Posted: 5th September 2018
Posted: 5th September 2018
Sylvania discusses how smart technology and lighting improve energy efficiency
39% of all commercial energy is spent on lighting resources, so finding ways to control and reduce this cost is a top priority. Previous blogs have discussed some of the simple but effective measures that offices can undertake now to improve efficiency levels. These include measures like switching to LEDs, which consume three-quarters less energy compared to incandescent lighting.
These are important first steps that not only deliver immediate benefits but should set your business up for the longer-term too. When undertaking a lighting upgrade, a key step for organisations is to ensure that the solution they are being offered is future-proof and will enable them to take advantage of further efficiency gains as new technologies emerge.
Continuing with the LED example, the arguments for switching now are compelling. A few years ago organisations may have reasoned that the range of products was limited, but this is no longer the case. Flexible, modular LEDs for built environments of all kinds – offices, schools, universities and general meeting spaces – are now available and these are both customisable to meet unique needs and, importantly, smart-enabled. This means that while it may not be the right time, for whatever reason, for a building to transform into a smarter space, it can take advantage of rapidly advancing smart technologies at an appropriate point in the future.
Smart lighting and its applications are many and varied. Sometimes just using the word ‘smart’ can sound futuristic and dauntingly hi-tech. But this is not the case, there are smart lighting solutions that are being widely adopted now. These are easy-to-install as add-ons to existing LED lighting infrastructure, optimising energy reduction possibilities. For example, the applications of occupancy detection are many and varied; from something as simple as sensor-based lighting in low traffic areas such as toilets, boardrooms and office storage space, to more advanced lighting control systems that not only detect human presence but monitor natural light levels too. This type of advanced control system can continuously adjust lighting to maximize the use of daylight, saving businesses up to 87% and achieving the highest possible total energy saving.
Lighting has the potential to deliver wider business improvements too. Given its presence everywhere within an office space, incorporating sensors into lighting allows facilities managers to capture data on building activity and usage. This can then be interpreted to deliver insights that inform immediate commercial decisions and the longer strategic vision. This could be something as simple as informing cleaning staff on a daily basis where to focus activity, or identifying expansion / downsizing plans based on office capacity and usage.
The important thing to remember is that all of these smart-enabled benefits are ultimately driving down operational costs – reduced maintenance, lower energy bills – by identifying ways for the built environment to work more efficiently.
Read more about increasing efficiency in buildings in our new eBook, ‘Introducing your New Operational Officer’.