How LEDs affect energy codes

09/17/2013


Space controls

ASHRAE Section 9.4.1.2 mandates the inclusion of a control device accessible to occupants so they can turn lighting on, off, or adjust light levels when desired. The device must be capable of reducing light levels with at least one control step between 30% and 70% (inclusive) of full lighting power in addition to all off. Again, the flexibility of LEDs for multi-level control would be a significant factor in the design process.

California has taken this multi-level control requirement even further. In Title 24-2013 (Section 130.1(b)), for rooms over 100 sq ft with greater than 0.5 W/sq ft LPD (some other exemptions apply), this multilevel requirement now mandates different lighting power levels based on the type of lighting installed. For fluorescent lamps greater than 13 W, in addition to “full on” and “full off,” three other levels are required: a low level (20% to 40%), a medium level (50% to 70%), and a high level (80% to 85%). While this can be done with other methods, many recognize that the most logical way to meet this requirement is to use continuous dimming ballasts. Interestingly, Title 24-2013 does not require multiple levels when LEDs are used for general lighting in rooms over a certain size and lighting power density. In this situation, the fixtures must be capable of continuous dimming from at least 10% to 100% power level.

Daylighting control

Daylighting is another area where LEDs come into play. ASHRAE 90.1 (Section 9.4.1.4) has extensive requirements for automatic daylighting control in side-lit and top-lit areas; one key requirement is the capability of multiple light level reductions (at least one control step between 50% and 70% full output and another step no greater than 35% of design power). In Title 24-2013 (Section 130.1(d)), mandatory daylighting requirements will be required when the total lighting power in primary side-lit and sky-lit daylight zones is greater than 120 W.

Using lower-power LED fixtures could eliminate the need for daylighting controls if the LEDs prevent this wattage threshold from being crossed. As noted already, since LEDs offer the benefit of being easily dimmed, this may well drive the use of LED lighting sources in new construction that must comply with all the code requirements. Continuous dimming is a much less obtrusive interaction for the occupant in the space than having lighting turn completely on and off when daylight levels change in the space.

Another new requirement is that of commissioning the lighting and control system. ASHRAE Section 9.4.4 requires lighting control devices and systems be tested to ensure that control hardware and software are calibrated, adjusted, programmed, and in proper working condition in accordance with construction documents and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. This includes confirming correct placement, sensitivity, and time-out adjustments for occupancy sensors; correct programming for programmable switches or panels; and correct light level reductions by photosensors.

This functional testing and certification must be performed by a party identified in the construction documents that is not directly involved in either project design or construction. While LED fixtures currently are designed to connect to the same power circuits as other fixtures, the new technology can lead to surprises for anyone commissioning the systems—for instance, every dimmer that controls an LED fixture must be verified to be the correct type (e.g., 0 to 10 V, forward phase, reverse phase, etc.) because there is no single standard for dimming LEDs. Questions may also arise because a dimmer capable of handling a small incandescent load may not be able to handle the same load when controlling LEDs due to the LEDs’ driver circuitry.

LEDs will also find application in some of the most innovative requirements. For instance, California Title 24 introduced demand response requirements in the 2008 revision (Section 131(g)) that applied to retailers over 50,000 sq ft. This is expanded in the 2013 version to apply to any building or tenant improvement of over 10,000 sq ft (Section 130.1(e)). For applicable buildings, total lighting power shall be capable of being automatically reduced by a demand response (DR) signal by at least 15%. While the DR requirement has not yet been included in ASHRAE, it’s likely to be included in some future revision.

Energy codes continue to evolve toward driving more energy-efficient lighting performance, both by encouraging selection of more efficient lighting sources and by mandating the use of controls to minimize or eliminate unnecessary lighting energy consumption. As LEDs capture a greater percentage of the general lighting fixture market, energy codes will no doubt continue to adopt lower lighting power densities and mandatory control requirements that take into account the beneficial properties of LEDs, which in turn will help further increase their adoption.


Charles Knuffke is the Western vice president at WattStopper and is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society. With more than 25 years of experience in lighting controls, he has extensive experience in code development, particularly with the California Energy Commission on California Title 24, and has given many educational presentations on energy code topics.


<< First < Previous 1 2 Next > Last >>

JEFF , WI, United States, 10/02/13 03:35 PM:

I believe the ASHRAE BOD changed the 90.1 goal of net zero by 2030 to be a goal for the Advanced Energy Design Guides, and directed the 90.1 committee to continue to work within our economic justification criteria. This is my understanding, and not an official communication from SSPC-90.1.
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.