Technological leap: from fluorescent lamps to LEDs

Swiss Post

Balanced tunableWhite saves the day: optimum light colours for visual tasks

At the start of the collaboration, the existing lighting solution was based on fluorescent lamps that had no light direction functions and was at the end of its life cycle. Consequently, the lighting level at the Swiss Post mail centre was low. Besides improving the light quality, the project partners wanted to achieve a modern, sensor-controlled lighting solution: the aim was for the existing static light to switch on and off automatically according to the presence of employees in individual areas.

An additional factor was the special lighting situation at mail sorting desks, which are staffed around the clock: particularly during the night shift, it was important to reduce blue light so that the employees’ body clock – known as the circadian rhythm – would not be disrupted. It was also vital to eliminate glare and reflections on the shipments that were to be sorted by hand

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts as a research partner

To record the qualitative effect of the upgrade, the project was monitored in a scientific study: the Institute for Building Technology and Energy at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, headed by Prof. Björn Schrader, surveyed the manual sorting staff before and after the renovation work. The focal objective was to research individual experiences of lighting in the workplace. Based on the results, the Institute developed concrete recommendations for the optimum settings of Zumtobel’s balanced tunableWhite solution.

Easy upgrade thanks to the TECTON system

One advantage proved to be that a large number of tracks from Zumtobel’s multifunctional TECTON continuous-row lighting system were already installed at the Härkingen mail centre. This meant Zumtobel could simply replace the existing T16 fluorescent tubes with state-of-the-art LED units. The TECTON system consists of multifunctional trunking, which contains the lighting controls and emergency lighting in addition to the power supply. Thanks to its 11-pole current-conducting section, the system is ready equipped for future connections.

Sensor-controlled lighting cuts energy consumption by 40%

The key factor here is the flexibility of the lighting concept: individual areas have 200 lx lighting, while others have up to 1,500 lx illuminance. The integrated sensors from Kellerkom can also detect when people are present in the area or not. This enables the luminaires to switch off automatically once everyone has left a specific area.

‘This is cutting energy consumption by 40% and significantly reducing Swiss Post’s running costs. At the same time, we have increased the lighting level – even doubling it in some areas.’

Beni Zehnder, Zumtobel Lighting Consultant