The cost of electrical energy production has increased over the years. This increase in cost is not only calculated on a monetary basis, but also on the effects on the environment. Owners of commercial buildings and educational institutions are some of the biggest consumers of electrical energy for lighting. Efforts have been made in recent years to reduce the amount of energy consumed for lighting purposes by taking advantage of daylight.
The efficiency of the use of daylight in these buildings is enhanced by ensuring that the design of the buildings allows for even distribution of light throughout. Lights in these large buildings are turned on and off according to the time schedule. However, no efforts have seen significant changes in the consumption of energy by these buildings.
Integrated daylight systems were introduced to address this problem. These systems consist of a network of dimmable fluorescent ballasts, workstation controls, environmental sensors, and other building management options.
Integrated daylight systems make use of various parameters to ensure that the light in the building remains evenly distributed and adequate for the occupants. The systems also ensure that daylight is used maximally. The systems combine responses to daylight and occupancy to ensure that electrically powered lights are off when daylight is adequate and when there is no occupant in the room.
Although the term may seem foreign to many people, these systems have been in the market for over 30 years. When earlier systems were first introduced in the market, they were not readily received as they exhibited various complications such as installation and the costs of purchase and installation were too high. However, more modern systems have been introduced in the market and have been more readily adopted.
All the modern systems still share the common feature of being controlled from a workstation that is
set up at management level. However, more research is being carried out to reduce the cost of installation. This research is mostly centered on improving various components of the integrated daylight systems such as diming ballasts, communication networks, and photo sensors. Some improvements that have been seen in modern integrated systems include the shift to wireless control networks.
To determine the cost savings of integrated daylight systems, it is important to factor in the cost of the system and the cost of installation. Various studies carried out by local and state governments have seen cost savings of up to 50% for large commercial buildings. These studies were carried out using the simplest systems with wireless control networks to further reduce the cost of installation. A lot more research is being done on the systems. Advances made may see the systems adapted in more buildings across the country.
Integrated daylight systems are not new to the market. They have been around for more than 30 years. You can find out all you need to know here and access the systems.