With an intelligent lighting system, your building can use tiny sensors to determine when to turn lights on and off–based on whether people are in a room or space–and silently reap big savings.
Using heat-based systems, when there are no warm bodies in a hotel room, for example, intelligent systems keep the lights off, which saves hotel owners in lighting costs. Once the sensors detect heat from bodies, the lights are switched on.
Sensors can also recognize movement in a space and tell the system that people are present in a room and presto, turn the lights on. But just as important, when there is no movement, these systems turn off the lights. These types of smart controls are often used in office buildings.
Pairing such systems with LEDs is a good idea because they are more efficient than most alternatives, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
In fact, LEDs are capable of fundamentally changing the future of lighting in the U.S., the DOE says. LED lighting has the largest potential impact on energy savings in the US.
“By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices,” says the DOE.
“The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting,” says the DOE.
Compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs generally use about 25% to 80% less energy and can last three to 25 times longer, says the DOE.
While the advantages of LEDs come at higher costs, building owners can take advantage of numerous state incentives.
“Combining the various rebate programs that are available with some of the financing options that Evolution Energy can provide allows these projects in many cases to be immediately cash flow positive,” says Chuck Hurchalla, president, Evolution Energy Partners, LLC.
In Pennsylvania, the Lighting Incentive Program offers incentives to commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities (Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power). Such incentives are available for both new construction projects and retrofits of existing facilities.
Massachusetts provides discounted pricing on selected types of LEDs to contractors and commercial lighting customers through a partnership with electrical distributors.
Program incentives are provided directly to Cape Light, Eversource Energy, National Grid and Unitil, and eligible lamps can only be purchased through participating distributors. The lamps and fixtures that are eligible must fall under certain lighting categories. Learn more here:
In Maine, “Efficiency Maine” partners with lighting manufacturers, retailers and distributors to cut the prices of energy-efficient lighting, including LEDs. In general, the prices are marked down but in some cases, in-store coupons are available. The state also identifies where buyers can purchase the least expensive LEDs.
In Rhode Island, lighting efficiency programs are provided through a surcharge on electric and gas customers’ bills, and National Grid administers the programs. Incentives are provided for lighting and other energy efficient products.
In New York State, owners of commercial facilities can apply to the Commercial Implementation Assistance Program to receive up to 50 percent to complete targeted energy efficiency projects, including advanced lighting projects. Learn more here:
While you’re looking into the many rebates and incentives available, you’ll discover that certain LEDs are more suitable than others for different applications. That’s because owners of offices, warehouses, factories and other spaces have different needs and goals. Thanks to advances in technology, LEDs now come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and all boast appealing energy savings.
For street lighting, for example, Cree offers the RSW series, which address the “cold” look of streetlights. Warmer-color temperatures are now available that don’t sacrifice efficiency.
Car dealers looking for appealing lighting for their cars might choose Cree’s LED indoor luminaires for showrooms and offices, which cut costs by 50 % and last three times longer than other options, according to Cree.
And those are just two examples. Whether you’re looking to equip an office space, warehouse, or manufacturing facility with energy-efficient lighting, LEDs will reap significant savings.
And remember: Such lighting systems are not only smart enough to detect people in a room; they’re sharp enough to reap savings silently, with building occupants rarely inconvenienced or even aware that the systems are hard at work.