Lighting Sensors Offer Additional Savings

By Dan Hounsell, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Lighting Upgrade Shines Light on Reaching Sustainability GoalsPt. 2: Expanding The Scope of Lighting Upgrades Pt. 3: This Page

To bring even greater energy savings to the facility's lighting system, the department has installed occupancy sensors in key areas throughout the hospital.

"The sensors that we use are actually an internal project we have going on, especially single-use rooms, such as single-stall bathrooms, storage closets and offices," Highsmith says. "Most of those types of rooms have motion sensors installed in them. We haven't quite made it through the entire hospital, but I will say more than 50 percent of rooms that have that opportunity either are on a timer or a motion sensor."

More Opportunities?

What's next for the hospital's lighting systems? The answer will depend, in part, on whether the department can identify tasks that offer an appealing return on investment (ROI).

"Part two of the lighting retrofit is going back and identifying, for lack of a better term, those one-off type fixtures — things that aren't necessarily common, such as decorative art pieces that are illuminated — and trying to identify the appropriate fixture retrofit and the exact opportunity that's there," Highsmith says.

In phase one, "We used fixtures with sensors in off-stage areas, but by and large, phase one for the majority of the hospital was the low-hanging fruit. These were the light fixtures that were easy to access and that had several hours of operation. Now in phase two, we are coming back and saying, 'What did we pass up in phase one that still has a decent opportunity for ROI and that makes sense for us to do?'"

The hospital's efforts to bring greater sustainability to — and wring greater savings from — its lighting system might not end with phase two.

"There may be a phase three. We may get done with phase two and say, 'What else did we miss?' We talked about landscape lighting and exterior signage lighting but we really didn't come up with any definitive solution or determine there was enough of an ROI on what's available versus what we have now."

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  posted on 2/22/2012   Article Use Policy

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