- It is estimated that nearly 40% of electricity used by the average office is on Lighting
- It is estimated that nearly 30% of electricity used by the average education building is on Lighting
- It is estimated that nearly 45% of electricity used in the average Health Care facility is on Lighting
This being the case, the installation of any Futronix Lighting control system will save energy costs. If a light is dimmed by just 25% the energy saving is 20%, times that by the number of
lights in the average health care facility and the savings are huge. Most lighting control systems pay for themselves after only a few years. When dimming a lamp the energy saved is as high as 98% of the proportion of unused energy. Because the human eye perceives light non-linearly, it is possible to reduce light levels by over 10% before the reduction in brightness is noticed. This would lead to a near 10% saving in energy consumption. A 50% reduction in dimming levels would save around 40% of the energy.
Intelligent dimmers ramp or fade a lamp to a preset level. This is particularly important when the lamp is first turned on. Incandescent lamps tend to fail at this point due to thermal shock of the cold filament. By fading the lamp to the set level, also known as "soft start", a lamp's life is extended considerably. At 10% dimming a lamp will last twice as long, and at 50% dimming it will last 20 times as long. Voltage stabilization, available on more expensive systems, protects lamps against spikes and peaks in mains voltage.
In warm climates and in the summer months when air-conditioning is used, lowering the thermal load of the lighting can also save energy.
Solid state dimmers, unlike their rheostat predecessors, do not dim lighting by losing the excess energy in the form of heat through a resistive load. Instead, they switch the load on and off 100 times a second with a time delay proportional to the amount being dimmed.
Not all lamps are dimmable. Some like compact fluorescent lamps, can only be switched on or off. However, energy can still be saved if they are turned off automatically when not required. For example, during a bright day the lamps near a window can be turned off where normally they would be left on. A sensor that measures daylight provides an input value to the controller that will measure the value over time and use that information to switch or dim circuits to per-determined levels.