Facility Maintenance Decisions

Lighting Retrofits: Careful Planning Debunks Myths

Debunking these misconceptions and the circumstances that create them requires careful planning and product specification by managers and other team members. One common source of frustration involves savings and performance that do not meet expectations.

"This reflects shortfalls in the planning process, such as over-promising and under-delivering on the upgrade's performance and energy savings and making faulty assumptions about burn hours," says Doug Stoneman, senior manager for channel marketing with Philips Lighting Electronics.

Involving building occupants is one of the first steps in preventing these problems, says Mark Lien, director of the Lighting Solutions Center with Hubbell Lighting.

"It is critical to get occupant buy-in on the changes being made, especially if they'll be conspicuous," Lien says. "Survey them prior to the audit for lighting concerns," he says. "Emphasize and quantify advantages to the new system, such as color rendering improvements."

Stoneman says an audit can give managers and organizations a fuller picture of the application parameters, as well as of the occupant's lighting requirements, adding, "Users should be asking broad questions, such as 'What are the ongoing maintenance concerns for the newly installed lighting system?' and 'Are there skill sets required, such as with controls, that the facility is not able to provide?'"

Because retrofits often aim to lower an organization's overall energy use, managers should consider an energy audit.

"It is important that your lighting-management provider extends the time and effort to perform a full-scale energy audit, including before-and-after readings on the lighting circuits and the lighting levels," says Edward Satterwhite, eastern regional operations manager with Osram Sylvania.

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  posted on 10/7/2009   Article Use Policy

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