Energy Efficiency

Lighting and controls

On average, over 45% of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting. With energy efficient lighting you can cut these costs by up to a third while reducing your carbon footprint and improving the working environment for your staff.

Focusing on low and no-cost measures and actions which will have the quickest payback, this overview explores some of the main types of lighting and demonstrates the best energy saving opportunities available. Our trained staff have experience that can provide the assistance on the following:

Reduce the need – the design and specification of lighting systems have a big impact on energy use and hence, energy spend. Sometimes nature provides the best solution to lighting needs.

Good housekeeping and people issues – the way occupants use a lighting system plays a big role in how it performs.

Maintaining existing systems – regular maintenance is vital for maximising energy savings and maintaining a comfortable working environment

Understanding and using controls – learning how to set and regulate lighting controls can provide substantial savings and enhance comfort conditions for building occupants.

Upgrading and refurbishment – there are some excellent opportunities for energy saving whenever upgrades or refurbishment is planned. New efficient equipment can often pay back its costs very quickly.

The lamp is central to any lighting system and choosing the right one is vital for maximising savings. The light from each type of lamp can be defined in terms of colour, brightness and warmth. Lamps can also be compared by their efficiency and life. There are 3 main categories of lamp which create light differently: filament lamps discharge lamps and LED.

Filament lamps

The filament has high resistance to electricity. Light is produced when the filament gets so hot it glows. This is a fundamentally inefficient method, producing more heat than light. This is the way all ‘traditional’ tungsten light bulbs work. A variant of this is the tungsten halogen, which also employs a filament, but in a bulb containing halogen gas. Filament lamps are very common, although their poor efficacy means that they are increasingly being replaced with more efficient alternatives such as compact fluorescent lamps.

The most common types are known as general lighting service (GLS) lamps and decorative lamps. The majority of luminaires in most homes use incandescent tungsten metal filament lamps. All filament lamps will reach maximum light output the instant they are switched on, provide good quality, accurate colour rendering and can be dimmed. However, they are expensive to run and produce high levels of unwanted heat. They also have high maintenance costs associated with their relatively short 1,000-hour lamp life. Main applications: Although these are relatively inefficient bulbs, they are found extensively in homes, and businesses alike.

High Intensity Discharge lamps – Small & powerful

High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps differ from incandescent lamps in the way in which they produce light. They are very efficient because they generate extremely high luminous flux in a very small space.

For example, a 2,000 W metal halide lamp, such as the ones installed in football stadium floodlights, produces as much light as two 5,000 W incandescent lamps. The area in which the light is produced is no larger than a 2 euro coin. Other advantages of modern high-intensity discharge lamps include low thermal output, excellent color rendering and long life. What’s more, because of the compact dimensions of these lamps, their light can be easily and accurately directed

Fluorescent lamps – The first choice for long-term lighting

Did you know that in Europe more than 90 % of the demand for artificial light is covered by discharge lamps? And this primarily means tubular fluorescent lamps. However, discharge lamps consume just a little more than 30 % of the energy required for lighting. If we had to rely exclusively on ordinary incandescent light bulbs for all our lighting we would have to increase the output from our power stations five times over. Depending on the type and the way in which they work, the average life of fluorescent lamps is between 5,000 and 45,000 hours, whereas a light bulb lasts only for about 1,000 hours.

Most fluorecents are fitted with T8 (26mm) lamps but T5 (16mm) lamps are now becoming the normal & can produce savings of up to 20%

Compact fluorescent lamps

Many consumers still have preconceived ideas about compact fluorescent lamps: they take too long to shine brightly; they give off cold light; they are not dimmable; they flicker … Today this may still certainly apply to many cheap lamps and badly made imitations – but not to decent brands such as Osram.

Compact fluorescent lamps demonstrate their particular strength on the issue of cost-effectiveness. They last up to 20 times longer and consume up to 80% less energy than conventional light bulbs. Even taking procurement costs into account, lamps pay dividends very rapidly and over the long-term.

Even the environment has every reason to be satisfied: compact fluorescent lamps can also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% in comparison with similar light bulbs. That means that by using these lamps, you can not only save a great deal of money but at the same time also quite easily make an active contribution to climate protection.

Light emitting diodes (LEDs)

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) can be very efficient, relying on a pure semi-conductor to emit light (but not heat or noise) as a response to an electric current. At the moment, common business applications include illuminated signs, such as emergency lighting, for which they are excellent. Recent advances in the technology have led to a new generation of LEDs which offer better colour properties than previous models and, often, can be fitted directly into existing fittings. This could mean that LEDs are appropriate for a wider range of applications. To explore these options, please contact us.

LED’s are defiantly the way forward. The production costs are coming down every day so the advantages of very low energy consumption, very long life & non hazardous waste will soon outweigh the capital costs.

Passive infa red detectors ( PIR’s) – Movement detectors

Good for our climate and good for your business! With daylight- and presence-depending lighting control you can reduce the energy consumption significantly. The available daylight in a room is supplemented as required by artificial light from luminaires equipped with dimmable electronic control gears.

Or you can just use the PIR’s to operate lights where they often get left on for hours with no one in the room. EG toilets, stores, meeting rooms.

Energy saving software

Did you know that you can buy software that automatically switches off computers, monitors & printers when not in use. It can also be used to switch off air conditioning, projectors, water coolers etc. For more information please contact us on 01234-359751

Producing your own electricity

We can also advise you on the use of solar panels, PV panels & heat source pumps.