Examples of lighting controls cost savings

This case study shows the impact of lighting controls on whole building energy costs.


As an example of the cost savings that lighting controls can generate, we have performed a case study of two 24-hour facilities and the impact the lighting controls time schedule has on the whole building energy costs. The energy costs included in this case study account for the reduced lighting load and the impacts to the cooling load and heating loads for each building when the lighting is controlled by a time schedule. For both projects the cost savings in energy usage results in a simple payback of less than 4 years for the lighting controls equipment, labor, and start-up/commissioning.

The two 24-hour facilities evaluated in the case study are mixed industrial and office spaces of 300,000-650,000 sq ft. The lighting in the industrial work areas is controlled with a time clock used to switch lights keyed to specific zones by shift schedule. The control equipment allows zones to be reconfigured down to a fixture level, and fixtures are switched on/off with the time clock schedule or by a timed override switch for each zone. The analysis considers only the industrial area lighting controls system, labor, start-up, and commissioning.

Figure 2: The energy savings gained by a fully functioning lighting controls system pays back so quickly that the start-up and commissioning should never be questioned. Courtesy: Primera Engineers Ltd.

Fimek is an award-winning lighting designer at Primera Engineers Ltd. She is Lighting Certified by the NCQLP and is well versed in lighting calculation and rendering software.

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