A showcase for good lighting
Are you getting the best out of your display units? They often get forgotten because they often arrive as ready-built units. Go and look again – 50W lamps where 20W lamps would do – where 5W LED lamps would do, perhaps?
Reduce that Window lighting!
The amount of light that you need to draw the attention of customers during the day is far more than you need to keep the shop ‘alive’ during the evening. Use dual switching to enable a portion of window bed lighting to be switched off at night.
Focus on your display lighting!
One of the reasons your lighting costs what it does is because of your overall light levels. Do you really need that much light? What would happen if you cut lighting levels by 20% – would anyone notice?
Don’t always need to have all of the lights working, but you only have one light switch? New wireless switching technology can provide a new level of control over energy consumption without ripping out walls and ceilings.
Sitting in the dark
This is a bit contentious because we’ve become used to certain levels of ‘environmental standard’. But let’s not forget that the ultimate energy conservation gesture is not to use it in the first place. I’ve been trying out the option of not using artificial lighting during the morning – re-training my right arm not to head straight to the light switch as I walk into my office.
Playing Keepy-Uppy …..
When a refurbishment is underway, its been common practice to dispose of light fittings along with the rest of the old building materials. A new way of thinking would be to find a company prepared to take old light fittings off your hands, clean them up and find a new home for them. There’s life in them old fixtures yet!
Automatic lighting control
The lighting in many service and utility spaces is often controlled by a simple wall switch, relying on the ‘last person out’ to turn off the lights.
Consider replacing, or over-riding that switch with a presence detector that will automatically switch off lighting when there’s no one in the room.
Getting the angle right
Most appropriate to this discussion. Most reflector lamps are available in different beam widths, from ‘narrow’ to ‘very wide’. Getting this wrong when you’re retro-fitting lamps, or just replacing old lamps for new, can alter the entire light pattern of a room and will inevitably leave you thinking that you don’t have enough light, so you’ll bring in additional task lighting or table lamps to make up for a simple mistake in purchasing.
Only Use it WHEN You Need It!
We’ve all seen office buildings ablaze with light all through the night, even though there’s no one there. Its unnecessary and careless and doesn’t have to be that way. Switch off those lights when you don’t need them!
For the Sake of a Nut and Bolt … !
Choose light fixtures that have been designed to be disassembled. That way there is more scope for components to stay within the ‘food chain’. A composite fixture is more likely to get chucked away as it becomes too costly to take it apart / repair / remake.
Tighten it up!
How flexible does your gallery need to be? It’s a common situation that spaces are overlit simply on the premise that the space needs to be infinitely flexible. Let me tell you: no it doesn’t. There are only so many practical ways that your gallery can be set up, and the lighting should be designed to do that. It’ll reduce the number of fittings and the amount of energy you use.
Spending it to Save It!
Low wattage LEDs have become popular for background circulation lighting. Consider the installation of a dedicated LED installation that enables visitors to move safely around the building, rather than relying on ‘gallery illumination’ levels where they’re not needed.
The Eyes Have It!
The human eye adapts superbly well to changes in the lighting condition. If you’re able to remove any sight-line reference to daylight or to more brightly-lit areas, then you can reduce display lighting levels without causing any inconvenience to visitors.
How BRIGHT Do You Need It?
Clever presence detectors can tell your lighting control system when there are visitors to a room. If there’s no one there, reduce the lighting level. Only use the designed lighting level when there’s someone there to appreciate it.
Review your security arrangements!
I’ve been keeping an eye on the exterior light packages being offered by DIY superstores and I like the way that things are going. The combination offers of LED fixture, solar panel and motion sensor makes a lot of sense, especially if you have a long dark garden path to navigate.
Review your security arrangements!
Do you leave ‘security’ lights on when you’re out in the evening? Look again at which lights you’re using. We used to leave our kitchen lighting on, but have recently changed the fixtures, increasing the energy load in the process (the original lighting was not very good, to be honest), so we now leave the dining room lights on, because that’s now the real low-energy option.
Only Use it WHERE You Need It!
The old pattern of lighting design took the lighting for specific tasks as the basis for the lighting of the entire room. But we only need that task illumination at the place where the work is being done. That’s why we have desk lamps! Forget those blanket lighting levels and revise your light planning strategies.
Spend wisely – not cheaply!
My sister-in-law is used to visiting the local retail warehouse and seeing lights for less than a tenner, but she also wants to start getting sensible about her energy costs. Buy fixtures that are designed to use low-energy lamps. They WILL cost more, but you will get the money back in lower electricity bills.