10 Minutes to a Better Building: Lighting Systems That Brighten Building Operations

When the topic focuses on construction activities, the focus is on systems such as HVAC and how to maximize comfort and efficiency. But what about other essential building components that can also benefit from current technological solutions? Doug White, Lighting Solutions Manager at Trane, and John Cain, Energy Services Business Development Leader, Boland, spoke with Tyler Kern about the many benefits lighting systems can bring to the overall operation of a building.”

“When it comes to lighting and energy efficiency, lighting is a phenomenal first step,” White said. “Most people see it as the low hanging fruit within the energy systems in our buildings. If you convert your lighting systems from fluorescent or HID to LED technology, you immediately recognize 50-60% energy savings for lighting.”

And while the benefits of LED are well known and proven, Cain said the technology hasn’t arrived as he expected. “Most buildings still have the old technology,” Cain said. “Old lighting systems affect about 80% of buildings on the market today. So there are many opportunities to upgrade lighting systems and improve the quality of life of the building occupants.”

Cain talked about how lighting systems, such as HVAC systems, are designed to handle peak loads or maximum darkness. Unlike HVAC systems designed to modulate based on load conditions, lighting systems are on or off. “When lights are on, they usually have 100% of their energy capacity, so they don’t take advantage of the available ambient light conditions,” Cain said. “By fully integrating control for both HVAC and lighting, the system can share occupancy detection and utilize the dimming control of the environment, helping an owner maximize their investment.”

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