On a recent flight to Las Vegas, I emerged from the plane into a local temperature of 101 degrees F. and 5% humidity. The following week, I flew to the Philippines, where I stepped into temperatures in Manila that ranged from 85 to 95 degrees F., but the humidity was typically 80%. While Las Vegas and Manila share extreme conditions, their approaches to energy management are different.
In Vegas, I spent most of my time in large hotels. In these buildings, luxury and comfort are the goals and energy efficiency has been a lower priority. When I opened the door to my hotel room, I discovered incandescent lights left on to enhance the guest’s first impression.
Despite an unwillingness to sacrifice comfort, many buildings in Las Vegas are undertaking large retrofit projects that not only improve their energy bottom line but also drive new technology from manufacturers. For example, when a major property chain with multiple properties updates to LEDs, it can buy as many as 100,000 lamps to satisfy guest room requirements alone. That purchasing power is significant, and it can drive research and design from lighting manufacturers.
For example, a large hotel chain recently made a deal to purchase a new LED with “candlelight ambiance” for its chandeliers. The replacement lamp has a visually appealing design and 1800K color temperature. Given the high volume, the manufacturer can afford to invest in the design of a new product, one that will eventually be available for your buildings. Similar HVAC developments are underway in Las Vegas. If these can work with the city’s extreme climate and its demands for plentiful ventilation and pleasing aesthetics, they can probably work for your buildings.