ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Exam Prep

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Lighting Systems - Incandescent

8m 28s

In this ARE 5.0 NCARB-approved Project Planning and Design Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PPD exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to the generation or evaluation of design alternatives that synthesize environmental, cultural, behavioral, technical and economic issues.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design Exam including design concepts, sustainability/environmental design, universal design, and other forms of governing codes and regulations. 

So, we're gonna run through each of the different lighting systems real quick just to make sure we're all on the same page. First one we're gonna start with is incandescents. The incandescents are kind of interesting right now because they have been around for a very very long time, for you know, 100 plus years. But they are also being phased out and so all of the systems when we talk about different lighting systems; the CRI index, for example, it's all based on the idea of an incandescent bulb, so there's all sorts of these references to incandescents when we talk either with clients or through the technical data, or any of these things that everybody refers back to incandescents all the time, and yet we're in the process of actually completely phasing them out just because of their sort of lack of efficiencies.

So it's kind of an unusual situation. It's kind of like talking about a phone and talking about dialing on a phone when you know, nobody has used a dial phone in years, so but, because it is this sort of basic understanding and these different ways that we talk about lights, I think it's worth kind of running through it anyway.

So, a typical incandescent bulb, as we all know, kind of has that classic bulb shape, and in that classic bulb shape, we've got the ability for essentially one connection to a wire there and the other connection to a wire there and there is a sort of loop up and that loop comes down so one is connected and then the other is connected so that this filament which has a little sort of toaster-y shape to it, lot of surface area, is made out of very particular sets of metals, and those very particular sets of metals, when they get hot, get to a very particular color and so they glow hot.

Now, obviously when they get to that specific color, the reason they're glowing hot is that they are, in fact, hot, which means that they're giving off heat, so while we're getting lots and lots of good light, sort of emanating away from this particular point source, as we're getting that light, we're also getting sort of massive amounts of heat that also are emanating away from that point source.

It's essentially little tiny toaster inside a protected glass environment. There's some huge advantages to the incandescents: One giant advantage is it's really fast. You turn it on and it heats up and it is effectively on immediately. There's the subtle delay for it to actually heat up, but it's so fast you don't even really notice that, and that speed is really fairly unusual in the lighting industry.

LEDs are pretty fast, and there's a couple of other things but a lot of the other really efficient lighting systems actually have pretty significant delays and there's a meaningfulness to that in certain situations. So that's great, they're also dimmable in fairly sort of easy ways. So you don't have to have a lot of specialty electronics or anything like that you just control the amount of power that's going through it, and that will control the amount of light coming out of it.

So very simple, straightforward, dimmable, that's super handy. The fact that it produces so much heat and that its efficiency is so low, that's really the big problem with them and that's why they're being sort of slowly phased out. The shapes, the A's are sort of the, kind of classic lightbulb shape, the G's are globes, which are a bit more spherical, PAR's are parabolic, sort of directional, C's and other similar ones are shaped like candles, there's a whole series of different shapes.

When we talk about the size of these, you'll see, like, for example, an A29. Well the "A29" refers to the A shape, which is that classic shape, and the 29 would refer to 29 eighths of an inch.

So its just sort of one of those sort of funny ones where they, for whatever reason back in the day, chose to measure these in eighths of an inch, so pretty much all of the actual bulbs themselves, of all of the different systems when you're talking about a measurement size, they're actually referred to in eighths of an inch. Same thing would be true with the HADs and fluorescents and all of that. Great thing: fast, easily dimmable, they're cheap to make especially because we have so many decades and decades and decades of experience making them.

There's a lot of variety of different sizes, so like amounts of light that you can get. I can get a 20 watt bulb, I can get a 150 watt bulb. I can get all these different sizes. There are huge numbers of options available. So that's what really great about them. The downside is that, as I said, they just produce so much excess heat, that they A) can be dangerous, but also mostly they're just wasteful.

The place where that's really awesome is if you happen to have an Easy Bake oven. You just put the little lightbulb in there and it produces so much heat you can actually bake cookies with it. But most of the time we don't really want our lightbulbs to be producing that much heat. There are a few occasions, very subtle few occasions where it's actually kind of handy. You might find it in a certain garage setting or something like that where that little bit of heat actually builds up over time, and is fairly useful, or in a vestibule or in some other places where having that little extra heat actually can be a positive, but the vast majority of the time, that heat is just wasted, and we're just air conditioning it away as much as we can.

One quick sort of discussion about it I just mentioned that you can get a 20 watt bulb or a 100 watt bulb or a 150 watt bulb and so people generally in the United States, refer to the strength of light through the idea of watts.

That's actually a really bad way to do it. It just happens to be because the incandescence were there first and when you put a certain amount of power into it, it produces a certain amount of light. You put less power into it, it produces less light. So it was an easy way to discuss just, like, how much light was coming out was by how much energy we were putting in. But in fact, watts are power, not a measure of light.

And so by having turned the discussion of the measure of light into using the word "watts", it means that every time every new system since then has been a sort of complication of trying to measure back to, from watts, back to actual light. So you'll see that it'll say compact fluorecscent, uses 9 watts, but is similar to a 60 watt. And so they're just trying to tell you that its an amount of light but nobody would understand how many lumens were coming out.

It's just not something that people refer to in their everyday life and so they just don't know those numbers and so people need to hear it in the watts, but it's actually not an accurate discussion. So that's one sort of complication of this sort of, old-school nature of the incadescences sort of sent us down this sort of way of discussing these things that is not wildly helpful. But, everybody understands them, people like the light that comes out of them.

They had liked the sort of yellowy slightly whitish but mostly yellowy light that comes from them. As they start to disappear, my guess is is that people will get used to the sort of whiter lights of the fluorescents and the LEDs, and in the not-too-distant future, when you put in an incandescent bulb and that sort of yellowy cast comes from it, people will sort of wonder, like, "Wow these look really sort of odd." Like we'll get used to the new lights.

But right now, especially older generations, if you put in those brighter whiter lights, people will sort of be nostalgic for the yellowy light, but that will eventually go away. So incandescent systems, right, those are are on their way out, have certain advantages, but also a lot of disadvantages.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Exam Prep

Duration: 30h 26m

Author: Mike Newman