Study Reveals Potential Savings in Lighting

The close to one trillion kilowatt-hours consumed by lighting systems in nonresidential facilities could be trimmed by 10 to 20 percent with better maintenance, claims Cary S. Mendelsohn, chairman of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), a non-profit lighting information source based in Silver Spring, Md.

07/31/2001


The close to one trillion kilowatt-hours consumed by lighting systems in nonresidential facilities could be trimmed by 10 to 20 percent with better maintenance, claims Cary S. Mendelsohn, chairman of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), a non-profit lighting information source based in Silver Spring, Md.

"As many as 300 to 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity are being wasted every day on light that's absorbed by dust and dirt, old bulbs and tubes that have outlived their usefulness and extra lighting capacity that a new study says is no longer needed," Mendelsohn said.

The study Mendelsohn cites, commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by the interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO), Des Moines, Iowa, concludes that the average lighting system is designed with 10% more illumination capacity than is actually required to offset typical maintenance deficits (See "Clean Lamps = Big Savings" in CSE 's April 2001 issue).

According to Mendelsohn, this overdesign has been based upon data, collected 50 years ago, which is used to calculate the predicted rate that dust and dirt builds up on lighting fixtures. NALMCO's recent study shows that the dirt build-up rate has decreased due to new technology and a large reduction in cigarette smoke. As a result, lighting levels can be reduced, if systems are designed properly, and significant energy can be saved.

For more information, log on to NLB's Web site at: www.nlb.org .





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