The majority of public and private sector organisations have already adopted LED, this being the most obvious method to reduce both energy and maintenance costs. Despite this the rapid pace of LED development and two to threefold increase in LED efficiency over the last ten years means some early adopters may be able to achieve a second return on investment by reviewing their installations again and replacing with the latest generations of luminaires. Although LED development still brings tangible annual increases, the pace is now much slower and it appears unlikely that gains of more than 5-10% will be achieved over the current state of the art. This stability allows consumers to invest with confidence in a well developed technology knowing that their investment is unlikely to be redundant in the near future.
Another obvious step to reduce energy consumption and cost is the inclusion of controls and wireless reporting systems. Automated switching and dimming of lighting in line with presence and daylight contribution prevents unnecessary energy expenditure and helps prolong luminaire lifetime. Wireless controls can assist with monitoring of energy usage, identify areas of low occupancy through heat mapping thereby optimising building use and simplify fault reporting, all of which contribute to reduced operating costs. Predictive maintenance systems are now possible with the advent of DALI 2 as drivers now record a wide range of operational criteria including operating hours, temperatures and power supply, allowing products approaching end of life to be replaced before failure occurs. Such systems are being included in the latest generations of wireless platforms and will hopefully go some way towards eliminating responsive maintenance undertaken at the point of failure, typically at short notice and high cost.
With the current push across the electronics industry to improve serviceability and interchangeability of parts, wastage can be saved and costs reduced further by ensuring that lighting suppliers offer solutions which allow for simple replacement of key components in the event of failure or when technology allows for substantial energy efficiency gains.
Image: A recent Dextra project – Samuel Ryder Academy: A net zero classroom block and the energy performance certificate for the new building is A+ rated at minus 24 making the building carbon neutral, or net zero, in operation