Find out how LED fixtures with built-in controls can optimize efficiency and energy savings.
LED lighting technology is evolving rapidly, and market growth is keeping pace. With expanded market share, LED fixture costs are decreasing and, in many applications, the added expense of LED technology is offset by energy and maintenance savings.
Advanced lighting controls (ALCs), which automatically switch, dim and brighten lights in response to occupancy and daylight can optimize efficiency and provide even more savings. Until recently, however, the cost and complexity of these systems were a barrier to widespread implementation. The latest generation of LED fixtures have occupancy and daylight sensors built right in.
In one study, such integrated fixtures were shown to reduce lighting energy use by 75%, while being easier and less expensive to install.
Plug and play technology
LED fixtures with integrated controls change light levels and color temperature, automatically using built-in occupancy and daylight sensors. They connect directly to wiring used by legacy recessed fixtures, which minimizes installation costs.
With integrated ALCs, individual fixtures are easily programmed and assigned to zones using remote controls. Once the zones are set up, fixtures in each zone can communicate wirelessly. The fixtures operate both as part of the group and independently.
For example, all fixtures within a zone can be programmed to turn on to minimum light levels if someone enters the area, but only fixtures that actually sense occupancy will come to full brightness. For additional savings, you can tune light levels for individual zones to low, medium or high, depending on need.
Research shines a light on savings
How do LED fixtures with integrated controls work in real life? In a U.S. Department of Energy study, linear fluorescent lamps were replaced with such fixtures in two large office buildings in Chicago and Atlanta. Researchers evaluated energy savings and cost effectiveness. To assess the performance of the new systems, they measured light levels and lighting quality, and surveyed building occupants.
The study found LED fixtures with integrated controls provide a number of important benefits:
Energy savings. Integrated fixtures provided energy savings of 75% compared to the national average lighting energy use for commercial buildings.
Improved light quality. Surveyed occupants reported a significant increase in satisfaction with the lighting environment after the upgrade.
Reduced complexity and costs. Compared to LEDs with separate controls, integrated fixtures were easier to setup and less expensive to install.
The savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) of the LED upgrade for facilities with average usage and utility rates was found to be 1.2 to 2.0. SIR is the present value of lifetime savings from an efficiency project compared to the initial cost. For an LED upgrade with an SIR of 2.0, you'll get $2 in energy savings over the life of the fixtures for every $1 you spent installing them.
The financial picture for LED fixtures with integrated controls should continue to brighten as costs come down. Consider these smart fixtures if you're looking to improve the energy performance of your facility, if you're renovating or if you have fixtures nearing the end of their useful life.
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