This is a guest post by Ciaran Oliver who works for the Green Deal initiative, a website dedicated to explaining the upcoming Green Deal in the UK. Ciaran is an avid champion of all green technologies and enjoys looking for inspiring ways to live more ecologically. You can follow him on Twitter at @green_dealUK. If you would like to write an article, please read How to Become an Author.
How we light our properties is one consideration we look at when trying to save energy. But have you thought hard about the way you control the light in your property? Lighting control for both commercial and domestic properties can reap great savings.
Most people are now aware that incandescent light bulbs are hugely inefficient, 90% of their energy is spent on heating throw off and not on lighting. Newer LED’s lights are incredibly efficient and can last for 50,000 hour compared to incandescent ones which can last 1,200 hours. But enough about the blubs, what we are really interested in is making sure that lights are only being used when they are needed.
Lighting controls can come in many guises but the main way to control lights is either by dimming the amount of light that they produce or by switching them off when they aren’t needed. If you think about large offices and the way that they are ‘open plan’ most of the lighting is on all day and in all locations even though it doesn’t need to be. The desks nearest the windows can probably have their lights off and the next row into the building can probably have 70% dimming applied and even the next row can have some dimming on the lights. This may seem like a small step there can be great savings for larger institutions like schools and hospitals.
There are a multitude of sensors that can help in controlling lights. Motion and presence sensors can be used in bathrooms where they can switch off light when there is no one present in the bathroom. These sensors can help buildings become much greener than current systems which usually work by timer devices which simply switch lights on and off at the end of the day. By modifying individual rooms and tailoring lighting to people’s needs you can begin to get an idea of how effective these devices can become.
In a domestic property dimmers can be applied to lights that can enhance the way particular rooms feel. By controlling individual rooms you can help maintain the amount of energy that you are using to light your home. For garden lighting and outdoor lights there are ‘light sensors’ that can be attached easily to lights that will switch off units when the ambient light is bright enough. By employing these small devices it is possible to reduce your lighting costs by 50% or more.
Domestic homes can enjoy making good savings whereas commercial properties can really look forward to making serious money from employing these techniques. Sometimes it’s not necessary to replace all the equipment that we have; it’s more a case of using the resources that we have more effectively. Hopefully this short introduction to lighting control will give you inspiration to think about lighting in a different way.