Enlightenment: villain or ally?
Lighting can represent up to 40% of energy consumption in buildings, depending on their type and consumption profile. Lighting control is definitely one of the easiest ways to save energy costs and one of the most common applications. By applying an effective lighting control solution, for example, users can easily save up to 50% on their electricity bill compared to traditional ways: “today, the conscientious use of electricity is essential. One of the measures that positively contribute to the reduction of energy consumption is to prioritize the use of lamps and LED reflectors at strategic points and in common areas, in addition to the use of presence sensors with timers, for example", says Marina Andrade, Project and Sustainability Coordinator at Cushman & Wakefield.
How does it work in practice?
Currently, the main criteria for efficient lighting in lighting projects or improvements to existing systems consist of:
• Adopt as a reference energy efficiency standards, such as ASHRAE 90.1-2010, which is being used as a premise in projects seeking LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) v4
• Use of high-efficiency lamps
• Use of electronic ballasts, which can be quick start, instant start, high performance, analog dimmable and DALI dimmable (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface – automation system for lighting);
• Presence sensors in short-term environments such as bathrooms and hallways.
All criteria are presented to customers with the purpose of directing projects to the most efficient scenario possible: "it is important to emphasize that for any replacement or implementation of new solutions, a technical study must be carried out so that we do not negatively impact the level of ambient luminosity, as it is not simply replacing equipment with greater power for one with less. Mapping strategic lighting points allows the use of natural light most of the day and generates savings in energy consumption expenses for the client in the medium and long term”, explains Diego Batista, Project and Sustainability Analyst at Cushman & Wakefield.
The use of natural lighting is also an important item in this process. The first step is to integrate it into the architectural project and this does not only mean having openings in facades or roofs, but also considering factors of orientation and materials used.
One element that provides this benefit are the brises, which bring natural light in the necessary quantity and quality, reducing or eliminating the need for artificial light for most of the day. It is important that the lighting system consider strategies such as circuit sectorization and dimmable sensors so that the artificial lighting modulates as needed.
A warning is that all these studies for natural lighting need to be integrated with an analysis of the thermal load of the air conditioning, because by enabling the best supply of this lighting, the demand for air conditioning also increases: "there are many tools that allow us to predict the energy performance of buildings taking into account the aspects of ventilation, lighting and thermal. For these studies, energy simulation software is used in order to obtain an integrated view of the entire project, thus allowing us to predict and improve, if necessary, its performance”, says Marina.
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