Energy audits done by competent Pro's often over look a major area of energy(kWh) waste.LIGHTS

If your doctors physicals included a thorough evaluation of everything below your neck but not

above- you as a patient would be ill served; What if your mechanic checked only the right side

of your car? Examples of not getting the job done completely or extensively enough.

 Well EVERYONE would benefit from having a lighting audit done here are some good reasons.

--A lighting audit cost a fraction of  full audit(BPI) and strategeies can Guarantee kWh savings-

100% of the time -I have never seen a place that wouldn't benefit from using SS- Lighting.

--Virtually everyone in the next 6 or 7 seasons will be buying some / many LEDS, having a

lighting audit will give one good intel, understanding of what lighting they are paying for and

a knowledgable lighting expert should have the ability to educate folks about quality products.

-- A competent lighting auditor can list the benefits of switching to Energy efficient lighting.

at point of purchase, Rebates, Roi numbers  rationale, the secondary and tertiary benefits,

like lower cooling costs, lowered liabilty ( due to fewer up ladder- change outs) costs.

--Solid state lighting coupled with lighting controls is a growing approach to getting the task of

lighting done in 21st century style- A lighting auditor/ specialist is critical in the implementation and

commisioning of such a system.

 These are just a few points regarding the rationale of getting good intel - in the area of

energy wasted on lighting - THinking about an energy audit - Don't forget the lighting audit!

 and IF YOU ARE an auditor and you don't provide intel and thoughtful practical solutions- to you I

ask ----- if you're providing solutions and this part of energy savings isn't well addressed or

spoken about - then you are doing a SUB STANDARD - incomplete audit - FIX THAT --your

credibility as an "Energy Loss specialist " is sorely lacking. Just my 2 cents.

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I am a project manager for a low income multifamily electrical energy conservation program in the Boston area.  Most of my energy savings is by upgrades to lighting systems.  I almost exclusivley use motion sensor lighting - both sensors controlling groups of lights and fixtures with individual sensors on them.  I have been doing this for 4 or 5 years now and am frustrated that I have not found other ESCos doing it (I am an independent contractor) but I am doing jobs that are saving a LOT more kWh than they are so my clients are much better served in the long run.  I also use LED lighting and photocell controls on indoor light fixtures for daylight harvesting when appropriate.  I have a long list of very happy and repeat customers.


The days where we can go out and do the same old, same old should have passed a long time ago.  If we are ever to get serious about energy conservation, we had better stay up with the latest technologies - not just T8 lighting and LEDs but also CONTROLS.


True, there are real energy savings to be found in lights, but residential energy use is envelope-dominated. I don't think energy prices are high enough for most people to justify solid-state lighting (LEDs). Perhaps if carbon emissions were taxed, or there were some other way of internalizing the price of pollution, the price would inspire people to use energy most efficiently. I do perform a lighting audit during the course of my home analysis, and always recommend people switch to cfls, but right now I don't think the cost of lighting in a typical residence is significant enough to justify the cost of solid state and advanced controls.
Yes, for the average single family home where lights only operate 3 or 4 hours per day on average, the more expensive items do not make sense.  In multifamily facilities there are a lot of lights that operate for 24  hours per day - the opportunities for savings in those situations is tremendous!


 I find it encouraging that you look at that facet while assessing energy use. I would take issue regarding

adoption rationale or - the when ( not if) part of switching your lights or anyones, to SSL.

Cfls are garbage- Low color rendering, the cost of lifetime ownership /use - the oft stated complaints,

 they have hg, not instant on etc.  Sure as your phone & Tv are products that are contemporary - to the

times-- Well now lighting on the whole is switching to solid state components-                                                 Its LEDs & other forms

of SSL going forward- not tech from the last century!- The costs when analyzed- make switching to SSL

now-very  compelling. It will become the standard lighting in spite of and because of the incandescent ban.


If you're basing the cost part of the arguement on ROI -  investments made in SSL + lighting controls

pay off in seasons or less than 2 years- typically. Good intel ( light audit) + sensible products= huge savings!



I am not in complete agreement with you about CFLs being garbage: some manufacturers (like Lights of America) make real garbage but I have some early electronic CFLs (from Osram) that are in my bathroom and (thus get abusive on/off cycling) that are still going strong after 12+ years. 


I used to tell the following things to customers when I was doing residential surveys:


-the time to reach full brightness is a GOOD thing in many applications, e.g., a bathroom that one goes to at night - the lights start within 1/2 second (close enough to instant) but your eyes are not shocked by the immediate full brightness;


- the color rendering of some of them is quite good.  No, not good enough for an artist but reasonable (and, yes, I am aware that despite the claim of many that their bulbs are  82CRI and 2700K, they are definitely different amongst different manufacturers.  The more established companies tended to make the better quality products (Osram, Sylvania, Philips, etc);


- the Hg issue is real but also misunderstood: of course, you don't want to break one in your house (even then, I have been told that the Hg is less bio-available than some other forms of Hg - anyone know about that?).


That having been said, ALL HID lighting (high pressure Sodium, metal halide, mercury vapor, etc) has mercury but, as you probably know, due to the fact that we get about 51% of our electricity from coal, (which has trace amounts of mercury that is not all removed by pollution control), the net effect of Hg pollution in the environment would be less if we were to break EVERY CFL and release all the mercury than if we were to use the inefficient incandescent alternatives. 


For quantitative details, you can go to the Rocky Mountain Institute's website and download one of their tech papers.


Again, you don't want to break one in your house but the overall reduction in mercury exposure due to the use of CFLs has been documented.


For now, LEDs are in their infancy.  The rate of progress is astounding - in just the last week, I found higher wattage, longer life units that before.  I do believe they are overstating light output, just as many did with CFLs (some more so than others).




I like your use of occupancy sensors in the home and "feel your pain" when it comes to convincing people to pay attention to the obvious savings from simply turning lights out when possible. I research control solutions more for commercial buildings rather than residential, but the issues aren't much different. We should talk as I may be able to help. 



The lighting systems I design and use controls on are for large multifamily building common areas - so they are basically light commercial spaces with very long (24/7) run times, which makes the paybacks sweet.


I love the motion sensor lighting and daylight harvesting and have a lot of very happy customers.


Are you local?  I'd love to see what you do and show you some of my projects - there are several in Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington and now farther off places like Fairhaven and New Bedford.


I agree completely that lighting is a sorely overlooked opportunity to save energy without losing amenity. But I am less convinced that LEDs are necessarily the only and best way to get there. In particular, I think a combination of controls with LEDs where appropriate but also controllable fluorescents, both T-5 and twin-tube is the best solution in the near term. Hybrid lighting solutions, in other words.

The  convincing is ongoing - your cell phone, your flat panel tv, your docs new diagonostic equipment.

The use of solid state circuitry is a big part of those examples- there is little chance that we would

 go back to using typewriters, rotary phones or leeches.                                                                          

You know intuitively that advanced lighting with some level of

controls are coming in to vogue, but they are to be coupled with this centuries SSL not - 1990 era

RELICS. The days of glass + gas lighting solutions are waning.                                                                  Trying to marry the old tech with current lighting schemes

- ie daylighting isn't a great solution . Its not that linear fluorescents will disappear tommorrow

but within a decade - probably. Cmon the solutions of our grandparents time are not the                    answers for 2011 lights!

Regarding hybrid lighting - thats a great idea some thoughts- Olets that surpass current SSL dynamics or

bio -lumenescience coupled with LEDs, or glowing Nanotubes with Qleds, EL run from bio energy - I think

my idea of what a hybrid light is like circa 2012 is different than yours!- Which is fine.



LEDs are advancing at an astounding rate but so far they have been great for directional applications (reflectors, exit sign, traffic lights) but not so much for general lighting.   I don't know what the time horizon is for affordable, high lumen output LEDs - maybe they are just around the corner.  But is the efficacy ultimately going to end up being a lot greater than for fluorescents?  If not, the high initial cost may keep them from getting a lot of market share, at least for awhile.


I also don't follow you when you write "daylighting isn't a great solution".  Daylight is free - and extends the useful life of any light source, whether fluorescent or LED, greatly.  What is not great about that?


And if my grandparents used natural lighting instead of electric lighting, well, they were WAY ahead of their time.  We just have the convenience of increasingly inexpensive, reliable control systems.

You may have mis interpreted - I am all for Daylighting aka daylight harvesting -it can be done

with fluorescent and proper ballasts but its a poor match-the LC with a old tech - not practical!            

The applications for LED ( all SSL) are growing- the thought that its only directional is not

exactly accurate. I have seen all sorts, some light tightly focused good for Par lamps,

I've got omni directional A & B lamps that are VERY Good.It comes down to the geometry of the output of the light engine!

  THe better products are designed to be effective, pleasing to the eye, be reliable &

 be consistant in light chromacity & intensity and to have a low cost of ownership.

The core product tech is improving each week & that goes for Lighting controls as well.

Just because LEDs are succeeding in applications where they transmit information (LED TVs, monitors, etc) doesn't necessarily mean that they will take over general lighting, where the purpose is to provide a blob of light and cost is king. In homes, there are a lot of Edison sockets that need filling. Are you going to fill every one of those with a $40 Endura lamp? Good luck with that. Good quality CFLs are fine for many of those sockets that don't require dimming. Last time I looked, we were in a recession. OLEDs are totally impractical now and will remain so for years. Bioluminescence is only going to work for night time applications.

A two year payback with LEDs and controls? I'm from Missouri.

For an apples-to-apples comparison of a 14 watt CFL and the new Philips LED Endura, see attached:


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