One of the most important and least appreciated ways to reduce lighting energy use is using lighting controls. According to the U.S. Department of Energy occupancy and vacancy sensors can cut wasted electricity used for lighting by as much as 30%. As well, lighting controls can improve lighting quality and occupant comfort and security. Lighting controls can provide flexible control over the lighting in a space and support energy savings by reducing the amount of power or amount of time a lighting system is in use. There are really only a few key methods for reducing the amount of energy used in lighting: providing the right amount of light, increasing the efficiency of the light source and turning on lights only when they are needed.
The most common types of lighting controls include:
Dimmer controls allow you a choice of different light levels that can not only change the ambiance of a room but also reduce the wattage and output used, which helps save energy and extends the life of your bulbs. Certain incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs may require special dimmers. If you are interested in investing in a dimming control system, it is best to contact a professional electrician to make sure the dimming products you chose are compatible with your current lighting system.
Motion detectors may be practical for some indoor spaces, but are mostly used for outdoor security lights. Unlike occupancy sensors, they only detect movement. When installed on floodlights directed at your porch, deck, lawn and other areas just outside your home, motion detectors can be part of an effective security system. They can also improve safety and help reduce the risk of accidents or slips and falls.
Occupancy sensors are more sophisticated versions of motion detectors. These sensors are designed for use in interior spaces to make the lights turn on automatically when someone enters the room, and shutoff automatically when the room is unoccupied.
In areas where you only need artificial lighting when the ambient light disappears, you should use photo sensors to save energy. These sensors keep the lights off when there’s plenty of daylight and turn on when it gets sufficiently dark. Some photo sensors allow you to customize the level of light at which the lights should be turned on and the most sophisticated models will gradually turn on the light proportionate to the loss of sunlight, ensuring a consistent light level even as ambient conditions change.
Get Wired for Energy Savings:
If you are interested in investing in lighting controls for your home or office space, many are available online and at hardware stores. Many are quite inexpensive and are simple adapters that can be installed without the need for any professional electrical work. But if you are interested in a more streamlined look and customized lighting design, Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractors specialized lighting experts can explain all your options and our licensed electricians are available to execute any professional rewiring.