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.
Code authorities are considering approaches to energy codes that are performance based instead of mainly prescriptive. In a performance-based code, the building would be designed so that it would operate within a target limit for energy consumption—using annual kWh/sq.ft. instead of W/sq.ft. as the primary metric.
Control wiring provides a path for command and status communication between control devices in a lighting and control system and, in many cases, power to the devices as well. Wiring is interrelated with overall lighting control system considerations—such as selection of control system and components, layout and installation practices—and is therefore an important consideration when choosing a lighting control solution.
Fluorescent ballast regulations have essentially eliminated the magnetic T12 ballast with few exceptions, including F40T12, F96T12 and F96T12HO ballasts for both full-wattage and energy-saving versions of these lamps. Two years later, in 2012, additional regulations will take effect, creating new energy standards for selected linear T5, T8 and T12 lamps. The net result is a majority of 4-ft. linear and 2-ft. U-shaped T12, many 8-ft. T12 and T12HO, and some low-color-rendering 4-ft. T8 lamps will be eliminated. Based on these facts, one could make a simple argument that it is now time to upgrade existing lighting and control systems to improve energy efficiency and lighting quality.
This month, Federal efficiency standards regulating fluorescent magnetic T12 ballasts entered their final phase, effectively eliminating these ballasts from the market, with few exceptions.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled the Commercial Lighting Solutions for Office webtool. Available free at www.lightingsolutions.energy.gov, CLS for Office provides customizable lighting and control templates enabling building owners to generate more than 30% lighting energy savings compared to office buildings complying with prevailing energy codes.
California new Title 20 standards, which went into effect January 1, 2010, created new energy efficiency standards for 150-500W metal halide light fixtures used in indoor and outdoor applications. These fixtures may not be manufactured in the State of California unless they meet the new standards.
At first glance, LED technology appears to be very friendly with dimming control, with dimmable integrated LED lamps available. However, the given integrated lamp must be rated as compatible with the given line-voltage dimmer. This whitepaper describes current LED dimming issues and offers application guidance to avoid unwanted performance.
Researchers at the National Research Council Canada – Institute for Research in Construction (NRC-IRC) conducted a study to determine how far, how fast and over what period lighting can be dimmed before occupants notice and are adversely affected. The results suggest a role for dimmable lighting in demand response programs.
Green construction codes and standards are beginning to emerge on the national code stage. The standards go beyond energy standards such as 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to cover additional areas such as site sustainability, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and materials and resources. The first is ASHRAE Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, published by ASHRAE in January 2010 in conjunction with the USGBC and the Illuminating Engineering Society.