LEED Certification & Lighting Design

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LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a rating system for structures that were designed, built, and operated with energy efficiency in mind.

The LEED Rating System is comprised of categories, such as Water Efficiency and Materials & Sources.  These categories offer a holistic approach to green building. Within each category, there are a series of LEED credits that identify specific actions or features that would lead to greater energy savings. Each LEED credit is worth a point value toward the LEED Certification of the project, and ultimately the LEED Certification label of the building – Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum – is based on the number of points earned.

So the question is, can lighting play a role in a building’s energy efficiency? Yes, lighting design can yield great energy savings.

Sustainable lighting goes beyond just choosing and incorporating LED light bulbs; we must also take into account lighting system design intent. Design intent is the difference of simply saving energy but also improving occupant satisfaction. Good lighting design involves proper day lighting design and outside views for the people using the building.

Good lighting design creates a balance between function and artistry, while maintaining an energy-efficient and cost-effective design. Lighting design services include: interior lighting plans, exterior lighting plans, lighting control system design, lighting fixture selections, LEED light pollution analysis, LEED lighting controllability analysis, and energy code compliance documentation.

Lighting design is important to LEED Certification projects for two main reasons:

1. Reducing the negative environmental effects associated with excessive energy usage
2. Offering solutions for occupants that encourage greater satisfaction and productivity.