When someone says that a certain building is “LEED Certified”, what does that mean exactly? In a nutshell, it means that building is green, or healthy, highly efficient, sustainable, and cost-saving. All things that EarthTronics feels passionate about as we work to manufacture EarthBulb LED light bulbs that are in line with the LEED certification process.
What is LEED?
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) founded the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system program in 2000. A voluntary credit rating system, LEED helps designers, engineers, and architects achieve maximum sustainability and efficiency. Project types can include new building design and construction, building operations and maintenance, interior design and construction, homes, and neighborhood development.
For each project type, LEED has a list of credits with specific requirements regarding anything from building materials to bicycle storage. Points are awarded based on the degree to which the requirements are met. There are four possible overall ratings for a project in the LEED system: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum (the highest).
Read about our own Grand Rapids, Michigan positioning itself as a leader in energy environmental design.
LEED and LED Lighting
There are a number of LEED credits that directly relate to LED lighting such as how lighting plays a role in minimum energy performance, optimized energy performance, light controls, light pollution reduction, and mercury content.
Using energy efficient and sustainable LED products from EarthTronics can improve a building’s score in all of the areas described above, helping the project earn LEED certification status. The impact varies slightly depending on which rating system the project is following, but in LEED New Construction, LED lighting can influence four separate credits.
SSc8 – Sustainable Sites Credit 8
SSc8 Light Pollution Reduction – This credit establishes interior and exterior lighting requirements to minimize sky glow, eliminate light trespass onto neighboring properties, and reduce glare.
By combining LED bulbs with occupancy sensors that turn on and off in response to movement, areas are illuminated only when needed. In areas that experience reduced traffic, also consider adaptive lighting, a technology that reduces light levels at certain times of night when the area is unused. Lighting designers can also select LED lights with the correct beam angle encased above and to the sides. This helps to channel the light downward and reduce the amount of light pollution taking place
EAp2 – Energy and Atmosphere prerequisite 2
EAp2 Minimum Energy Performance – This prerequisite requires the project to exceed certain baseline minimum standards for energy performance. Our LED EarthBulbs are extremely efficient, providing over 80% in energy savings. They will no doubt positively impact this energy performance standard.
EAc1 – Energy and Atmosphere credit 1
EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance – This credit gives a graduated number of points based on how much energy the project saves over its baseline equivalent. The more energy saved, the more points the project achieves. The more efficient the lighting is, the more it can contribute. LEDs are the most efficient lighting option available today and the best source for energy savings and sustainability.
EQc6.1 – Indoor Environmental Quality credit 6.1
Controllability of Lighting – This credit requires some form of lighting control for the occupants of a space. This can be achieved by using LED fixtures with individual dimming controls.
LEED Certification & Informational Resources
Here are a few guides to certifying your LEED project:
An overview of the rating system and LEED credit categories:
Here is a library of information for all achievable credits. (Lighting credits reside within the “indoor environmental quality” and “energy” categories.)
LED Lighting Products for Your Construction Project
Our LED bulbs and fixtures provide increased efficiency and a positive environmental and economic impact. To learn more about how EarthTronics can help your building and company become more energy efficient or work towards their LEED certification, contact us today.