Most effective lighting control options
Most Effective Lighting Control Options
The lighting installation and maintenance plan for your residential or commercial building can incorporate various energy conservation measures. Although, using energy efficient lighting fixtures or energy efficient lights such as LED lamps are the most common energy conservation measures, they certainly do not hold the title of the most effective measures. These measures do contribute in dropping the direct cost of lighting by reducing wattage however, a major opportunity for energy saving exists in the use of lighting controls. Lighting controls are essentially any control technology or procedures ranging from computer-controlled fully automated lighting control systems to common energy conservation protocols such as switching off the lights of a vacant room. These controls reduce the total units of electricity consumed by the lighting.
There are many lighting control options available today. The best results are acquired when the lighting controls are incorporated into the lighting installation and maintenance plan for residential and commercial buildings. However, it is possible to apply these controls at a later stage as well. Here is a list of some lighting control technologies which are common as well effective:
1. Occupancy Sensors:
Occupancy sensors are designed to detect the presence of humans and are most effective in the areas where lights are commonly left switched on in the rooms, unattended. These sensors use Ultrasonic, Passive Infrared or dual technology to switch on the lights whenever they detect the presence of a human, in their area of control and automatically switch off the lights when no one present anymore. Usually, occupancy sensors are considered ideal for corridors, offices, class rooms, storage areas and warehouses.
2. Vacancy Sensors:
Vacancy sensors are similar to occupancy sensors in design and functionality. The only difference is that unlike occupancy sensors, vacancy sensors do not have the ability to turn on the lights by detecting occupancy rather, they work
only to switch off the already switched on lights when no one is around. For example, if a person enters a room, switches on the light and then leaves the room without turning it off, the vacancy sensor will detect that no one is in the room anymore, so it will turn off the light after a fixed interval of time. Vacancy sensors provide higher energy savings than occupancy sensors because lights are not turned on automatically.
Not all areas require full exposure to light at all times. There are corridors in the buildings, parking lots and many other areas which can employ dim lights especially in the times of no or low occupancy. Another application can be in halls and auditoriums where bright lights are only required at the stage.
Dim lights consume less energy than normal lights and hence can save a lot of electricity. Dimming can be:
a) Continuous dimming, where we can incrementally reduce the lighting level using a rotating knob or sliding switch
b) Step dimming, where some of the lamps in the lighting fixture, or some of the lights in the room are turned off or on depending on the lighting needs.
In addition to these, there are some other options available as well including personal lighting controls, high end turning etc. Lighting controls have a significant impact on energy cost savings and this is why they have become an essential part of lighting installation plans for new building and lighting upgradation or maintenance plans for old buildings.
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