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LIGHTING


TIME TO TAKE CONTROL


Awareness of energy-efficient lighting is greater than ever but when it comes to proper control of that lighting, many of us are still far behind the times, explains Chris Bedford, Managing Director of Open Technology.


Whether it’s providing the right working environment, protecting our security or complimenting the architectural design, lighting is one of the most fundamental components in our buildings. Lighting can make it safe to work at night, it allows us to complete complex tasks, makes us more likely to spend, makes it easier to focus and help us relax. But this range of functionality comes at a price.


Lighting is responsible for a whopping 20% of electricity consumed. With businesses increasingly committing to ambitious carbon reduction strategies and energy bills heading in only one direction, lighting has become a quick and easy target for driving down consumption.


44 | TOMORROW’S FM


Energy-efficient lighting technology has seen major advances in recent years, with LEDs in particular now able to offer significant energy and maintenance savings across a range of applications. The LEDs alone, however, are only part of the solution. Commercial buildings often overlook the additional savings (often 30-40% extra) that can be achieved simply by being able to switch off at night, or whenever the building is unoccupied. In the rush to install new technology we are forgetting that if we want to drive the highest possible energy savings whilst creating comfortable, effective and responsive environments, we have to control it and control it correctly.


Controls are an integral part of any lighting project. Without them, LEDs still waste in excess of 30% in unnecessary consumption; they cannot be monitored to verify savings, payback or lifetime claims; they cannot respond to the changing needs of a building, for example to match daylight levels, create different working environments or adjust to people’s presence.


The ability to do this is not revolutionary. In fact, most buildings already control the vast majority of systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning through their building management system. Doing the same with your lighting should be a no-brainer; it saves money, it reduces carbon footprints and,


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