Energy Efficient Lighting – Control Systems

In a previous article, we talked about energy efficient lighting with 
regards to incandescents and other sources of illumination. Even though 
they cost a little more to acquire, LEDs are more energy efficient. And,
 that means saving money on utility bills as well.<br><br>But, the type 
of lamp or fixture isn't the only factor when it comes to energy 
efficient lighting. It's not just what you use, but how you use it. 
Lighting automation, often integrated into a so-called "smart" building,
 can save even more energy. Hubbell Lighting

Steve Maurer, IME

In a previous article, we talked about energy efficient lighting with regards to incandescents and other sources of illumination. Even though they cost a little more to acquire, LEDs are more energy efficient. And, that means saving money on utility bills as well.

But, the type of lamp or fixture isn't the only factor when it comes to energy efficient lighting. It's not just what you use, but how you use it. Lighting automation, often integrated into a so-called "smart" building, can save even more energy.

Some of the earliest forms of lighting control were sensors. Light and motion sensors, often used in tandem, shut off lights during the day and, they either turn them on at night or when motion or occupancy is sensed.

Here's an interesting history note: the first pull chain for fixtures was invented in the late 1800s by Harvey Hubbell.

But, building automation is now more sophisticated than ever possible. At one time, lighting control systems were considered a luxury. But, in today's world and the quest for energy efficiency, automated systems are becoming not just the norm, but a necessity.

Light sensors now do more than just sense light and darkness. They also monitor the amount of light, in the form of daylighting photocells sensors. Considering the available natural light, the interior artificial light is adjusted to create the right mix of both for optimal lighting and energy savings.

In many cases, a dimming control sensor is an ideal solution for automatically maintaining the balance between natural ambient light and artificial illumination. Coupled with wireless remote controls, lighting is taken to new levels of control and efficiency.

And... energy cost savings.

Lighting efficiency has come a long way since Harry's pull chain in the 1800s. Efficient lighting can now be configured and controlled with a touch-screen tablet, and LAN or internet connection.

Programming is more intuitive that ever before. An entire year of energy saving can be planned. And, don't worry about daylight savings and leap year calculations. Many systems have that built right in.

Large warehouses, schools and universities can save tons of money by using lighting efficiency systems.

Efficient lighting may start with the lamp or fixture. But, it doesn't end there. It is possible to save money and reduce your building's carbon footprint... and not sacrifice adequate lighting for employee health and safety.

I'm reminded of a bedtime story I read to my granddaughters — Goldilocks and the Three Bears. By taking advantage of innovative technologies that promote energy efficient lighting, you'll create an environment that's not too dim, not too bright, but one that's...

Just right.


Photo courtesy of Hubbell Lighting

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