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Viewpoint


A Perfect Partnership


Tony Cull, Managing Director of natural daylighting specialist Monodraught, suggests that linking the control of natural and electrical lighting offers major cost and environmental benefits.


potential for up to 50% energy-savings, which in turn produce significant cost-savings for stores. In addition, in-depth university reports show that natural daylighting in supermarkets improves sales by as much as 40%; whilst in schools it has been shown to improve students’ learning – recording 20% improvements in maths tests and 26% in reading tests in one year.


It is possible to control most things these days, so it is easy to understand how using sensors to maximise the use of natural daylight can be used to save energy and money – as much as a staggering 50% of electricity used during daylight hours. However, what is often missing when linked controls are proposed is natural daylighting and electrical lighting specialists communicating to find solutions that will optimise the needs of venues with the aim of reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment. The logical solution is to link control systems and lux-level sensors to ensure that electric lighting is only used when lux levels drop below specified levels. Similarly, a link with PIR sensors can be used to switch off electric lighting completely when spaces are unoccupied.


The potential for natural daylight as part of an Intelligent Lighting Strategy is enormous, as Sunpipes can bathe areas with natural daylight to a predetermined lux level, whilst electric lights are automatically switched off. There is no noticeable difference in lighting levels and independent calculations show the


Natural daylight is also making a contribution in the Handball Arena at the 2012 Olympics, where a linked system designed by lighting specialist CP Northern controls 88 Sunpipes, featuring special control dampers that allow natural daylight to supplement event lighting. The Sunpipes already provide greater illumination than similar sized conventional lights; and the Olympic Delivery Authority calculates post-games annual energy saving of 40% for the arena.


Such savings are not uncommon; major supermarkets that use Sunpipes above checkouts, on main retail floors and in back-office areas, quote energy savings up to 50%. To sum up, building control technology now makes it easy to design energy efficient lighting schemes by enabling linked electrical lighting systems to maximise the benefits of available natural daylight – the key to this is communication between specialists to ensure the desired results.


Contact:


Monodraught T: 01494 897700 www.monodraught.com


“Natural daylight is also making a contribution in the Handball Arena at the 2012 Olympics, where a linked system designed by lighting specialist CP Northern, controls 88 Sunpipes featuring special control dampers that allow natural daylight to supplement event lighting”


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