many hours it is being used and the price of electrical energy. The operating hours will be very dependant on the amount of daylight.  Maintenance cost will depend on the maintenance schedule and cost of replacement equipment. These are usually paid by the tenant. There are also disposal costs to be aware of, as under the WEEE Regulations 2013, all lighting equipment is considered to be hazardous waste and has to be disposed of appropriately. This cost is usually paid by the developer or landlord.

It has been estimated that in the UK lighting uses 18.5% of annual power generation. Improving the efficiency of lighting installations is a large part of the attempts to slow down the electricity consumption and to ensure the UK will become Net Zero Carbon by 2050.

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