How to save energy without compromising on safety
January 2023, by Mitch Waite
January 2023, by Mitch Waite
Energy saving is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, both commercially and personally. How is the lighting industry helping to ease the burden?
In this article, which first appeared in A1 Lighting Magazine (vol. 87, issue 1), our Senior Product Manager, Mitch Waite, provides insights into how local authorities can create financial and energy-saving opportunities.
With spiralling energy prices and looming net zero targets, the need to reduce energy consumption has never been higher. For Lighting Authorities looking for quick savings, switching off street lighting or reducing the lighting class may seem like an option. But, as the ILP recently highlighted in their ‘Guidance for Lighting Authorities’, these approaches come with inherent risks and should be considered carefully, particularly as there are viable alternatives available.
Globally, public lighting currently accounts for 20–40% of a municipality’s energy bill, so efficient lighting can make a huge difference to Local Authority budgets. However, it’s estimated that of the 7.2m streetlights across the UK, only around 55% have been converted to LED, meaning that there is still a large opportunity for savings.
Mitch Waite, Senior Product Manager
Mitch has worked in the lighting industry for over 13 years and has been with DW Windsor since 2018. His experience and passion for light and lighting have made Mitch a key member of our team, driving the development of new and innovative products.
Compared to traditional light sources, switching to LEDs can substantially lower energy usage, achieving energy savings of around 60%. To ensure maximum savings, operators should look for the most efficient solution. Recent advances in LED technology mean we can now have efficacy values in excess of 190lm/W, as is the case with our new Kirium Pro S luminaire.
Lighting controls are another area where large savings can be made, providing illumination only when needed. According to a recent report, additional savings of approximately £30m per year could be achieved if all new street light conversions adopted some form of part night dimming. For authorities looking to integrate controls into a lighting scheme, there are several options —from simple to advanced — offering various levels of savings.
Kirium Pro S can be controlled in a variety of ways, from simple factory-set dimming to full CMS.
Stand-alone systems are reliable and straightforward, utilising electronic devices such as photocells and motion sensors to manage the lighting. They are the perfect solution for areas with light traffic, such as footpaths or car parks, helping to conserve energy whilst also maintaining a safe and comfortable environment.
For schemes requiring an intelligent solution, wireless connectivity could be considered. Offering real-time control, asset monitoring and dynamic management of lighting infrastructure through a Central Management System (CMS), these systems are flexible and robust. For example, our Cellular Node can easily connect one to one million lights, providing immediate control of street lighting networks. By using existing 4G and 5G cellular networks, it’s possible to deliver significant savings through ‘dimming and trimming’ techniques in both densely populated and remote locations without the need for additional hardware.
Choosing the right lighting solution may feel like a daunting task; however, there are clear and immediate benefits to be had from upgrading. And with councils reporting a 37.5% increase in running costs in just the last six months, there’s never been a better time to invest in more efficient solutions.
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