NYSERDA sponsored a demonstration project featuring a new Integrated Classroom Lighting System (ICLS) created by Finelite, Inc., a fixture manufacturer, installed as a retrofit into 28 existing classrooms at seven schools and universities. The Lighting Research Center (LRC) assessed teacher and student satisfaction. The result is a design template demonstrated to satisfy audio-visual needs and improve teacher and student satisfaction while reducing lighting power density to an average 0.73W/sq.ft., nearly 50% less than ASHRAE 90.1-2004/2007. Although Finelite optimized the design into an engineered system integrating the company’s light fixtures with state-of-the-art lighting control strategies, the template, if properly designed, can be treated as open source with suitable products from a wide range of manufacturers.
What are the benefits of combining advanced lighting control strategies in the same space? Are the energy-saving benefits of lighting controls persistent over time? Can advanced lighting controls be successfully applied to open offices given concerns about jurisdiction conflicts, lighting uniformity, etc.? Can they enhance worker satisfaction? A new office lighting field study addresses these questions. Involving about 90 workers in a real-world open-office environment, the one-year study determined that occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting and individual occupant dimming control worked together in the building to produce average energy savings of 47% while correlating with higher occupant environmental and job satisfaction. The study demonstrates that sophisticated lighting control strategies can be combined successfully to generate persistent, large energy savings in open-plan offices while improving occupant satisfaction with their jobs and workspace.
While today’s occupancy sensors offer robust features, proven utility and reliability, they remain application-sensitive devices, which requires a properly educated designer and installer for the controls to be effective. The right occupancy sensor must be selected, it must be properly located and installed, and it must be field-calibrated.
In this article, we will examine the seven steps of the effective application of occupancy sensors.