Smart Lighting Saint John NB
Saint John, NB
April 16, 2009 By Adrienne Maxwell
Smart lighting control can lead to real energy savings.
Lighting control can be as addictive as a DVR. Once you’ve experienced the convenience of a well-implemented lighting control system in your home, there’s no going back. I know my enjoyment of my home theater went up dramatically just by installing a simple wireless dimmer, controlled by my universal remote.
If you feel like a lighting control system is more luxury than necessity, know that light management can lead to energy and potentially money savings as well.
The Home Lighting Control Alliance (HLCA) recently released a short white paper detailing some tangible benefits of smart lighting control. It’s no surprise that the they would tout such benefits, given that most of its members sell lighting products—companies like HAI, Vantage/Legrand, LiteTouch, CentraLite, and Control4.
Regardless of intent, the HLCA’s five energy-saving tips are worth taking to heart…or home, as the case may be.
Tip #1: Dim the lights
The Energy Conservation Enhancement Project at LSU estimates that 20 percent of all electricity produced in the United States is used for lighting, and 50 percent of that electricity is wasted on inefficient light sources and careless consumers.
Most room lights provide more light than we actually need, which is a primary source of inefficiency. An easy solution is to replace traditional light switches with dimmers and use only the amount of light the room requires at any given time.
Dimming a light by 25 percent can result in 20 percent energy savings and increase the bulb’s lifespan by four times.
Of course, you can manually control each individual dimmer, but a lighting system like HAI’s Lumina or Lightolier’s Brilliance II puts control of all your lighting elements into one device, be it a wall panel or handheld controller.
Your installer can program the entire system to be more efficient by setting all the dimmers to run below maximum, designing efficient scenes based on time of day or activity, and more. Wireless lighting systems—like CentraLite’s JetStream, Vantage’s Enspire, or a Control4 ZigBee setup—are gaining in popularity because they’re easy to install in existing homes.
Tip #2: Maximize use of daylight
Why pay for electricity when that nice, big ball we call the Sun gives away so much light for free?
Add motorized drapes or shades to your control system to better utilize sunlight during the day, and don’t underestimate the value of a skylight.
Today’s skylights don’t have to be relegated to upstairs bathrooms.
A tubular model like Solatube’s Brighten Up more effectively harnesses sunlight through a rooftop dome, channels it through a highly reflective tube, and diffuses it for more even light distribution around your room.
A more advanced variation of the skylight comes from a company called HUVCO Daylighting Solutions: The Parans Fiber Optic System uses solar panels on the building’s exterio...