GE Lighting has announced that the renovated Innovation Center on the grounds of the US embassy in Helsinki, Finland, installed planar GE Lumination EP Series LED luminaires suspended from office ceilings. The products use GE's Intrinsx light-guide technology to realize a near-transparent look in the off state while delivering both indirect ambient light and task light when powered on.
The Innovation Center is home to numerous green and sustainable building practices including the installation of OLED lighting from Acuity in a conference room that we covered earlier this year. The embassy has attempted to use products winning recognition in the Department of Energy's Next Generation Luminaires program throughout the facility. The project is registered with the US Green Building Council with the goal of winning LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum status.
The project — including the office lighting — is winning praise, however, for lighting quality in addition to energy savings. "Looking at how we use resources more efficiently is not about sacrifice," said Bruce J. Oreck, the US Ambassador to Finland. "There is nothing about this building or others like it that says we've had to cut corners, which makes it less comfortable or less pleasing. We've achieved a better quality of light, the fixtures are more durable and require less service, and at the same time they require 70–80% less energy — to me that's about smart thinking and not about sacrifice."
The Lumination EP series is based on the Intrinsx technology that GE developed with intellectual property licensed from Rambus. The fixtures use an edge-lit light guide that essentially serves as a diffuser. The LED beams are directed by microscopic optical elements that are strategically placed in the guide during the manufacturing process to deliver uniform diffuse light. In the case of the suspended EP series, the light guide delivers light both up and down from the planar guide.
"It was really important to find a system that lit the ceiling and also provided task lighting or overall ambient lighting in an open plan office such as this," said well-known lighting designer Nancy Clanton, who consulted on the project. "GE's LED lighting met energy efficiency requirements but was also beautiful in the way it lit the ceiling and the way the light came down."
The Lumination EP products are rated for 50,000 hours of life to L82, or 82% of initial lumen output. The products have a minimum CRI of 80 and deliver efficacy ranging from 71–76 lm/W across at 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K CCT range.