1:1: Topic Background:
For many years, climate change has been an increasingly widespread
issue on Earth. Carbon dioxide and methane are two gases which are majorly
affecting us on a global scale which are caused by humans and animals, they are
classified as greenhouse which majorly impact climate change. As we can see
from Figure 1, carbon dioxide makes up 65% of the total global
greenhouse gas emissions. The Carbon dioxide emitted originates from
‘direct human-induced impacts’ (EPA, 2017) such as industrial processes and
fossil fuel usage.
majorly impact the environment due to buildings which that they have designed
as they do contribute towards greenhouse gas emissions. Architects are now
obligated to design sustainable buildings to slow down the rate at which
climate change is occurring via greenhouse gases and lessen the damage to the
environment. A sustainable building is defined as ‘a building that can
maintain or improve: 1. The quality of life and harmonise within the local
climate, tradition, culture, 2. Conserve energy, resources and recycling
materials, 3. Reduce the amount hazardous substances to which human and other
organisms are (or may be) exposed and 4. The local and global ecosystem
throughout the entire building life-cycle’ (Srinivas, 2015). Therefore, the aim
of sustainable buildings is to be energy efficient and to improve the quality
of health to the building occupants by saving natural resources for the future.
Aside from the construction
process which is harmful to the environment, buildings still affect the
environment post-construction by using non-renewable resources such as fossil
fuels for energy. Lighting systems in buildings contribute to harming
the environment by consuming some of this energy. As we can see from figure 2, ‘Electricity accounts for nearly 20% of UK’s
total energy use’ (ECIU, 2016) According to the U.S. Department of energy, ‘lighting accounts for about 14% of all building electricity use
(about 10% of home electricity)’ as well as 25% of commercial buildings. (DOE, 2018)
To help with such a pressing matter, we as
the consumers of electricity and lighting must find methods which can slow down
the climate change process. One of these methods is sustainable lighting which
can be defined as energy efficient lighting which can benefit the environment
as well as benefit the consumer.
1.2: Historical Context:
In 1802, Humphry Davy invented the first
light bulb by inventing an electric battery. When he connected his electric
battery to a strip of carbon using wires, the strip began to glow. In 1809,
Davy publicly displayed his first electric lamp of over 10,000 lumens at the
In 1840, Warren De La Rue inserted a platinum
filament inside a vacuum tube. An electric current was then passed through the
tube which caused the platinum to glow. Although a scientific breakthrough, the
bulb was not practical for production due to the cost of platinum.
Soon after in 1850, British physicist Joseph
Wilson Swan produced a ‘light bulb’ similar to an incandescent lamp however
with carbonised paper filaments in a partial vacuum. However, the bulb’s
lifespan was too short to be the conventional means of light. After working on
his device for several years, by 1878 Swan produced a better version of his
device due to better vacuum pumps available in the 1870s. He changed his
carbonised filaments for carbonised treated cotton thread.
In 1878, Thomas Alva Edison worked on
increasing the longevity of Swan’s lamp. After numerous attempts, Edison used a
carbonised bamboo filament which lasted for 1200-1500 hours. This invention was
therefore commercially manufactured in Edison’s company ‘Edison Electric Light
The dissertation is divided into three chapter. The first chapter
focuses on the nature of the topic studied which is climate change and
sustainability, a look into the historical context of light bulbs and the aims
and objectives of the dissertation
The second chapter is a comprehensive literature review focusing on the
different light bulbs available in the market, comparing the light bulbs to
find which is the most suitable for offices, , a detailed look into LED
technology, the effects lighting has on space users, governmental regulations
and lastly, lighting requirements in offices. The research obtained for this
chapter was obtained from multiple sources including books, governmental
documents, journals and websites which have been respectively referenced.
The final chapter will address the original key question by summarising
the findings and drawing up final conclusions. This will in result answer the
key questions of the dissertation on the impact of LED technology in office
spaces and show whether my hypothesis was initially valid.
1.4: Aims and Objectives:
The aim of the dissertation is to explore LED technology, whether more
offices should use LED lighting systems to benefit them, discuss the importance
of shifting to LED in offices as a more environmentally sustainable source of
light and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing LED technology. The
questions I would like to propose are:
“Why is there a lack of LED technology used in offices? What effects
does LED lighting have on the space user; would LEDs be advantageous for their
1.5: Key Questions:
Are space users’ health being affected by light?
How is LED technology beneficial to offices and to
Why are LED lighting systems not the conventional
lighting in offices?
Is there a potential for more LED lighting
installed in offices in the future?
In the United Kingdom, there is minimal use of LED systems in offices.
Considering LED technology is a fairly new innovation, there is still a lot of
research that can still be done and obstacles to tackle that can assure people
that converting to this method of lighting is the right option.