The commercial / industrial lighting industry has undergone a major revolution as of late. Manufacturers have saturated the market with a wide variety of versatile, high quality interior and exterior LED products that average >25% energy savings over traditional sources. Their long life ratings show promise of drastically reducing maintenance cycles for significant operations and maintenance savings as well.

Solid State devices like LED lighting are easily controlled, without the delays and degradation experienced in control of fluorescent and high-intensity discharge sources. Because of this inherent controllability, dramatic savings can be realized, doubling or even tripling the initial ‘traditional source’-to-LED energy savings. Some controls may be eligible for additional cash incentives from utility energy efficiency programs.

Occupancy/vacancy sensing, daylight harvesting/dimming, time scheduling, and overlapping control zone functions are just some of the methods used to reduce energy use, and they are often practical for areas where controls aren’t required by code.

Installing contractors appreciate the wide variety of wireless control components available, which allows rapid, lower cost installation; specifiers are seeing less resistance to their control specifications as a result. As the market rapidly moves forward, control/dimmer compatibility is improving, although verification of luminaire/control compatibility is recommended.

LED controls can be integral to individual fixtures, or can control luminaire power circuits for zonal control strategies. Automated software-driven lighting control systems are also available to allow assignment of control to exactly tailor to the task or changing environment, even to coordinate with building automation systems.  And, when luminaires aren’t running, they’re not aging, further extending their life cycle.

Based on these advantages, facility owners and trade allies should take the time to investigate the cost effectiveness of controls when installing LED lighting.