Alan Morton, Managing Director of Amitex LED, looks at how the latest LED colour temperature changing technology opens up new possibilities for installers.
A recent survey by workplace solutions provider Steelcase highlights the importance of lighting, and the ability to control it. It found that 32% of UK workers are unhappy with the light intensity at work. Only 21% of those surveyed said they could alter the lighting, yet the study showed that a lack of ﬂexibility and control over their physical work environment meant a lack of engagement by workers, which translated into poor concentration and productivity.
New LED correlated colour temperature (CCT) changing technology, which is just starting to appear on the market, aims to remedy that. In the past, the decision had to be made up-front whether to opt for cool or warm white when selecting a light fitting. There were products which could be “switched” from warm to cool, but this was generally done on installation and never changed. Nowadays we’re able to offer products where colour temperature can be varied very easily, using either a remote control or simply a wall switch.
So how does this work from a technical point of view? The light fitting contains a combination of warm and cool white LEDs – with only the cool white working you get a cool white light. With only the warm white working – you’ve guessed it – you get a warm white light. Adjusting the combination will then give a colour temperature in-between.
Here at Amitex LED we’re currently offering two CCT changing products. The first is the 12W Centurion Downlighter, which allows the user to vary CCT anywhere between a warm white 3000K and a cool white 5000K. This is achieved using an optional remote control, which also provides smooth dimming down to 3%.
Operating from a distance of up to 15m, the remote has four separate channels, so can control four separate rooms or zones, with up to 100 downlighters per channel. This feature is especially useful in open plan spaces such as offices, allowing different teams to control their own space. A memory function means that once the CCT is set, the lighting comes back on at that colour temperature after being switched off.
If a simpler system is required, without a remote control, CCT change can still be achieved using a conventional wall switch, which cycles between 3000K, 4000K, 5000K and a nightlight mode.
The Centurion Downlighter is very easy to install and use, and is proving popular both for office installation and with homeowners who want the option of task-friendly cool white or cosy warm white light in their kitchens.
The second CCT changing product is our 40W/3300 lumen Zeta Panel. Like the Centurion Downlighter, it can switch between colour temperatures of 3000-5000K using either a remote control or a wall switch. Using the remote, up to 50 panel lights can be controlled from a distance of 20m, and the light can also be dimmed down to 10%. Using a wall switch, the CCT can be cycled through 3000K – 4000K – 5000K. Again, this is an ideal product for open plan offices.
So, whether your customer is an employer looking to improve the working environment or a homeowner keen to vary the mood, this CCT changing technology opens up a whole new range of lighting possibilities.