The buzz words driving many segments of the commercial indoor lighting market these days are "energy efficiency," which can save money on energy costs, increase light levels without using more energy and, when it entails automatic and manual controls, can contribute to increased occupant comfort and extended relamping cycles. With all those paybacks kicking in from the start and running the life of the products, the benefits can be very attractive to owners.

Because energy-saving products for either new installations or retrofits are often more costly to furnish than other lighting products, owners may initially resist the value-added upsell. However, once owners start to understand that the purchase price of a lamp represents a small percentage of the overall cost of light rendered (with power and relamping responsible for the bulk of life cycle cost), many see the rationale for new energy-efficient lighting in a different, more positive light.

In addition to presenting the factual advantages to clients, you can also use manufacturers' calculation sheets featuring comparison charts and formulas that demonstrate product value.

Pulse start technology gains footing

Pulse start metal halide lighting is gaining a share in commercial and industrial markets. This may be at least partially because the system, incorporating pulse start ballasts in pulse start metal halide lamps (in various wattages up through 450 watts, with 750 watts in the wings), reduces energy expenditure, and extends the life of the lamps.

Pulse start technology offers many benefits over traditional metal halide systems, including faster warm-up to full brightness, faster restrike times if interrupted while hot, and improved color uniformity over standard probe start metal halide lamps. Depending upon the wattage of the lamp, they may offer either substantially lower energy costs with equal or better light levels compared to probe start metal halide lamps, or substantially higher light levels per watt with moderate energy savings, or, in new installations, the same light level with fewer fixtures.

Some of the newer pulse start metal halide lamps have rated life spans that meet or beat high-pressure sodium lamps (which themselves have been workhorses in warehouse lighting because of long life and high light output) and have fixture efficiencies that rival high-pressure sodium. According to some industry experts, pulse start metal halide lamps are, of late, more prominent in the metal halide market for commercial and industrial applications, particularly in the middle wattages (150 to 250 watts), where they are competitive with fluorescent systems.

Offering consistent color rendering from lamp to lamp, pulse start fixtures are increasingly utilized in offices for both indirect and direct lighting, as wall fixtures or pendants, or on office dividers.

Factories, warehouses, and other locations currently using conventional 400-watt metal halide or high-pressure sodium lamps can, for example, save a hefty percentage of lighting energy costs by retrofitting with pulse-start metal halide lighting and gain other benefits, as well. And because pulse start lamps can last about one and-a-half times as long, they are well suited to large applications where frequent replacement can be costly.

Pulse start metal halide lamps

Venture Lighting Uni-Form Pulse Start 320W metal halide lamps, with a lamp and ballast designed together as a system, are available in a variety of industrial fixture styles, can-assuming an energy cost of $0.08 KWH for a fixture used 4,500 hours per year-save owners an average of $41.40 per fixture. In addition, in comparison to 400W universal burn (probe start) lamps, the 320W Pulse start bulbs have a warm-up time of two to three minutes, rather than three to five minutes and a restrike time of four to six minutes (compared to eight to 12 minutes for standard lamps). In addition, the unique Uni-Form formed arc chamber has superior lumen maintenance, providing more consistent levels of light over the life of the lamp.

Osram Sylvania Super Metalarc Pulse Start 320- and 400-watt lamps are manufactured to provide less color shift, high-lumen maintenance compared to standard metal halide lamps, along with long life. Both wattage lamps, available clear and coated, feature five to seven minutes hot re-strike.

Pulse start metal halide fixtures

Portfolio brand of Cooper Lighting, for example, offers a 4-inch aperture, T-6 metal halide fixture suitable for architectural downlighting. Available in 35, 70, and 150 watts, the downlighting luminaires offer precise optic control with 45-degree cut-off to lamp and lamp image. Designed around the T-6, G12 based lamp that provides up to 13,500 lumens in a compact envelope, the new housing also accepts a lensed wall wash. Both wall wash and downlight reflector assemblies are interchangeable, for added flexibility at the job site, the company points out.

Well-suited to manufacturing facilities and warehouses, Ruud Lighting's AP Series Prismatic Reflector with Uni-Form pulse start metal halide lamps sport over 90 percent efficiency and approximately 15 percent uplight, for uniform light levels throughout an installation. By lighting up the ceiling, the lighting provides a brighter, more uniform appearance without additional lighting and energy costs.

The new Holophane Retailer luminaire, aimed at "big box" applications, is offered with pulse start metal halide as well as standard metal halide technology. Prewired with cord and NEMA plug or the company's proprietary flexible wiring system, the luminaire features a compact ballast encapsulated in a potting material for "improved" thermal dissipation, notes the company. Available with a glass only or aluminum covered glass reflector, the luminaire measures 15.4 inches wide and 25.2 inches in height, including an 11-inch-deep reflector. A factory-set light center ensures that fixture installation matches original design criteria.

Bi-level controls for HID Lamps

GE Lighting System 2 Bi-Level Controls allow operations of HID lighting fixtures at full-light level during area occupancy and at low- light level during time of inactivity in the area. Incorporating an autoregulator ballast, the control system can regulate light levels either automatically with a motion detector or manually, with a "high/low" switch. The controls are available for selected GE fixtures using 250- to 1000-watt metal halide lamps or 250- to 750-watt high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. With automatic operation, as long as no motion is detected, the 15-volt AC control signal is constantly applied, keeping the luminaries operating at low wattage. When the sensor detects motion, the motion detector removes the 15-volt AC control voltage from a relay in each of the GE Lighting Systems luminaires on the control circuit, causing the luminaires to go to the defaulted high light level. The timer is factory set at five minutes, but is field adjustable between 30 seconds and 20 minutes.

The company's Versabeam Luminaire system can be configured with the Bi-level Control ballast (a two-lamp ballasting system is a second option) to save money in applications that have intermittent use and can be controlled by motion sensors, wall switches, and energy management systems. The sturdy luminaire refractor can, points out the company, withstand the impact of a basketball or volleyball thrown at close range.

Ballasts for HID

MagneTek Lighting Products Universal Multi-5 Magnetic Ballasts recently added a 480-voltage capability to the industry-standard quad ballasts (capable of 120, 208, 240, and 277 volts). The expanded Multi-5 line includes offerings for 175-watt, 250-watt, 400-watt, and 1,000-watt metal halide, and 250-watt, 400-watt, and 1,000-watt high-pressure sodium. The Multi-5 can be cost effective and save on inventory space because distributors and contractors can stock one ballast instead of two, according to the company. Indoor applications for the Multi-5 include large retail stores and sports arenas.

Fluorescent lighting

In planning new or replacement lighting, designers generally want to strike a balance between cost of providing light, quantity of light provided, and quality of that light overall. Recent studies have shown that both the quality of lighting and the worker's control of that lighting can have positive effects on employees, which contribute to improved productivity and/or satisfaction with job conditions. In some fluorescent applications, careful lamp replacement can, overall, yield up to a 50 percent payback within two years.
Previously limited almost exclusively to residential or light commercial applications not requiring high levels of light output, compact fluorescents are coming of age in America. Using up to about one-third less energy than T12 systems and up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps and lamp ballast systems can last longer and offer light output close to or equal to older, traditional forms of light. With many models capable of fitting into existing sockets or cans, T8s are popular for energy-efficient upgrades in a variety of spaces. (Electricity expense, you may want to tell clients, accounts for over 80 percent of total lighting costs.)

Fluorescent lamps

Osram Sylvania Quicktronic 32LP operates OCTRON T8 lamps at lower power levels for energy savings from applications where reduced light (as compared to light from T12 magnetic systems) is acceptable. Multilamp capability for up to four lamps allows fewer ballasts in a fixture and provides tandem wiring options.

GE's GE T8 lamps, teamed with Starcoat lamp/ballast systems, reduce energy costs substantially over the life of the lamp (up to 38 percent, says the company) compared to T12 systems. Offering 95 percent lumen maintenance and, notes GE, "enhanced" color rendering, the lamps feature a 20,000-hour life (about 20 times longer than incandescent lamps), resulting in appreciably lower maintenance costs compared to incandescents in the same location. The Starcoat T8 XL (Xtra Life) lamp lasts 24,000 hours.

Philips Lighting offers PL-T 4-Pin Alto Compact Fluorescent Lamps, in 18W, 26W, 32W, and 42W. Used with electronic dimming ballasts, the lamps can dim down to light levels of 10 percent without any additional control wiring, using standard incandescent wall dimmers, photosensors, electronic timers, and occupancy sensors, even in sockets currently limited to incandescent lamps. The lamps can, according to the company, yield up to 70 percent in electricity costs compared to incandescent lamps. The lamps have an average rated life of 10,000 hours.

Compact fluorescent fixtures

Lithonia Lighting's new specification premium lensed troffer, the SP8, and a new general-purpose troffer, the GT8, are designed for use with T8 technology. The shallow 3.15-inch GT8 and the deeper SP8 have rolled and hemmed metal edges on the housing and the door, facilitating easy handling. The door rails have a very strong T-shape cross-section so the doorframe can carry the fixtures with one hand, leaving the other free to hold the ladder or another fixture, according to the company. All corners are flat miters backed up with 18-gauge steel corner keys. Lenses up to .156 thick are removable without tools and without disassembling the door. Spring-action latches allow easy access and one-hand, snap-lock closure.

Columbia Lighting offers two new fluorescent lighting products: Tenant's Choice, an 18-cell, two-lamp parabolic luminaire well-suited to electronic offices, and the P4D parabolic luminaire. Providing even illumination of an 18-cell parabolic in a two-lamp profile, Tenant's Choice features a louver with a closed (rather than open) top, so the light is bounced back and redirected toward the intended surface, rather than being lost in the louver baffle.

Precise positioning of the lamps evenly distributes light across the 3 inches deep, anodized aluminum louver and illuminates offices while minimizing reflections on computer monitors. By using two, rather than three bulbs, the company said, the design lowers energy costs by one-third.

The Simkar TE3P deep-cell Low Brightness VDT Parabolic is designed to fit within a shallow NEMA type "F" or "G" ceiling (less than 4 inches of recessed fixture space). At a trim 3 1/2-inch depth and meeting IES RP-1 standards, the three-lamp unit is the industry's lowest profile parabolic, the company said. Available in 2 x 2 (27-cell) and 2 x 4 (57-cell) models, it illuminates completely, with less iridescence and lower brightness than other shallow features. The unit can use either an instant-start electronic T8 or a magnetic T8.

Metalux Lighting (a brand of Cooper Lighting) recently introduced Ovation, a family of completely recessed fluorescent luminaires providing greater optical precision and energy efficiency. The fixture incorporates a top-mounted matte white indirect reflector above a high-color-rendering linear T5 or T7 high-output, biaxial, or T8 lamp source, and a bottom mounted heavy gauged perforated steel lamp shield with a milky white overlay diffuser. The luminaries, using CBM/ETL Class P ballasts, are suitable for private offices, conference rooms, retail merchandising, and libraries, providing soft lighting and balanced brightness with no direct or reflected lamp glare, the company said. The luminaires are available in 2 x 2-foot and 2 x 4-foot housing sizes, center or side mounted, in one-, two-, three-, or four-lamp versions.

The Lam Lighting Systems (division of JJI Lighting Group) Litedisc Legacy line of surface, wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted pendant fixtures for fluorescent bulbs includes luminous acrylic discs with polished chrome, polished brass plate, or hand-brushed nickel trim-rings. Suitable for historic renovation, libraries, lobbies, courtrooms or banks, the fixtures for indirect lighting are available in 29-inch (in three-lamp configuration), 35-inch (three- or four-lamp configuration) and 41-inch (four- or six-lamp configuration) discs. The units, which use standard electronic ballasts and are energy efficient, feature instant-on and are dimmable.

Juno Lighting Inc. Compact Fluorescent Downlights include a universal 120/277 volt electronic ballast, eliminating possible installation wiring error. A vented socket cap provides a cooler thermal environment to maximize lamp operating performance and longevity that, in turn, extends relamping cycles. The single-lamp Vertical Lamp Downlight offers narrow to medium beam spreads up to 3,200 lumens. The Horizontal Lamp Downlights offer wider beam spreads with dual-lamp luminaires up to 6,400 lumens.

Lighting controls

Several manufacturers offer controls for applications where it is cost effective or otherwise desirable to distribute lighting control near the user, including for locations with frequent occupant turnover. Many of these devices can pay for themselves in reduced energy costs fairly quickly-savings that flow directly to the bottom line.

The Watt Stopper modular ARP-Net Automatic Relay Pack provides distributed intelligent control of lighting and electrical loads for a variety of spaces. ARP-Nets contain two relay outputs rated for 20 Amps at 120 and 277 VAC. All switch and signal wiring to the ARP uses flexible low-voltage wiring. By connecting to a junction box close to the electrical load it controls, the ARP-Net, said the company, reduces the cost of branch circuit wiring and low-voltage switch wiring required when a centralized control panel is used for individual room control in offices, schools, and other public spaces. Any type of switch, contact closure, or DC voltage can independently control each relay output. This capability enables the ARP to connect easily to lighting control devices such as occupancy sensors, time switches, manual switches, and photocells. It can also serve as an intelligent power pack (200 mA of 24 VDC) for these devices. A LonWorks based network, the ARP-Net allows for remote control and easy expandability of local control.

With the newly refined ability to supply lighting fixture manufacturers with area-addressable control components for factory installation, Siemens recently enhanced its instabus line of lighting controls to include plug-and-play lighting control capability. In contrast to circuit breaker-based gross lighting control, relay-based instabus systems enable designers and owners to more sharply define zones of control, down to luminary level, according to Siemens. Each fixture is re-addressable within the system, eliminating any need to rewire circuiting when modifying zones.

Along with operating as a stand-alone system, instabus can be fully integrated into a comprehensive building automation system using industry-standard communications links and Siemens' proprietary gateway.

When it is not a question of on/off but of how much lighting is desirable (and at computer and CAD workstations, less, rather than more, is often preferred to minimize glare and reflection), dimmers are often the answer. And, because dimming saves not only electrical energy (a basic "high/low" dimmer can save up to one-third of electrical energy) but also can extend incandescent bulb life up to 20 times, employees benefit indirectly, as well.

For new facilities and retrofits, Lutron Electronics offers factory-assembled PerSONNA Dimmable Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures, which come pre-wired with an electronic dimming ballast and a wireless hand-held remote control. Sporting a simple two-wire power connection, the fixtures drop into a standard grid ceiling. The units are available for single-fixture or multiple-fixture applications. Up to 19 satellite fixtures can be connected to a master for simultaneous dimming control. Three models using T8 32W fluorescent lamps are available: 2 x 2 and 2 x 4 deep-cell parabolic fixtures with three-inch louvers, for high-performance dimmings (e.g., in videoconferencing rooms); and a 2 x 4 fixture with a low brightness louver, for critical VDT applications (e.g., at computer workstations).

For applications where it is desirable to automate "on/off" switching of lighting for increased user convenience and security, several manufacturers offer devices that pay for themselves in reduced energy costs. Many are well suited to provide workable solutions for locations with frequent occupant or tenant turnover.

Leviton, for example, offers a new line of Multi-Tech Occupancy Sensors designed to eliminate false triggering. Available in wall- and ceiling-mount versions, the commercial-grade units combine Passive Infrared (PIR) and ultrasonic technology for maximum detection capability and also feature self-adjusting sensitivity and time-out capabilities. The products install using low-voltage wiring and are available with a built-in isolated relay for HVAC switching. By combining PIR and ultrasonic sensing in one device as a type of "belt and suspenders detection method," they assure accurate, reliable, cost-efficient lighting control, according to the company.

The FELDMANS write about various construction industry-related trends and products, including computers and electronic commerce technologies, for magazines and corporations. They can be reached at wfeldman@worldnet.att.net or (914) 238-6272.

Companies mentioned in this article:

Columbia Lighting, www.columbia-ltg.com, 509-924-7000
Cooper Lighting, www.cooperlighting.com, 912-928-3843
GE Lighting, Inc., www.GELighting.com, 800-GE-LAMPS
GE Lighting Systems, Inc., www.ge.com/lightingsystems, 828-693-2000
Holophane Corporation, www.holophane.com, 614-345-9631
Juno Lighting, www.junolighting.com, 847-827-9880
Lam Lighting Systems, www.jjilightinggroup.com, 714-549-9765
Lithonia Lighting, www.lithonia.com, 770-922-9000
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., www.lutron, 800-523-9466
MagneTek, www.com/ballast, 800-BALLAST
Metalux Lighting, www.cooperlighting.com, 912-928-3843
Osram Sylvania, www.sylvania.com, 800-255-5042
Philips Lighting Company, www.lighting.philips.com/nam, 800-555-0050
Ruud Lighting, www.ruudlighting.com, 800-236-7000
Simkar Corporation, www.simkar.com, 800-523-3602
Venture Lighting, www.venturelighting.com, 800-451-2606
The Watt Stopper, Inc., www.wattstopper.com, 800-879-8585