Lighting less to achieve net zero


View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition

The energy was high, the crowds were large, and the product was innovative and fresh at the 2009 Lightfair International (LFI) conference held in New York. LFI is the world's largest architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, and the 20th annual show was held in May 2009 with a record-breaking attendee registration of more than 23,000 industry professionals and conference participants.

Energy efficiency was a major theme at the event. Many manufacturers presented sustainable designs made possible with innovative luminaires. There were also lighting-related educational sessions and seminars on "zero energy buildings" (ZEB) and zero carbon footprint.

This trend in energy efficiency has been encouraged by the federal government in state stimulus plans as well as new energy codes and lighting standards. (See " New lighting standards for 2012 .") The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) has established an aggressive goal to create the technology and knowledge base for cost-effective commercial ZEB by 2025.

Many groups refer to ZEB, but they can be defined in vastly different ways depending on the boundary and the metric. Different definitions may be appropriate for certain project goals and values. For example, building owners typically care about energy costs. Organizations like DOE are concerned with national energy numbers, and typically are interested in primary or source energy. A building designer may be interested in site energy use for energy code requirements. Finally, those who are concerned about pollution from power plants and the burning of fossil fuels may be interested in reducing emissions. Four commonly used definitions for ZEB are: net zero energy costs, net zero source energy, net zero site energy, and net zero energy emissions.

As building systems designers, we are concerned more with site energy use for energy code requirements. How can I reduce this site energy use through efficient lighting? The answer is: by using low-energy building technologies and energy-saving practices.

Building engineers can use energy-efficient building techniques by properly orienting the building on the site to receive daylight more efficiently, maximizing ceiling height, using light-colored surfaces as reflectors, avoiding high-contrast surfaces, using shading devices, and placing electric lighting parallel to windows. Building systems designers also should consider using high-efficacy sources and high-efficiency luminaires. Other basic practices to conserve energy include turning off the lights when they're not in use, grouping like tasks, placing light fixtures close to tasks, and not lighting noncritical areas.

Just imagine working without light! We typically have so much light at our disposal, it's hard to imagine going about our daily routines with less light. However, it is possible, and it is exactly what we should do now. Next time, really think about light before you turn the switch on.

Author Information

Haran is an electrical and lighting systems consultant in the Chicago area. He is also an advisory member of the IESNA sustainable lighting committee.

New lighting standards for 2012

In July 2009, President Barack Obama and the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced plans to increase energy efficiency by changing the nation's lighting standards. The final rule does not take effect until 2012, but several standard levels are being adjusted currently.

These federal lighting standards are designed to ensure that new, more efficient lighting technologies are phased into the marketplace. Obama will support legislation that will phase out traditional incandescent light bulbs by 2014. The DOE states that 7% of all energy used in the United States comes from lighting, but with the new standards, the country could save $4 billion a year in energy costs.

No comments
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.