Lighting Strategies for Energy Savings
We find that lighting upgrade projects are perfect opportunities to improve lighting quality in an existing space while looking at ways to reduce energy consumption. Since lighting can account for about 40% of a building’s energy use, optimizing the systems and upgrading old fixtures can usually reduce energy consumption immediately. However, a simplistic approach to lighting energy reduction such as reducing lamp wattage or de-lamping can cause dissatisfaction and often overlook opportunities to improve lighting quality and occupant satisfaction.
The use of spaces within a building evolves over time. We believe that studying the type of space, how it’s being used by its occupants and an evaluation of the lighting system as a whole can offer a selection of strategies to make significant improvements. A combination of the right lamp+ballast technology together with illumination of appropriate surfaces can balance energy reduction strategies while improve the illuminated space. A lighting upgrade is also a good time to evaluate strategies and reduce environmental impacts such as reducing mercury content and night-time light pollution. These may not directly relate to energy reduction but will have lasting positive impacts on the environment. An appropriate solution would consider combination of strategies balanced with initial upgrade costs with long term energy cost savings.
These diagram results are from a lighting energy audit project that shows the contribution of various upgrade strategies. Four different options were developed to improve the lighting and reduce energy up to 63% below the existing lighting. Retrofit techniques to existing fixtures and use of better performing fixtures with fewer lamps were investigated. Preliminary cost comparisons were carried out to study the feasibility of the options. The strategies and associated cost studies helped our clients identify the solution that best matched their needs and budget.
The final direction was a hybrid between options 2 and 3. This solution reduced total number of lamps, optimized their current fixtures with newer technologies and avoided the first costs associated with purchasing a new lighting system.