Lighting in Educational Spaces

Over the last few years many of our educational spaces have been upgraded to make use of LED luminaires whilst absence detection sensors with daylight regulation along window rows has been mandatory in classrooms for some time. This prior investment in energy efficient solutions makes it more challenging to find further substantial energy reductions for our educational establishments.

Although LED efficiency gains have slowed over the last few years improvements are still being made to chip design and efficiency, you may typically expect efficiency gains of 20-30% against a product manufactured five years ago, so it always pays to check your existing installation against the current state of the art. This is especially important if your installation was made with a lower cost product where efficiency may have been compromised for the sake of price, if so replacing this with a quality luminaire with latest generation LEDs may yield substantial energy savings.

Where customers are willing to embrace the latest designs of luminaires utilising lensed LEDs rather than traditional diffusers even greater savings can be achieved. Whilst the luminaire appearance differs substantially from more traditional designs, lenses ensure optical losses are minimal whilst also casting the light exactly where required allowing lower overall lumen outputs to be used. It is possible to exceed 160 luminaire lumens per circuit watt with these designs, which when combined with the savings outlined above may provide a rapid return on investment and energy reduction over an older LED installation.

If replacement of luminaires yields a sufficient energy saving to prove viable then controls solutions should be simultaneously reviewed to ensure that these are applied throughout the building, not only in classroom spaces. The latest wireless controls systems allow grouped operation of luminaires without the need to install DALI wiring ensuring that areas can be fully lit with minimal occupancy therefore improving safety whilst also enabling monitoring and reporting features which can provide substantial cost savings by simplifying ongoing emergency testing and maintenance.

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