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Monday, November 04, 2013

Guest Blog : "LED technology advance with the help of smart controls"

Energy Efficient LEDs and Smart Controls

by Danny Paradee of Dr Bulb

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that lighting is responsible for 17% of the total electricity consumed by residential and commercial sectors. For the commercial sector alone, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street lighting, lighting consumes about 21% of the total electricity.

Not only is LED lighting saving people money, but the technology is advancing at an incredible rate. Quality LED luminaires have a life of up to 70,000 to 100,000 hours, which adds up to an incredible 20 years of use at 12 hours a day. Soon the issue will switch from having to change your light bulb to changing the fixture itself! This year alone, large strides have been made in how efficient LED bulbs can be.

  • Ushio created a candelabra lamp using LED filament design that emulate a 15 to 20 watt lamp that lasts 40,000 hour...and only uses .6 watts
  • Toshiba has a new outdoor area light that emits 20% more light at 30% less costs.
  • Soraa offers a full spectrum light source that is equivalent to a 65 watt halogen. 

Smart Controls

We know that energy efficient lighting like LED and CFL is helping to reduce energy use across the world. But with cities, towns and property owners still looking for ways to cut energy and costs, sometimes energy efficient lighting is not enough. Even with LED lighting, there is still an issue of “over lighting” spaces. Is it necessary to illuminate certain spaces at full brightness at all hours? 

With smart controls, this problem can be eliminated.

Effective lighting control systems were a big topic at LightFair International 2013. Property managers are now able to monitor lighting and remotely dial down power use with a cellular connection. 

Commands can be sent to wireless nodes throughout the property, which increases system efficacy and reduces overall power use when required. Options for the LED lighting controls are more than just the classic on and off. Controls are capable of changing colors with RGB sources so the LED lights can set the mood in a room.

Many lighting control companies feature control systems linking motion-based lighting (occupancy sensors), switches and dimmers, and light fixtures to a centralized controller. Occupancy sensors make sure that lights are on only when motion is detected. This ensures that the right amount of lighting is provided when needed, which eliminates wasted energy and reduces costs.

Besides reducing energy use, many control systems reduce maintenance by alerting the controller when a lamp needs replacing. This also cuts costs by eliminating late night patrols for street lighting.

LED lighting uses only a fraction of the energy typically used for high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. With energy efficient LED luminaires like LED high bays or LED bollard lights as well as smart controls, the energy savings and return on investment can be incredible