Posted by: nedpelger | December 29, 2008

LEDs: The Future of Architectural Lighting

The march toward real innovation in sustainable design seems slow. Lots of folks copying dim ideas like roof gardens, but few creative approaches that try new concepts. Of course, good design to minimize heat loss, maximize effieciency and provide lots of outside air (Build Tight, Ventilate Right) continues to make sense, but the innovation of big new ideas seems small.

Along those lines, architectural lighting of buildings has always plagued me. The aesthetic value soars, but so do the energy costs. If the owner turns off the lights to save energy, heh, “We’re in the dark here.” I saw some gorgeous, yet efficient bridge lighting that got me thinking.

This article on nine unique bridges highlights the beautiful X shaped cable stayed bridge with two crossed lanes recently completed in San Paulo, Brazil. While greatly improving traffic flow in the city, the graceful towers and cables add a remarkable design element.


Yet the daytime beauty pales compared to the night view of this marvelous structure. By utilizing an intelligent LED lighting system for architectural lighting, the long term operational and maintenance costs greatly reduce. The video below illustrates (with a cool song as well).

The LED lighting system gets further described in LEDs Magazine. I challenge you to think creatively about how the projects you work on can be done in a more sustainable manner. To get your mind moving in that direction, these LEED guidelines are free and help you understand the basics quickly. I encourage you to download the LEED checklists for the type project you’re working on. Review the items and determine if you could suggest any sustainable improvements to your current project.

Remember, Learning Leads to Advancement…and it’s fun to surprise people and make them re-think their assumptions about you.

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