ASHRAE/IES 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is published every three years to provide states and other jurisdictions with a model commercial building energy code. The 2010 version, published November 2010, represents the most dramatic revision of the standard since 1999. In this two-part series of special reports by the Lighting Controls Association, we will examine the new energy standard in detail. Part one, presented here, focuses on changes to the prescriptive lighting power requirements as well as changes to scope and administrative requirements. Part two, to be published next month, will focus on the standard’s extensive list of new mandatory and optional lighting control requirements.
This document provides general information and considerations involved in the design and application of dimming circuitry employed with specific ballasts and lamps in the HID family. Click here to download it free from the NEMA website.
Radio-frequency (RF) wireless communication is a significant emerging lighting control technology. In a typical hardwired lighting control system, control signals are sent using communication wires. In a wireless RF system, control devices communicate through the air using radio waves, eliminating the need for control wiring. The resulting advantages enable advanced lighting control with greater installation flexibility and lower labor installation cost, ideal for hard-to-wire applications non-accessible ceilings, hard ceilings, asbestos abasement issues, and brick and mortar existing buildings.
Wireless RF lighting control first became popularized in residential applications, with typical applications including home theater, kitchens and other common areas, master bedrooms and exterior and security lighting. In recent years, however, wireless RF lighting control has emerged as a viable alternative to hardwired controls in commercial building applications. What benefits does RF wireless communication provide?
The first benefit is flexibility. Wireless control devices can be placed where they are needed without limitation imposed by wiring, including areas that are difficult to wire. More flexibility is provided in unique applications. Electrical planning may be shortened. After installation, devices can be moved and the system expanded with relative ease.
The second benefit is labor and material cost savings, which may result in net installation savings after the typically higher product cost is figured. Wireless control eliminates the need for dedicated control wiring and associated switch legs, traveler wires and other raw materials. The system installs more quickly, producing labor savings. With no damage to walls or ceilings, and little to no disruption to business operations, wireless control lends itself well to existing building applications demanding the benefits of advanced lighting control.
The advantages of wireless control make these solutions particularly suitable for commercial building applications where the cost of running control wires is too costly or simply not possible, such as outdoor lighting, parking garages, warehouses and retrofits.
The Lighting Controls Association is pleased to announce that EE300: Lighting Control of LEDs, a key offering in the Association’s popular online Education Express distance education courses, has been updated.
EE301: Wireless RF Lighting Control, written by LCA Education Director Craig DiLouie, provides a basic understanding of wireless RF control, including functionality, benefits, power, networking, protocols, range, programming and integration issues.
While activity for institutional projects should hover near 2010 levels, there is likely to be a modest decline in commercial construction in 2011, according to the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel. Overall nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 2% for the year. The Panel believes 2012 will produce stronger gains, however, with overall building construction rising about 5%, with growth twice the rate of the more cyclical commercial sector. This construction outlook reviews the year’s top line construction numbers, shows where leading construction and electrical industry indicators are trending, and provides a summary of the latest AIA Consensus Construction Forecast for 2011.
Electrical Contractor Magazine recently published a major story on lighting controls featuring LCA members Leviton, Lutron, OSRAM SYLVANIA and WattStopper, in addition to comments from Craig DiLouie representing the Lighting Controls Association. The article, titled “Take Control,” outlines control strategies that building owners and managers can deploy now to reduce energy costs and increase flexibility in existing building lighting systems.
Emergency lighting can constitute as much as 20 percent of a commercial building’s lighting load, according to research conducted by WattStopper, which points out, in a whitepaper titled, “Emergency Lighting and Control,” that special control approaches can be used to reduce this load and generate significant energy savings while satisfying life/safety demands and code requirements.
To help achieve the PlaNYC goal of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by the year 2030, on December 9, 2009, the New York City Council enacted ambitious legislation targeting energy consumption in buildings. Recognizing that 85% of the buildings that exist today will still be in use in 2030, the Council is focusing on existing buildings. New York’s 22,000 largest buildings, concentrated largely in Manhattan, account for roughly 45% of total floorspace and energy consumption, and were specifically targeted by the legislation to make the biggest impact for the smallest amount of government intervention.
The big news is that ASHRAE 90.1-2010 has been published. It represents a major leap in evolution of the energy standard; it’s basically almost an entirely new standard. Lighting controls play a starring role. Here is a summary of lighting control-related changes that caught my eye at first glance.