There seems a mad rush to use blue light in your Fridge.


A new stainless steel fridge might look nice in your kitchen, but open the door.

What do you see? Is this what food looks like on your kitchen counter or table?

Is this what the food looked like when you bought it?

Light, and the colour of light, affects how we see the environment around us.

Do you want to see food that looks artificially cold, or do you want to see food in the correct light?

The purpose of fridge lighting is to communicate information; we need to see food, and its colour, to decide if it is healthy to eat.

Does a steak look blue, grey, or red fresh and ready to cook & eat? The colour of food helps tell us if is healthy to eat. Is opening your fridge a pleasurable experience?

Can you see everything? Does the food look good? What can you see?

LEDs can provide excellent optical control of light beams in low profile housings. Fridge interior area lighting may be improved with multiple low profile LED lights vs. past methods that used a single fridge lamp.

LED lighting does not have to have poor colour rendition. It is possible to have correct and accurate colour LED lighting in fridges.

Does the food in your supermarket refrigerator case look correct? Much supermarket food is now being lit with linear strip LED lighting. Custom LED lamp phosphor blends can offer accurate colour lighting.

What do you see inside these fridges? Does this look like food you want to eat?

Could fridge interior blue light imply a false sense of food temperature & appearance?

Will blue colour light make you think food is cold, when the fridge is off?

Does fridge lighting make food look like un-ripened fruit that should be left to ripen, but due to colour appearance might be left to rot?

Accurate light colour rendition seems a common sense consumer protection safety issue.

Should a 2000 dollar fridge come with a 2 dollar light?

Fridge interior visual design experience is important, as is accurate and well placed glare free lighting. Fridge manufacturers need to invest in more in how and what consumers see, to meet expectations, and ensure food safety.

There are standards for lighting colour quality.

Do consumers need protection from poor quality lighting colour? Yes they do.

A global view of the food we eat  look & listen to NPR’s review of the book,  ‘Hungry Planet: What The World Eats’   Photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio visited 30 different families around the world noting the food they eat

Many candelabra lamps look nothing like the candle flames they replace.

What a shame.

Good lighting provides the ‘lean forward moment’ found in film. The visual impression should be one of invitation, enjoyment and appealing appearance of space.

Too often candelabra lamps are nothing like the flames they replace.

Older style Incandescent candelabra lamps needed larger exterior glass envelopes to prevent the lamp glass from melting due to filament heat. Unfortunately many seem not to have understood the reason for this lamp construction solution and kept this larger, not to scale lamp size. It seems often fluorescent and LED sources are placed inside plastic large format candelabra lamp format envelopes…resulting in nothing but unsightly hideous glare bombs.

Good Lighting invites the viewer to enjoy the created space. Chandeliers essentially are  best only as decorative lighting. Attractive artistic shapes is what they can offer.

A dark, light story:

Ritz-Carlton Central Hong Kong.  Opened 1993. Demolished 2008.

A story told was the Interior Designer decided to be the Lighting Designer and essentially only used Chandeliers to light the hotel. The main lobby was dark & dreary and the room occupancy always low. A five-star hotel should never have had dark brooding lobbies and public circulation spaces. Overly bright chandeliers became glare bombs.  The best part of the hotel was the Health Club which had lighting designed by Tony Corbett. You could see the difference.

Lighting Design is all about what you want to see and how you want to see it. It has been said there are only three kinds of lighting. Bad Lighting which is obvious. Indifferent Lighting which while it may be technically correct, is uninspired, and Good Lighting invites the viewer to want to walk into a space to enjoy the created environment.  The viewer feels the instantaneous sensation of the film ‘lean forward moment’ and is compelled to enjoy the created space.

In 1975 Ingmar Bergman filmed the Magic Flute in the Drottningholm Palace’s 17th century Theatre.

Many years ago I traveled to see this Theatre and the chandelier candle replacement lamps. The candelabra lamps wobble independently mimicking the appearance of flames. Magic. You were instantly transported back in time, the created environment of the theater felt much the same as it would have had all chandeliers been lit with candles, but without the smokey smell smog.

This video compilation shows this unique lamp and heritage space. Seeing moving incandescent flame size lamps, was a magical experience.

Drottningholm Court Theatre Chandeliers

Unfortunately I have yet to see any decent LED chandelier candle replacement lamps which mimic the friendly flicker of flames…

Both terms and their effects, need simultaneous review when discussing LED performance decline over time.

Depreciation commonly is used to refer to the decline in brightness over time as a light source is used, known as lamp lumen depreciation.

LEDs also degrade.

Degradation, many may think of chemical decomposition but there is also elegant degradation. One or both of these conditions seems commonly referred to, and one or both, may occur at the same time.

LED performance depreciates over time as less lumens are emitted. The more any light is used, the more a light source brightness dims over time.

LED lumen depreciation can be solely due to heat conditions. Research has verified this independent of LED operation.

Evidence of LED lamp lumen depreciation is useful, however we know in addition to lumen deprecation, LED Kelvin CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) changes over time.  If change in apparent colour appearance of an LED, and lumen depreciation are plotted at the same point, we can see how these changes may parallel each other in some LED sources, while for others, they may be independent.

Decline in LED lamp lumens and colour temperature change over time varies between manufacturers. It seems sensible to test LED Kelvin CCT measurements and plot them at the same time as Lumen measurements are taken when LED life performance testing is conducted.

LED lumen maintenance curves decline due to LED use and thermal conditions.

All lamp lumen performance declines due to use. Lumen maintenance curve decline is also affected by the number of times a lamp is turned on & off, the thermal environment of the lamp and luminaire, and lamp ballast/driver electronics.

New research shows LED lumen performance declines due to heat without LEDs being turned on. During testing LEDs were turned on only for short duration lumen measurement data collection.

This has large implications for exterior LED lighting where high ambient temperatures are present, as is typically found inside luminaires exposed to direct sunlight during daytimes when luminaires are not on.

The higher the ambient temperature, the faster LED lumen performance declines. Not all high brightness LEDs perform the same way.  Different manufacturer’s LEDs exhibit different rates of decline.  Variation in lumen performance decline must be due to differences in LED manufacture technique and material.

I am interested to review Electron microscopic time-elapse images & data collected at different points along the lumen maintenance curve. No doubt, there is something new to discover to improve manufacturing technique & fabrication for more robust LEDs.

Can a new research light-up profits and public interest?
By Fred Oberkircher, IALD, IESNA, LC

In today’s corporate world of “next quarter” mentality, it’s easy to see how it could happen. The pressure to bring product to the marketplace and to maximize profits for the benefit of shareholders has made it difficult to justify the cost of research. However, this article is not intended to be a call for a rededication to the basics of lighting research, Instead, it will focus on one specific area where I believe research can simultaneously serve the dual interests of both the public and profit.

New Light for Your Life: For basically 100 years, light has been defined as radiant energy that affects the human visual system. And, why not? All the best research in the world detailed the mechanisms by which rods and cones – the only photoreceptors – received and passed along signals to the brain. The entire lighting industry reaffirmed this research by producing ever more sophisticated products to optimize the process by which light was introduced to those photoreceptors. All the questions concerning vision having been answered, the remaining issues were increasingly devoted to maximizing the profit potential of lighting products.

But over approximately the last four years a quiet revolution has been underway. It started as a series of clarifications concerning the spectral characteristics of light used in SAD (Seasonally Affective Disorder) treatments, was expanded by groundbreaking research first published in Science in 2002, and became the topic of an international conference in 2004. This research suggested that light not only had new and broad based physiological implications, in addition, this process began through a photoreceptor that was neither a rod nor a cone. Light was still radiant energy, however it now had an additional pathway with a different spectral distribution, and it affected, not the visual system, but the human hormonal system. The revolution was a new field of light – non-visual effects.

A Short Explanation: Several years ago, the discovery that SAD was a psychological disorder that could be treated with light seemed amazing – light as cure. However, as more research was conducted it was found that blue light was more effective than white light. Why? The first indication of an answer was when, in 2002, researchers discovered that mice without rods or cones could still maintain a day/night (circadian) cycle. Following a burst of research energy, it was further found that the eye of mammals – including humans – had a third photoreceptor that sent its signals, not to the vision part of the brain, but to the hormonal center, the pineal gland. And finally, this new receptor was most sensitive to – you guessed it – blue light!

Why Haven’t I Heard?: Reaction to this groundbreaking research? No major headlines, and no major industry commitment. Why? There are three answers. The first, is that the research was very scientifically detailed – conditions such as dilated pupils and extended staring at a specific light source do not typically occur outside of the laboratory. The second is that environmental conditions have historically been difficult to quantify – to what extent is the level of a specific hormone in an environmental setting due to the spectral distribution of the light and what to other circumstances? The third is that while the photometry for visual light has been almost 100 years in development, there is currently no photometry for non-visual effects – meaning that there is no consensus on how to measure the affects that may be taking place. Clearly, a gap exists between the current state of the research and the human health implications of non-visual effects.

Call for Action: While the immediate path may not be clear, I strongly believe that we must invest in knowledge and research now! Consider that sleep disruption is the number one issue for the elderly. Consider that sleeping aids are the number one prescription medication sold today. Then consider that both of these are issues for which circadian rhythm/light – a non-visual effect – have significant impact. And that’s just for starters. Research has suggested that:

• a significant percentage of the working population of northern cities may be falling asleep at work during those long dark winter days – not enough of the light necessary for that new photoreceptor.

• third shift female workers are more likely to develop certain kinds of cancer – the wrong kind of light.

• the sleep irregularities common with certain forms of dementia may be, in part due to the lighting – light at the wrong time.

Its time for the lighting industry to come together with the researchers and create a clear plan of action that includes research, measurement, and application. I believe the results will have major positive effects for both the public and profit.

The European Space Agency satellite Envisat contains a unique measurement device SCIAMACHY short for Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography. This imaging spectrometer records the spectrum of sunlight shining through the atmosphere and has been performing global measurements of trace gases in the troposphere and stratosphere for over four and a half years.

Man made pollution is one of the largest dangers for the future of the earth. Too much Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is a health hazard which causes lung damage and health problems. Measurements are made from ground level to heights of tens of kilometers.

Large amounts of NO2 pollution are hanging over Beijing and north east China and large amounts of the green house gas methane have been discovered over the Ganges valley in India. Atmospheric satellite data now spans over a decade. Satellites help tell us which countries are delivering on their promises to reduce green house gas emission and air pollution. This data can guide action now. key word SCIAMACHY

Retailers have been adopting skylighting as a design feature in stores to take advantage of savings. A typical grocery store in Los Angeles saved $10,000 per year by adding skylights. One retailer reported clothing returns decreased dramatically after installing skylights. Wal-Mart’s experience at their experimental ‘Eco-Mart’ produced dramatic results, as a cost saving measure, Wal-Mart installed skylights in only half the store. Wal-Mart saved energy using natural lighting with skylights, but something else happened. Cash registers connected in real time back to headquarters, showed sales were ‘significantly higher’ in the daylit half of the store, and they were also higher there, than in the same departments at other stores. Employees in the half without daylighting kept trying to have their departments moved to the daylit side.

Mall Remodels 2006:

Skylighting and Retail Sales: Daylighting and Human Performance

High Performance Buildings Deliver Increased Retail Sales


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