The Sustainable Lighting Strategies You Should be Focusing On
By Jeff Brain | July 01, 2015
Selecting the correct lighting methods for your building can cut down on energy consumption in buildings. In new construction and retrofit projects, seek out today’s most efficient and long-lasting lighting systems for your particular application. When retrofitting a building, first test the new lighting system in a small portion of the building to make sure it provides sufficient illumination for building occupants. If you choose to replace the lamps of an existing lighting system, make sure the new lamps are compatible with the current ballast and fixture.
Controls to Regulate Light Levels
Sensors automatically activate the lighting system as it is needed, helping to reduce energy costs. There are three different kinds of sensors: motion sensors, occupancy sensors, and photosensors. With motion and occupancy sensors, electric lights turn on when a person enters the room and turn off after the person has left, although motion sensors will turn off the lights if a person is still for long enough. Photosensors, which measure the level of illumination in a room, ensure electric lights turns on when the sun goes down. With some models of photosensors, electric lights can also dim or brighten to compensate for the presence of natural light.
Select Bulbs and Fixtures
Selecting the right kind of bulb can have a major effect on the electrical efficiency of your facility. Many bulbs are inefficient, common incandescent bulbs waste as much as 90% of the electricity they consume on generating heat. Fluorescents face similar issues, however, LEDs have a much lower heat output and are a far more sustainable lighting method. It is also important to make sure that your building has the correct fixtures for the lights you decide to install. Otherwise lights either cannot be installed, or will not function properly. This is especially crucial in the case of retrofit projects, where lighting fixtures are already integrated into the building design.
Dependent on its design, it may be viable to install a daylighting system in your facility. While not all skylights are suited for all applications, well integrated daylighting can markedly reduce lighting costs by eliminating the need for electric lights during the day. This makes it one of the most sustainable lighting solutions on the market today, and between traditional, tubular, and solar tracking skylights, there are options for any application.
Ciralight produces a leading solar tracking skylight, the SunTracker. This sustainable lighting solution combines solar power and GPS technology to provide free, natural light for up to 10+ hours per day.