When it comes to creating a more energy efficient home or workplace, it’s time to start taking our lighting options seriously. According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, lighting accounts for around 10% of electricity usage in households, and 18–40% of in commercial premises in Australia. The more electricity we are using, the more harmful greenhouse gases we are producing. By doing what you can to light your home, office, building or structure in a more energy efficient way, not only do you reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but you reduce your electricity bill too.
So, how can we light our spaces in an environmentally conscious way without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics? Here is what we need to consider.
Make the most of natural light during the day
Energy efficient artificial lighting is great, but natural sunlight is a whole lot better. It’s important to consider how to maximise natural light in the building design stage. Architects should consider strategic window placement, using skylights, transparent panels and reflective surfaces that can make natural light go even further in space. Light coloured paint and reflective flooring materials (such as polished wood or tiles) can bounce natural light around the room to bring even more luminosity.
Maximising natural light is not only better for the environment and our bank accounts, it is better for our bodies too. Being exposed to natural light throughout the day helps to regulate our circadian rhythm (meaning that we sleep better) and keep our hormones balanced.
Opt for LEDs
The Australian Department of the Environment and Energy states that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use about 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs and last 5-10 times longer, which reduces replacement costs as well as the number of bulbs ending up in landfill.
LEDs also have extremely diverse possibilities when it comes to application. They can be waterproof and are completely digitally programmable to achieve incredible visual results through dimming, colour changing, touch sensitive responses and more. This is why LEDs have become such a popular choice in a range of indoor and outdoor projects. Pair them with a great lighting control system and the possibilities are endless.
Do you have family members or colleagues who have a bad habit of leaving lights on when they leave a room? This can be a huge contributor to energy wastage. Using motion sensors in your lighting control system is a great way to switch off lights that don’t need to be on – without having to nag anyone!
Sensors can also be installed to monitor the levels of natural light in a space. The information they collect can then be utilised by a lighting control system to automatically adjust the level of artificial lighting output accordingly. This function is particularly useful in commercial and industrial environments where constant levels of light need to be maintained throughout the day for health and safety reasons. Sensors are another way to ensure that energy isn’t being wasted on artificial light when it is not required.
Centralised switches and control panels
An effective lighting control system will allow you to monitor and control light usage through one centralised control panel or switch. In big spaces such as commercial or industrial buildings, or even in larger homes, a central switch is extremely helpful to identify lights that are switched on when they don’t need to be. Again, this is a great way to cut down on energy wastage (and make it much easier to control lighting in large spaces).
If you would like any information on how we can help you or your business with energy efficient solutions please feel free to send us an email on our Contact Us page.