The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 created the Commercial Buildings Deduction (CBD), which established an accelerated tax deduction rewarding investment in energy-efficient interior lighting, HVAC/hot water systems and building envelope. Initially set to expire December 31, 2007 and then December 31, 2008, the CBD was recently extended by Congress to expire in five years: December 31, 2013.
Demand is the sum of all electric power required to run a building’s equipment currently in operation. As equipment is turned on and off, demand rises and falls. Peak demand is the highest level of demand recorded by a demand meter during a given time period. This is the most expensive power the utility has […]
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) launched the Premium Ballast program to identify the industry’s most efficient fluorescent fixed-output and dimmable electronic T8 ballasts, thereby providing a mechanism for market recognition and specification of these products.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published LC 1-2007 Test Procedure for Compatibility of Hearing Aids and Ultrasonic Lighting Control Devices. This standard provides a basis to evaluate the possible interactions between ultrasonic lighting control devices and hearing aids utilizing a set of test procedures. This evaluation can be used as the basis for specifying performance criteria for both hearing aids and occupancy sensors to eliminate interference.
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.
The Lighting Controls Association (LCA) has announced the availability of EE204: Hi-Bay Lighting Upgrades, a new course added to its popular Education Express program. Residing at the Association’s website, Education Express provides in-depth education about lighting controls and controllable ballast technology, application, system design and commissioning, as well as meta-issues such as LEED, energy codes and other trends.
In terms of lighting, ASHRAE 90.1-2007 clarifies the Standard’s intent and enacts several refinements but otherwise doesn’t revise the lighting power density (W/sq.ft.) limits from the 2004 version, which itself was 20-25 percent more stringent than the 1991/2001 versions.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (HR6) does not include many provisions directly related to lighting. Two of its provisions, however, are nonetheless highly significant. One virtually eliminates the manufacture of today’s >150W to <500W probe-start metal halide magnetic ballasted fixtures starting in 2009 (replacement ballasts are not affected). Another virtually eliminates the manufacture of most common general-service incandescent lamps, putting billions of sockets up for grabs. The Act also has its eye on a possible LED general-service lamp in the future, establishing incentives to develop an LED product that can take on the 60W incandescent. The Act also distinguishes itself in two other ways. One is what it does not contain, such as encouragement of more-efficient residential energy codes and any tax provisions such as an anticipated extension of the Commercial Buildings Deduction to December 31, 2013. Another is its provisions that may indirectly affect lighting, such as its tough new energy reduction requirements for Federal buildings and the establishment and funding of a Director and Office of Commercial High-Performance Green Buildings, which will work with a private-public partnership to realize a goal of all newly constructed commercial buildings being “net zero energy” by 2030.
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.
In June 2006, the Lighting Controls Association published Education Express, a new free online distance-education program about lighting, controls and controllable ballasts.To date, the more than 2,000 students who have taken Education Express courses are giving the program high marks.