Energy efficiency has become the new standard since states began mandating energy measures in 2015. Major cities around the country have become for runners in the movement by partnering with green initiatives and environmental foundations. Going green may seem like an intimidating and costly endeavor, but it’s easy to get started. Lighting control is a relatively inexpensive way to increase energy savings while saving money. Many small and medium-sized businesses already use this practice, but the key is to find the right system that works for your business.
Occupancy sensors are the most common control system since it can expand past the basic OFF/ON function. The type of space determines which sensor would be best for your energy saving solution. Sensors can detect the temperature based on the occupancy of the room and adjust the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system for the ideal comfort level. Infrared sensors also detect changes in the room, but only in its direct line of sight. These work best in open areas within its field of view. Ultrasonic sensors are best for small spaces like cubicles and restrooms since they activate by sound when the position lacks line of sight. Dual-technology sensors use both temperature and high-frequency sounds to detect motion for increased accuracy and flexibility. Ideal for conference rooms, classrooms, and anywhere that needs a high level of responsiveness.
Bi-level switching is manual control taken a step farther. Each switch controls a certain amount of lights instead of the “one size fits all” function that automatically turns on all the lights. The purpose is to optimize overhead lighting levels based on the tasks like computer usage or meetings. Lights can be synced to a switch for desired output when tasks don’t require a lot of lighting as well. If your business calls for a more updated approach then task tuning is your best option.
Task tuning is the underdog of lighting control as businesses don’t realize how effective task lighting can be until lighting needs are assessed with a contractor. Lighting levels are also set by tasks or workspaces but reduce lighting in areas that aren’t consistently occupied. Business owners can conserve energy while maintaining peak productivity from their employees when necessary.
Daylight harvesting is the greenest option for lighting control as it changes the lighting level based on the amount of natural light in the space. Lighting sensors measure the amount of illumination and adjust output to maintain the desired level. This solution is perfect for corridors, cubicles near windows, and private offices that experience direct sunlight. One thing to keep in mind is the sensitivity of lighting sensors, so proper installation and calibration are critical to ensuring an effective system.
Time scheduling is another common solution that automatically switches lights off and on by prescheduled hours of operation. Scheduling can also include dimming the lights during peak sunlight or setting the mood for events. Not only does it save money for the 9 to 5, but gives extra security after hours by discouraging theft. The system isn’t permanent as building managers can override the schedule when necessary. Automated demand response is a program with your energy that reduces energy during peak consumption times. Businesses can earn incentives while saving on energy for little to no additional cost.
Lighting control has a solution for any business that wants to take control of their environment. Modern lighting strategies not only promote energy efficiency but contribute to productivity and security. It’s a step forward to create a space meant for a sustainable and successful organization.