Implementing Temporary LED Construction Lighting
Mak, Christopher Kazuo
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LED lighting technology is continuing to grow and change every 6 months. While other manufacturers and consumers are finding creative ways to implement them in their products and everyday life, the construction industry has yet to widely adopt and embrace the technology as a temporary lighting source on their projects. Although initially expensive when compared with other construction lighting systems, the cost of LEDs is decreasing while improvements in LED luminaire efficiency increases. Furthermore, the energy, maintenance, and safety benefits of a temporary LED lighting system may be an overlooked consideration for general contractors and subcontractors as (1) the information has yet to be thoroughly studied and targeted at the construction industry, (2) initial costs of entry may be prohibitive when compared with older sources of luminance, and/or (3) general contractors and subcontractors may be satisfied with the status quo. Unfortunately, improvements in temporary lighting technology for building construction have been neglected academically and within the construction industry. However, the objective of this thesis is to serve as a guide by looking at the safety, energy and maintenance benefits of LED construction lighting, through literature review, lessons learned from two case studies, and independent investigation by the author. Literature review will provide a background on how LEDs work, what traditional lighting is, who regulates quality of luminance on jobsites, and how lighting affects the safety and health of workers. 2 Next, the thesis incorporates two case studies, both of which were conducted at the behest of the University of Washington’s (UW) Capital Planning and Development office (CPD). The first case study was generated in 2014. The study, written by UW Construction Management graduate student Yi Jie Huang, focused on the temporary construction lighting at the UW’s Bothell Phase 3 Project. The report looks at: (1) the system’s installation method; (2) labor, material, and energy cost; (3) stakeholder interviews; and (4) a qualitative survey of the workers. The second case study, written by UW Construction Management and Occupational Safety and Health graduate student Christopher Mak, further updates the UW’s narrative on LED lighting, and illustrates the history and reasoning behind implementing low-voltage LEDs on their projects. The report homes in on the LED utilization at the UW’s Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF) construction site. Like the report on the Bothell Phase 3 project, the second case study looks at: (1) installation method; (2) labor, material, and energy costs; and (3) conducts a qualitative survey of workers. Finally, the author ran three quantitative studies looking at light levels, energy use, and lighting quality. Data collected is displayed and interpreted within. The final issue the author looks at is the possibility of glare, which arose during qualitative data analysis of both case studies’ responses. Glare emanating from white LEDs is a potential safety hazard and an environmental quality problem. Moreover, defining hazardous amounts of glare can be subjective and hard to quantify. The author implements a glare quantifying methodology using HDR photography, and uses the technique to gauge the quality of light emanating from ARCF’s new LEDs. The thesis concludes with lessons learned regarding how users can better implement temporary LED lighting to their full benefit from the trials and tribulations experienced by the UW, observations made by the author, and from the Seattle City Light inspection and energy incentive process.