Admittedly slightly later than planned, the report on our LED field trial is out today.

It’s not just any LED field trial. Specifically, it looked at the potential of the technology in communal spaces of social housing across England, and over two phases, no small amount of LEDs were installed: over 4,000 fittings.  

The communal spaces of places where people live in fairly close proximity are obviously important in determining quality of life, and when doing our research ahead of this trial, we found that local authorities and housing associations were as interested as us in seeing what LEDs could offer for the ambience of their stairwells, corridors and common-rooms. The results are more than promising.

The first phase of the trial, which ran in 2008-09, saw a 100 per cent average improvement in light (lux) levels across the sites, with two buildings showing lux improvements of over 500 per cent.

The second phase of the trial, in 2009-10, featured a greater number of individual light fittings and also saw an increase in lux levels, of 57 per cent.

‘Colour temperature’ was also measured. The existing lighting across the trial had an average colour temperature of 3,344K – close to the typical ‘warm white’ colour typically produced by fluorescent lighting.   LEDs are more efficient the whiter or colder the light is, and the average colour temperature across all the sites significantly increased to a much cooler temperature – just over 5086K. This is much closer to that provided by natural daylight.

Phase 1 saw average increases of just under 1,700 kelvin (K). In phase 2 the increase was even greater, at just under 1,800K. 

We also calculated ‘raw’ energy savings and return on investment (ever so important at this time as we well know) but, perhaps more importantly, to make it all a fair comparison, we also did ‘normalised’ calculations – as in, we worked out how much electricity the original lighting would have to suck out to produce the light the LEDs did, and how that would affect the cost-effectiveness of an investment in LEDs at scale.

You can get all this and more from the full report and press release by visiting our website here. But the truth is, this study was about light – the most visual thing of all – so it seems more appropriate that we let some before and after pictures tell the story.