Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Light on Your Wallet: Top Lighting Solutions for Managers. (Ductape)

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Light on Your Wallet: Top Lighting Solutions for Managers. (Ductape)

Article excerpt

Skyrocketing utility costs are forcing property managers to reign in their energy expenditures and adopt more efficient lighting solutions. Property managers can control costs by applying several new lighting technology solutions. Numerous products can help managers get on track to lower energy and lighting costs.

Get Smart

Managers should investigate "smart" fluorescent light fixtures with integrated sensors to help provide energy savings. The Ergolight office lighting and control system from Ledalite provides work-specific lighting with a three-lamp fixture in each cubicle. Two lamps provide down light on the task and one lamp positions light on the ceiling. Dimming ballasts, connected to a daylight sensor and an occupancy sensor, operate the lamps. Occupants control light level from their computer.

LaMar Lighting ( manufactures a series of Occu-Smart fixtures equipped with occupancy sensors, which can keep lamps at a low light level and switch to a high level during occupancy. The fixtures are ideal for corridors, stairwells, restrooms and other areas where maximum light levels are nor constantly required.

No Vacancy

Automated lighting controls decrease hours of use, reducing kWh and cost, and occupancy sensors control lighting in spaces not continuously occupied. The newest occupancy recognition controls require no manual adjustments, cutting costly commissioning time. These adaptive sensors contain microprocessors that analyze activity and adjust both sensitivity and time delay settings to meet the needs of the controlled area. Sensors now incorporate zero-crossing relays to prevent the problem of in-rush current that occurs with electronic ballasts rated with total harmonic distortion (THD) less than 20 percent. These relays sense the 60 Hz waveform of the power line and delay closing the contacts until the next zero-crossing where no current flows, preventing in-rush. Many major lighting product manufacturers offer such automated solutions.

Brilliant Photos

Photocells are electrical switching devices that operate when light falls on them, used to turn outdoor lighting systems on and off at dusk and at dawn. The least expensive photocells use cadmium sulfide cells, but they degrade from exposure to sunlight and lose sensitivity after only a few years of service. The resulting energy savings are reduced when photocell sensitivity is degraded.

Electronic photocells using solid-state, silicon phototransistors that do not lose sensitivity can be used to teplace cadmium sulfide cells. The solid-state photocells last longer and easily return the initial cost investment with energy and labor savings. Managers and owners seeking to trim outdoor lighting expenditures would be best served to seek solutions affording more flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Cove Connections

Cove lighting systems can be upgraded with T5 fluorescent lamps (5/8-inch diameter) and their ballasts, which are 12-18 percent more efficient than T8 lamps. They provide higher light output in confined applications and more usable lumens per watt.

All lamps in the standard T5 family have the same surface brightness. No matter what length lamp is used to fill out the length of the cove (549, 849, 1149 or 1449 mm), brightness is uniform. The high bulb-wall brightness, however, limits use to applications where the bulb is not visible or in high ceilings. A flexible, new ballast from Advance ( can power one or two standard T5 lamps of any wattage (14,21,28 or 35 watt).

For brighter coves and other indirect lighting applications, T5HO lamps are recommended. …

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