Can a classroom teacher, business leader, physician, or retailer trigger a desired behavior with a single tap? That’s the promise of tunable white lighting, a proven way to orchestrate light quality, color, and intensity to transform the indoor experience. As a growing body of scholarship has demonstrated, the effect of lighting is profound on health and mood. A tap of a wall display can now enhance individual and team engagement, improve performance, and lift well-being.

While the idea sounds simple, up until recently the idea of specifying it for schools, businesses, hospitals, and retail locations was a challenge.

Architects and lighting designers looking to specify the new lighting technology faced a harsh choice. They could mix-and-match LED luminaires with off-the-shelf lighting control systems. Unfortunately, that choice created daunting controller calibration issues across locations and even fixtures.

The other choice was to opt for a single-source, closed-loop approach. Although this method solved one problem, it created others: High expense for a system over-engineered for most applications.
In recent weeks, Philips Lighting North America, based in Somerset, N.J., announced a breakthrough tunable white lighting system that offers a rapidly-scalable, full-featured system without the drawbacks mentioned above.

The new Philips system was previewed this past April at Lightfair in San Diego to wide acclaim. It was released to the North American market in August.

“The Philips tunable white system is a combined offering of Philips tunable white enabled luminaires and Philips controls package,” says Rahul Shira, Philips product marketing manager, controls and software. “The controls package has been optimized to offer a uniform and predictable fixture performance that designers have been seeking. The scalability and flexibility of the controls package means that the system becomes budget friendly relatively quickly when multiple spaces on a floor are enabled with the tunable white functionality, leveraging economies of scale savings.”

The system closely mimics natural lighting, which studies show affects how we feel and function. For example, the Philips tunable white lighting system can be adjusted to cooler temperatures and higher intensities to support concentration and focus in functional activities. For activities requiring creativity and cooperation, lighting can be adjusted to warmer temperatures and lower intensities. Educators use system presets to modulate for testing, classroom calming, and general activities.

“Architects and lighting designers now have an alternative that offers a unique, comprehensive palette to address dynamic daylighting, predetermined scene setting, and personal control,” Shira says. He also points out that more and more owners understand how solid-state LED technology can transform environments:

  • Health Care—Hospitals and other care centers benefit from the natural cycle of daylight that tunable lighting can mimic, preserving a healing circadian sleep-wake pattern.
  • Retailers/Restauranteurs—Lighting is a proven differentiator and tunable white lighting can enhance product-appeal and ambiance by changing color temperatures and intensity levels with on-the-fly ease.
  • Work Spaces—Management can craft lighting to suit the task or empower employees with the freedom to optimize color temperature and brightest to suit individual tastes.

Shira says that the system supports designers with the choice of recessed, downlight, and suspended luminaires. To experience tunable white lighting firsthand, request an in-office demonstration by contacting one of the Philips sales representatives.

For more information about Philip’s tunable white technology, visit the Philips website.