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How Does Lighting Choice Affect Occupant Wellness?

LEDs disrupted the lighting industry, but as lighting efficiency improves, the focus on health and wellness must be top of mind, too. Lighting has undergone disruptive shifts caused both by new technologies, with the emergence of LEDs, and by changes in priorities, as first sustainability and then wellness have become key factors in lighting design. Shifts in lighting technology have been significantly disruptive in the past 15 years. Lighting manufacturers abandoned “Legacy” technologies, such as linear fluorescent and high‑pressure sodium, and dove head‑first into the new possibilities presented by the benefits of LEDs. The larger industry lagged – energy codes were still built based on “Legacy” sources to limit lighting power density. The larger lighting industry has fully embraced LEDs to the point where new manufacturing of legacy‑source light fixtures is essentially extinct. The value of LEED is not only in the fundamental change it produced in how green building is approached, but in how it provided defined and measurable guidance to designers, owners, and operators, how it aided in the comparison of various buildings, and fundamentally how it served as a marketing tool to show a dedication to the reduction of environmental impact.

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