12/03/2001

Take Control

Put light where it's needed with lighting control products and systems

Contributors: James Earl  
 

contents of this article

1) Dimming
2) Occupancy Sensors
3) Centralized Control System
4) Increased Value, Satisfaction, and Savings

Q&A: What's on the horizon for lighting controls?

"Integrating lighting with building automation is a fairly new technology. In the past, [although] people have talked about it for decades … it had to be done on a pretty custom, specific level. Where today, with technologies like BACnet, it has become very practical to do."
- Pete Baselici,
Manager, Market Development Control Systems,
Lithonia Lighting, Decatur, GA

"Any fluorescent lamp out there - our objective is to be able to dim it. We're also looking into new technologies - such as DALI, which is a European dimming protocol. It allows you to dim individual fixtures as opposed to a whole room of fixtures."
- Brian Beck,
Director, Electronic Product Management,
Advance Transformer Co., Chicago

"You're going to see the costs of the technology continue to decrease. Twenty years ago, a fluorescent dimming ballast - which is obviously a major component in today's office buildings - was $400. Today, you'll find those ballasts in the $30 to $40 range."
- Thomas R. Ike,
Director, Commercial Integrated Systems,
Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., Coopersburg, PA


"You'll see the codes taking on more and more of the requirement that lighting automation be supplied within the space. It's going to become common to all applications in buildings in every part of the country."
- David Peterson,
Director, Strategic Market Development,
The Watt Stopper, Warwick, RI

If lighting controls make you think of false-offs, complaints, and headaches, think again. Today's generation of lighting control solutions are better than before and tout benefits that are not only raising eyebrows but also saving energy.

Manual on/off switches are a long way from extinction. However, increasingly more advanced forms of lighting control are popping up in facilities nationwide. It's not just a phenomenon - it's the future.

Proactive facilities professionals aren't alone in recognizing the importance of these systems and products. Due to the actions of regulatory agencies, building codes are beginning to reflect a new consciousness about the advantages of installing lighting controls. "We're getting to the point in this country, where codes and legislation are forcing us to use lighting controls," explains Pete Baselici, manager of Market Development Control Systems with Decatur, GA-based Lithonia Lighting. In the revised ASHRAE 90.1-1999, mandatory provisions call for automatic lighting shut-off through the use of lighting controls in non-residential buildings 5,000 square feet or larger. California's Title 24 has even stricter requirements.

Beyond code compliance, making a case for lighting controls is easy. With more benefits than you can count on both hands, such an investment is worth the time and money. Lighting controls can increase building occupant comfort, simplify on/off functions building-wide, increase monitoring capabilities, and balance daylight and artificial light. And then there is the reduced energy load and savings that inevitably result (see Figures 2 and 3). A few options follow.

Dimming

With dimming technology, light levels can be adjusted to accommodate a slide presentation, an employee with a migraine, or at times when natural light is available. "We are seeing savings as high as 65 percent vs. fixed light output installations. In addition to that, the worker comfort and productivity increases payback and makes it really attractive," says Brian Beck, director, Electronic Product Management, at Chicago-based Advance Transformer Co., on the advantages of dimming.
Added benefits include extended lamp life. "You dim lights 10 percent - incandescent lights, for example - you double the life of those lamps," explains Thomas R. Ike, director, Commercial Integrated Systems, Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., Coopersburg, PA.

Manual dimming allows occupants to take ownership of the light levels in their space, consequently increasing employee comfort and - theoretically - their productivity. According to a 1998 Workplace Study by Grand Rapids, MI-based furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc., 75 percent of survey participants expressed the desire for more control over light levels in their workspaces.

When dimming technology is coupled with daylight harvesting, photosensors can gauge the light level in a workspace and raise or dim artificial lighting to achieve a better balance of the two. Using daylight can significantly reduce your energy consumption. Daylight dimming, though advantageous, can be highly complex, requiring calibration and careful placement of photocells in the ceiling plenum. A hanging plant or window shade can block light and "communicate" to a photocell that higher light levels are required, reducing energy savings. Spaces with partitions that block natural light also need to be considered.

Figure 1: Typical Lighting Control Applications
Source: US Dept of Energy
Type of Control
Private Office
Open Office - Daylit
Open Office - Interior
Occupancy Sensors
++
++
++
Time Scheduling
+
++
++
Photosensors/Daylight Dimming
++
++
NA
++ = GOOD Savings Potential + = SOME Savings Potential

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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