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August 18th, 2011 by pherniak
Lighting Controllers and Energy Conservation
One expense that is universal across every industry, business or facility is that of lighting. It is impossible to avoid the natural human requirement for light. Lighting controllers can be used to achieve a balance between comfortable lumen levels and energy conservation. Comfortable light levels depend on the situation at hand. Moving from a warehouse to detailed mechanical drawing studio requires a tenfold increase in illumination. Situations involving very precise work with very small objects, such as semiconductor design, require illumination levels comparable to daylight. Supermarkets and offices generally require light at levels similar to an overcast day outdoors. In many situations, buildings combine interior electric lighting with light harvesting through skylights and natural daylight intake. Therefore on a bright and sunny day, one does not need full power sent to the lighting systems. It would simply be wasteful.
One energy conservation system on the market today is the VoltMiser Lighting Controller from EG Energy Controls. It allows for a photo-cell input, thus intelligently dimming or raising lights dependent on natural light intake. As well, the VoltMiser operates at 99% efficiency; no rewiring of existing light circuitry is required for its lamp dimming. Control is provided at lighting panel, and will not cause any harmonic distortions in the power system, due to its perfect sine-wave form. There will be no damage to expensive bulbs. It can be used for energy conservation in many situations, from small commercial installations, to large factories. One VoltMiser controller can deal with anywhere from 25kW to 150kW of high intensity discharge lights. For larger installations, the system can be set up in a modular fashion. Other lamps compatible with the system include metal halide, pulse-start, and high/low pressure sodium bulbs.
With high intensity discharge lamps a 25% energy reduction is possible; this can be done with minimal lumen loss. For all practical purposes, the same light level can be maintained. Think of the possibilities for the capital saved from reducing ones lighting bill by one quarter. This could be the catalyst for many projects previously unreachable due to budget constraints.
Beyond the monetary benefits, consider the far-reaching implications of reducing one’s energy usage. Energy saved is an environment protected. The power required for waste heat and excess light is eliminated; only what is absolutely required is used. There is less draw on the power grid or whatever energy system in use. This fiscal and environmental responsibility is key in today’s world; streamlining costs while emerging at the forefront of energy conservation will bring great rewards.
Written by: Joel Smith