Clean Lamps = Big Savings

The results are in. Commercial building owners in the United States could save between $2.7 and $3.6 billion dollars per year by simply cleaning fixtures on a regular basis, according to a federally-funded four-year building-lighting study conducted by the InterNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO), Des Moines, Iowa.

01/01/1970


The results are in. Commercial building owners in the United States could save between $2.7 and $3.6 billion dollars per year by simply cleaning fixtures on a regular basis, according to a federally-funded four-year building-lighting study conducted by the InterNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO), Des Moines, Iowa.

Based upon U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) figures, lighting accounts for 30 to 40 percent of the $90 billion spent every year to power commercial and industrial buildings. The savings proposed by NALMCO could potentially reduce lighting costs by 10 percent.

"The negative effect of light loss due to dirt accumulation on lamps and luminaire surfaces has resulted in reduced light levels," says Norma Frank, chairman of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America's Lighting Maintenance Committee (IESNA). "In addition, architects and lighting designers have been specifying and installing initial design levels of illumination above the required levels to compensate for accumulation of dirt, resulting in increased up-front costs and more electrical power wasted daily."

Frank also points out that by installing fewer fixtures and incorporating fixture cleaning into regular maintenance schedules, numerous benefits will result, including reduced energy required for air conditioning, less demand on power plants and a lower level of power-plant emissions.

Once data from this study is utilized to modify IESNA's lighting design practices, it is hoped that industry building standards and recommended practices will also change to reflect this new information.

"We think that after 50 years of the old standards, it is time to update and make sure that we're dealing with the best science and the best data," says Clark Reed, a program manager with the EPA's Energy Star Buildings program and Green Lights Partnership.





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