The Opportunitys Of Cost Effective Lighting Systems Construction Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The lighting system provides many opportunities for cost-effective energy savings with little or no inconvenience. In many cases, lighting can be improved and operation costs can be reduced at the same time. Lighting improvements are excellent investments in most commercial businesses because lighting accounts for a large part of the energy bill- "ranging from 30-70% of the total energy cost. Lighting energy use represents only 5-25% of the total energy in industrial facilities, but it is usually cost-effective to address because lighting improvements are often easier to make than many process upgrades."[7]

While there are significant energy-use and power-demand reductions available from lighting retrofits, the minimum lighting level standards of the Illuminating Engineering Society should be followed to insure worker productivity and safety. Inadequate lighting levels can decrease productivity, and they can also lead to a perception of poor indoor air quality.

Used as a starting place for an energy management program, lighting can attract immediate employee attention and participation, since everyone has ideas about lighting. Lighting is also seen as a barometer of the attitude of top managers toward energy management: if the office of the president of a company is an example of efficient lighting, then employees will see that energy management is taken seriously. "A lighting retrofit program can be a win-win proposition for the business owner and the employees as it can improve morale, safety, and productivity while reducing life-cycle costs."[2]

2.0 Components of the Lighting System

A lighting system consists of light sources (lamps), luminaires (or fixtures), and ballasts. Each component will affect the performance, energy use and annual operating cost of the lighting system. This section discusses each of these components, and provides the basic information on lighting technology needed to successfully accomplish lighting Energy Management Opportunities.

2.1 Lamp Characteristics

Lamps are rated a number of different ways and each characteristic is a factor to consider in the lamp selection process. The basic ratings include: luminous efficacy (lumens/watt); color temperature (Kelvin); color rendering index (CRI); cost; rated life (operation hours); and labor required for re-lamping. Lamps should carry recognizable name brands and should be purchased from a reputable vendor.

2.2 Lamp Types

Lamps come in a variety of types and have a wide range of characteristics. Choosing the appropriate lamp type depends on the lighting task. Often, the least expensive lamp to buy is not the least expensive to operate. The energy manager should be familiar with the different options available for providing the desired lighting levels.

2.3 Ballasts

Light from discharge-type lamps (e.g., fluorescent, mercury vapor, metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and low-pressure sodium) is produced indirectly by a cathode exciting a gas in which an electrical arc forms which then emits light. In a fluorescent lamp, mercury vapor emits ultra-violet radiation which strikes the sides of the lamp wall where phosphors convert it to visible light. Ballast is required to start and operate all discharge lamps.

2.4 Luminaires (Fixtures): Lenses, Diffusers, and Reflectors

The luminaire is the complete lighting fixture. It consists of a housing socket, the light source (lamps) and the components which distribute the light such as the lens, the diffuser and the reflector. The coefficient of utilization of a lighting fixture is the ratio of the light leaving the fixture to the light produced by the lamps.

3.0 Determining Lighting Needs

A variety of techniques are available for estimating the lighting levels in a given space. The average illuminance method described in the Illuminating Engineering Society IES Lighting Handbook [1] incorporates the major variables affecting light utilization: amount of light produced by lamps, amount of light exiting the fixture, mounting height and spacing of fixture, fixture photometrics, lumen dirt depreciation, lamp lumen depreciation, ballast factor, and room surface finish characteristics. A worksheet to calculate lighting levels is also found in the IES Lighting Handbook. [1]

The IES has developed standards for appropriate lighting levels for typical applications. Lighting levels are generally expressed in terms of illuminance, which is measured in footcandles. Table 3.1 shows the illuminance category for a number of commercial and industrial applications.

Once the appropriate illuminance category has been identified, Table 3.2 can be used to determine the range of illuminance values needed to achieve desirable lighting levels. In using these tables, the IES recommends that the lower values be used for occupants whose age is under 40 and/or where the room reflectance is greater than 70% and that the higher values are used for occupants more than 55 years old and/or where the room reflectance is less than 30%. For occupants between 40 and 55 years of age and where the reflectance is 30-70% or where a young occupant is combined with low reflectance or an older person is in a high-reflectance environment, the intermediate values should be used. In addition, the need for speed and accuracy influences the amount of light needed, with higher speed and accuracy demanding more light.

Lighting controls include a wide range of technologies that electronically and/or mechanically control the use of lights in a building. Control systems range from simple light switches and mechanical time clocks to sophisticated building energy management systems that control the lighting in a building as well as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Lighting control systems include programmable timers, occupancy sensors, photo sensors, dimmers, switchable or dimmable ballasts, and communications and control systems. In the commercial sector, controls are used to save energy, curtail demand, or tailor the lighting environment to changes in lighting requirements. Both occupancy sensing and scheduling save energy by turning lights off or to a lower level when no one is present.

Switches: Many types of switches are available for controlling lighting. The simplest is the standard wall-mounted snap switch. Switches should be installed in the areas in which the fixtures are controlled. Rewiring to reduce the number of fixtures controlled by a single switch increases the ability of occupants to control the amount of lighting that is used. Installing switches next to one another frequently results in all the available lighting operating at once because people tend to turn on all the switches at once. If switches are installed next to each other, installing the switch upside-down that controls the least-needed lights will reduce the chance of that switch being turned on accidentally.

Other types of switches control lighting fixture operation on the basis of lighting levels, time, motion, or infrared radiation. Exterior lighting should be controlled by a light-sensitive switch. Photocells operate the lighting between dusk and dawn. They are available in various sensitivities.

"It is best to use photocells which turn the fixture on when they fail; this provides a good signal that replacement is necessary. The fail-off type can remain undetected and leave a facility without security lights."[5]

"Photocell input can also be used as a basis for controlling interior lighting. Some energy management control systems can use photocell input data for automatically adjusting indoor lighting levels to maintain a constant value when dimmable ballasts are used."[5]

Timers: Timers can be used to control outdoor lighting but some are subject to inaccuracy due to seasonal changes in day-length, daylight savings time changes, clock slippage, power outages, and manual override. Adjustments should be made to simple timers about four times per year to prevent unnecessary operation of equipment. Timers can be used in conjunction with photo sensors to reduce lighting costs if the lighting can be turned off before dawn.

Occupancy Sensors: Occupancy sensors can also be used to reduce unnecessary lighting use. Infrared sensors are directional and useful for active areas; ultrasonic sensors are fairly non-directional. The sensor's coverage of the area must be complete or nuisance cutoffs will occur and the occupants will remove the sensors.

Dimmers: Dimmers are good for areas which require low ambient lighting levels most of the time with an occasional need for bright lighting. Solid-state dimmers operate by reducing the voltage supplied to the lamps. This reduces energy use and extends lamp life. However, fluorescent and HID lamps cannot be dimmed without dimmable ballasts. Rheostat dimmers are not recommended for any application because they produce considerable heat and do not save energy.

5.0 Maintaining the Lighting System

In addition to a proper choice of light sources, ballasts, and luminaires, the efficiency of a lighting system depends on maintenance policies. Maintenance includes both cleaning and re-lamping.

5.1 Luminaire Maintenance

Lamps, fixtures, reflectors, lenses collect dust and insects. Dust accumulation on lighting fixtures and on surfaces adjacent to lighting fixtures reduces light utilization by up to 40 percent and increases heat production. Periodic cleaning of the fixtures will maintain higher and more uniform light levels. All lamps should be cool before cleaning. Gloves should be worn when cleaning any mirror-like reflective part of a luminaire. Quartz lamps should not be cleaned.

5.2 Establishing the Lighting System Maintenance Schedule

Establishing a good maintenance schedule for a lighting system takes three steps. First, you must determine the maintenance characteristics of the luminaires in your facility. The next step is to determine what dirt conditions the luminaires are likely to experience. Once you know both the maintenance category and the appropriate dirt conditions for the facility, and then set the luminaire maintenance schedule.

5.3 Re-lamping strategies

The usual strategy for replacing lamps in many facilities is to wait until a lamp burns out and then replace it (called spot re-lamping). This re-lamping strategy is not necessarily the best one for a facility to follow because it does not consider such factors as labor costs or lumen depreciation. It is often more economical to replace all of the fluorescent and HID lamps in a facility at one time (called group re-lamping). Spot re-lamping is more labor intensive and results in less efficient lighting than group re-lamping. However, spot re-lamping can be more practical for lamps with a short life such as incandescent lamps.

The lighting system in a facility is an important area to examine and to improve in terms of energy efficiency and quality of light. We has discussed the lighting system, described the components of the system, and provided suggestions for ways to improve the system. Lighting technology is changing at a rapid pace, and new lamps and ballasts are being developed and marketed almost daily. Major energy savings opportunities exist in older lighting systems, and additional cost-effective savings is often possible in relatively new systems since technology is continually improving in this area.