Lighting helping to increase energy efficiency for buildings

January 6, 2012

In addition to the energy cost savings that are generated by using green technology, embracing earth-friendly practices helps guarantee compliance with government regulations. One area that many building managers are focusing on is lighting.

An intelligent lighting system can help to reduce the total energy consumption for a building, as networked light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can be used to eliminate some of the waste that is produced by older technology.

According to Data Center Journal, the correct type of lighting can help to reduce the electrical load for buildings. Data Centers use specifically-designed integration of this efficient lighting technology to limit overall consumption levels.

Though the integration of efficient lighting into Data Centers is a practice that a small number of buildings will benefit from, the practice can be extended to other types of structures.

It is this type of technological integration that government efforts are hoping to increase and make the standard in commercial buildings. The Department of Energy designated an innovation HUB in Pennsylvania to help develop and design technology that would help to decrease energy consumption and create jobs in the green energy sector.

Headquartered at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC) is a consortium of organizations from the private sector, government and academia. This effort will look to identify and develop green technology, like efficient LED lighting, that can be used on the large stock of buildings in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Technology like LED lighting will be an integral part of the push for more energy efficient buildings in the U.S.

LEDs are responsible for a reduction in energy use, as the bulbs carry several environmental and efficiency benefits not seen in other commercial lighting options. The fixtures last for 50,000 hours – four times as long as fluorescent light – and require less maintenance, according to Data Center Journal.

The news source reported that a recent installation of an energy efficient lighting system at a Facebook data center in Oregon led to a 24 percent cost savings and 38 percent increased energy efficiency.

An article in Metropolis Magazine reported that LED technology improves every day. Lighting technology is constantly evolving and LEDs are now becoming more cost-efficient for even small buildings.

"So instead of a $110 high performance fluorescent fixture, you can get about a $180 LED fixture that’ll way outperform it," a lighting expert told the magazine in an interview.