cell phone adjusting light bulb intensity

Smart Lighting Offers Major Benefits

In addition to energy efficiency, smart systems can produce cost savings, healthier workspaces and safer facilities

By Howard Riell, Contributing Writer  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Switching to Smart Lighting: How to Convince Upper Management

Smart lighting projects offer the potential for major energy savings and improved aesthetics at institutional and commercial facilities. Facility managers are tasked with balancing project costs and energy efficiency improvements with many other benefits, such as improved comfort for building occupants, better security and design aesthetics, that these projects can provide. 

It’s a balancing act with potentially very high stakes. 

Smart lighting systems can schedule lights to turn off automatically or dim them to conserve energy, and “offer numerous benefits for facilities across various industries,” says David Buerer, director of product management for Leviton Lighting & Energy Solutions. 

Seeking efficiencies 

An obvious benefit of smart lighting is energy efficiency. Integrated occupancy/vacancy sensing and daylighting technology automatically adjust light levels based on occupancy, available daylight, and scheduling to help reduce both energy consumption and electricity costs. 

Those cost savings are achieved thanks to reduced installation expenses due to fewer components to install, smaller energy bills, and lower maintenance costs due to longer lifespans.  

Code compliance means that systems meet energy requirements for codes and standards like IECC, ASHRAE 90.1, and California Title 24. Customization and control allow managers to easily adjust lighting scenes to enhance the ambience of a space and improve functionality for its occupants. Yet another plus is enhanced security, as automated lighting schedules and occupancy sensors combine to create a more secure environment. 

Smart lighting can also improve occupant wellbeing and productivity of employees and building occupants. Adjustable lighting conditions can contribute to more pleasant and efficient environments. Scalability and future integration start with a basic installation and expand the system as needed. 

Budget benefits 

The amount of energy and money that facilities can save with smart lighting systems depends on a variety of factors, including the size and type of the facility, the existing lighting infrastructure, the specific smart-lighting features implemented and local energy rates, Buerer says. 

“Smart lighting systems offer substantial savings in energy and maintenance costs, with estimates showing up to a 90 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption and a 30 percent to 70 percent cut in overall lighting expenses,” he says.  

Additional benefits include an extended LED lifespan, rapid return on investment and improved operational efficiency. 

Related Content: Pros and Cons of Lighting Upgrades

With potential incentives from rebates and enhanced work environments, the business case for smart lighting is “compelling,” Buerer says. “However, it is essential to examine the specifics of each facility through an energy audit to gauge individual potential savings. Ongoing monitoring and optimization remain critical for long-term benefits.” 

Smart lighting clearly plays a crucial role in enhancing comfort, security and design aesthetics for building occupants.  

Some managers, however, fail to realize that lighting is “more than just a visual feature,” Buerer says. “It significantly impacts the wellbeing of building occupants and security measures while contributing to the aesthetic appeal.” 

When lighting systems support a building's security through features like motion activation, they act as a deterrent to potential threats, and integrate into comprehensive safety systems to guide occupants on safe evacuation routes.  

“As a key player in architectural aesthetics, thoughtfully designed lighting has the power to enhance and transform the character of a space, whether it's by emphasizing design elements, using varying color temperatures, or contributing to the artistic appeal of a room,” Buerer says. “Overall, smart lighting not only caters to occupants' varied needs but also ensures that the building remains a secure, welcoming and visually engaging asset.” 

Continue Reading: Lighting

Smart Lighting Offers Major Benefits

Switching to Smart Lighting: How to Convince Upper Management

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »

  posted on 3/4/2024   Article Use Policy

Related Topics: