Architecture has continuously been evolving over the years, with new trends consistently coming to the forefront.
From sustainable materials to green building design, we seem to be moving toward architectural trends that are more conscious of the environment.
One of these trends is biophilic design.
If you aren’t sure what biophilic design is, we’re here with a quick definition and how it relates to both lighting and LED drivers.
At its core, biophilic design is an architectural practice that incorporates nature into building design to connect occupants back with the natural environment. Certain countries, such as Singapore, have embraced biophilic design as an important part of their culture and society.
Examples of biophilic design can be found anywhere from hotels and bars to gyms and office spaces. Greening has played an important role in propping up Singapore’s economy. As the city-state’s economy grew, so did its population and green cover, which sat at 36 percent in the 1980s and has since risen to around 50 percent. (The Diplomat.com)
Lighting and LED drivers play an important role in bringing certain biophilic design aspects to life.
Going back to Singapore, let’s look at the Jewel Changi Airport Terminal. There, you’ll find the Rain Vortex: The tallest indoor waterfall in the world. This is one of the best examples of both art and architecture coming together seamlessly.
It’s also an example of near-perfect biophilic lighting design.
At night, the Rain Vortex takes on a whole new persona. As the water cascades from seven stories above, multicolored lighting powered by LED drivers creates a must-see light show for those fortunate enough to be in attendance.
Another example of revolutionary biophilic lighting design is the Gardens by the Bay, again in Singapore.
The futuristic nature park is dotted with tall, steel-framed trees which are embedded with over 150,000 plants. More LED drivers are used here to power another breathtaking light show throughout the park. Aside from simply being a landmark for domestic and international travelers, the park is also an example of biodiversity conservation.
In both the Rain Vortex and Gardens by the Bay, reliable LED drivers play an important role. The flicker-free lighting and smooth color transitions provided by GRE Alpha’s LED drivers are crucial components of biophilic lighting design.
GRE Alpha’s LED drivers control various LED luminaires that create lighting scenes tailored to people’s needs, based on proven and valued natural experiences. Their plug-and-play nature also ensures a simple and seamless installation for any application.
There’s no doubting that countries like Singapore are benefitting from biophilic design in their architecture. Not only does it connect people back with the natural environment, but it also creates jaw-dropping visuals for visitors from all over the world.
Biophilic lighting design plays a significant role in these endeavors.
From complex light shows to horticultural lighting, GRE Alpha’s LED drivers can be used to provide flicker-free, reliable lighting for years to come.
Today we are excited to be sharing news about the Tokyo Lighting Fair that took place from March 9th to 12th at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight). Normally, one of the largest comprehensive lighting exhibitions in Japan, this event observed Covid protocols and attendance was strictly limited.
As you may know, to further our goal of providing quality LED power solutions to different corners of the world, GRE Alpha opened a Tokyo office in 2017. The Tokyo Lighting Fair was a superb opportunity to exchange ideas with our Japanese customers and friends. It was GRE's first in person event since the Pandemic began, and we genuinely enjoyed the opportunity to make that human connection again.
On display at the GRE booth were some of our most advanced modular and dimmable LED drivers created by working with leading partners in the lighting field, like Citizen and EnOcean. These are lighting control modules that have been enhanced in multiple ways to provide more performance flexibility and meet specialized customer needs.
ENO-DIM-JP – GRE Alpha's EnOcean® dimming module, designed with 6 individual lighting segments, allows for smooth, flicker-free diming of lighting fixtures using any of EnOcean's® certified energy harvesting wireless switches. Compatible with any constant voltage LED driver, the diming module allows for seamless integration into existing LED lighting systems or new building automation projects with ease.
TUNABLE WHITE FOR CITIZEN – GRE's tunable white dimming module with EnOcean® energy harvesting switch seamlessly integrates with Citizen's white COB allowing for separate tuning of brightness and color temperature. This collaborative effort will lead to continuing new developments in greener, more effective lighting.
6-IN-1 DIMMING MODULE – GRE Alpha's 6-in-1 dimmer with built-in thermal shutdown provides full range 0-100%, smooth, high resolution diming performance for a wide variety of constant voltage LED diming applications. Flexible and easy-install, this unit comes with a multi-colored LED indicator and integrated strain relief and terminal cover.
Dimming modules which meet Global standards
Flicker-free dimming in action
Also on display were GRE Alpha's SLD/GLD Dali intelligent dimmer for home automation, the 95% efficient Smart-Dim-PWM (pulse width modulation) 240W LED dimming module, and the revolutionary XLD-Dim Eco-Dim DC variable resistor.
As promised, GRE's expert team will continue to work intensively to meet the worldwide demand for smart connected lighting with new power supplies used for smart and IoT lighting as well as upgrades to existing products. Thanks to events like the Tokyo Lighting Fair, we get the input and inspiration needed to develop new and better products.
If you have any question about the products mentioned here, are seeking driver selection expertise or anything else, we are here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our customer service and support teams are always happy to help. Looking forward to connecting with you in person soon.
The LED driver acts not only as an electrical current management system, but also protects LEDs from current or voltage fluctuations. The latest trend in LED lighting ties into wireless networks by replacing a variable resistor known as a potentiometer with wireless electronic control. One of GRE Alpha's technology partners, Lutron, offers its Caseta smart lighting control system to seamlessly integrate other smart home products such as Alexa, Siri, Google assistant, Sonos speakers and more.
As lightning-fast advancements in LED technology transform the commercial and residential lighting and markets, new challenges are constantly arising. One of the things we have learned over time is that life and reliability expectations will not be met if we do not pay attention to the type of drivers and power supplies used for powering and dimming LEDs.
While LED lighting has many great benefits -- including energy savings -- one of the potential disadvantages is LEDs require a flow of consistent and constant electrical current, at the exact required voltage.
Dimmers use an array of technologies to control light sources. Two common dimming technologies are forward phase and reverse phase.
Forward Phase (TRIAC)
TRIAC dimmers are leading edge in which the electrical current is turned off at the front of the AC input waveform immediately after the zero crossing. TRIAC dimming is the most common dimming method. While originally paired with incandescent bulbs, some models are compatible with CFL and LED loads. Forward phase dimmers are often more affordable and simpler in terms of design than other types of dimmers. However, LED's do not respond well to the irregular, "chopped" wave forms that simple TRIAC dimming provides. They work best with a constant voltage, with dimming accomplished lowering the current supplied to the LED. Attempting to use the direct output of a TRIAC dimmer could result in flickering, diminished LED lifetime and possibly an LED dimming range of less than the ideal 0 to 100%. Selecting the right components can address these issues.
Reverse Phase (ELV): The ELV dimmable LED driver is a trailing edge or reverse phase dimmer which means that the electrical current is turned off at the end of the of the AC input waveform immediately before the zero crossing. It has a lower minimum load (often 10W), making it a better choice for dimming modestly sized low-powered lighting circuits. Reverse phase-cut dimming is designed specifically for low-voltage (ELV) systems and almost always requires the use of a neutral wire. ELV dimmers are generally very compatible with LED loads, offering smoother dimming to low levels. Reverse phase dimmers are more expensive but tend to outlast their forward phase counterparts.
Flickering (typically seen with LEDs and CFLs) can be rectified by adjusting the dimming range on the Caseta Wireless dimmer. Recognizing the performance advantages and limitations of TRIAC and ELV, GRE Alpha's design team created the XLA series which incorporates a patented synchronized dimming technology that mimics incandescent dimming technology to allow full range, flicker-free dimming of LED lighting fixtures for both CC and CV loads. The long-term savings are significant.
GRE Alpha's ELV dimmable LED driver is fully compatible with most TRIAC/ELV/SCR phase dimmers on the market today. There is no dimmer on the market which provides better dimming performance or wider dimming compatibility. To maximize savings and sustainability, you can source the ELV driver directly from GRE Alpha or any of our authorized distributors like Arrow Electronics. You will find the same quality reputable products at Lutron and Lutron retail outlets. Lutron's Caseta Wireless PRO products are available to professional installers. These specialty products have features that may assist professionals in installing Caseta Wireless systems in a wider range of applications.
When EnOcean pioneered their trailblazing energy harvesting technology, the world of LED lighting was instantly and forever changed. Using sustainable energy from motion, light, and temperature to power their wireless sensors, the basis for digitized buildings, services, and processes in the Internet of Things (IoT) was formed. By partnering with industry innovators like GRE Alpha, EnOcean has made a monumental contribution toward achieving the full data potential of intelligent lighting control.
A recent 3-page spread in the EnOcean Alliance Journal (Japanese version) had GRE Alpha’s/ EnOcean joint technology powering solutions on full display. With an eye on advancing smart building/office lighting solutions, the spotlight was on GRE Alpha’s upcoming 6 channel output, dimming module, which uses EnOcean’s energy harvesting technology. A variation of GRE’s original 1 channel wireless dimmer, ENO-DIM-JP.
The new ENO-DIM-JP module is designed with 6 individual lighting segments opening worlds of new usage scenarios in intelligent building applications.
Source: GRE Alpha
With expanding ecology requirements and a wide variety of demands for the lighting environment (low current and high voltage), GRE Alpha has further leveraged EnOcean’s energy-harvesting technology and their own LED driver and dimming expertise in further partnerships with global CoB suppliers. Those efforts are speeding up the path to advances in tunable white lighting control solutions that highly flexible, maintenance-free, and easy to install.
Interestingly, the very same GRE/EnOcean technology that is doing so much to advance the lighting industry is also making inroads into non-lighting applications like wireless gate control and sanitizing spray systems. The EnOcean Alliance Journal 2020 JP spread featuring GRE Alpha lighting control technologies appears on pages 21,22 and 23. For more information about the upcoming 6 control dimming module or any GRE Alpha product, please visit the GRE enquiries page.
Since the first LED was invented over half a century ago, the evolution of LED lighting technology and proliferation of cost-effective LEDs set a new standard in homes and businesses alike, proving to be versatile, long-lasting, and highly efficient. Though it took several decades for LEDs to gain traction, once they did, technological advancements started coming at a fast and furious pace. In the last few years, tunable white lighting has entered the mainstream of LED design promising to change the world in a significant way.
What is Tunable White?
Tunable white, or Kelvin changing LED lighting, is a system that enables the color correlated temperature of lighting (CCT) to be adjusted in both intensity and color appearance with the intention of aligning with circadian rhythms or activities that require more physiological or psychological engagement. LED lighting mixes red, green, and blue channels to deliver a range of colors across the color spectrum that can simulate natural light.
With conventional tunable white products, there are two controllable phosphor-coated LEDs; one warm-white color (usually around 2700K) and a second cool-white color (usually 5000K to 6500K). There are also newer products that use three or more LED primaries which gives them the capability to produce a wider range of colors than simply different CCTs of white. The right color temperature and illumination achieved through tunable white lighting can make a real difference in visual perception by bringing the dynamics of natural light indoors.
Ushering in an Unprecedented Level of Comfort and Control
An article published by GRE Alpha in 2018 talks about the health benefits of tunable white lighting. While the information remains completely valid, more advanced control systems and higher output options are coming to market all the time bringing things to life that were formerly inconceivable. Now, with as much as 90% of our time spent indoors, the push by the lighting design community to more effectively leverage the power of tunable white lighting will only continue to surge.
Recently, supported by a tunable white dimming module custom-designed by GRE Alpha to enable ON-BBL (blackbody locus), ZIGEN created the world's first ON-BBL 2-channel tunable white COB LED (the ZG7 series). This remarkable patented technology using 3 phosphor color ranges from 2000K (sunrise) to 5000k (sunset) which eliminates the unwanted pink found in conventional tunable white LEDs and expands the adjustable color range to align with human-centric lighting applications.
The kind of ingenuity and forward-thinking being exhibited by companies like GRE Alpha and ZIGEN are resulting in more sophisticated products that are improving the usability of indoor spaces and simulating the natural cycle of daylight that defines our 24-hour internal clock (circadian rhythm), enhancing pleasure, alertness, coordination, and mood. Whether in a commercial, residential, healthcare, or education environment, tunable white lighting can be adapted for virtually every occasion and activity...
Clearly mood is a major player in tunable white, but aesthetic vision, usability and flexibility of spaces are huge as well. Versatile, long-lasting, and highly efficient, existing tunable white lighting can be modified in any space to adhere to the preferences of a new owner and give spaces the flexibility to change on a seasonable basis. More and more, when spaces are remodeled or rebranded, owners are opting to update lighting to tunable white.
Where GRE Alpha comes in
The key to achieving the perfect balance of color and intensity is the use of more sophisticated lighting control modules that allow for gradual tuning that has a smooth temperature gradient without color distortion. A perfect example of this is GRE Alpha's pioneering SLD DimTW2, a CV tunable white LED dimming module. This unique plug-and-play dimmer accepts 0-10V/1-10V control signal and enables smooth, dynamic color temperature shifts of 2000K to 8000K. It has opened ease of upgrade and options for color tuning applications that improve the dynamic of light.
With more new products and partnerships in development, at GRE Alpha you will always find solutions for a life well lit, with benefits far beyond illumination. For more information about GRE tunable white products, please visit the GRE contact page. You will find our team of experts ready and eager to provide the support you need.