New initiatives taken by major California utilities companies, along with recently proposed congressional legislation, have been lighting the way toward more environmentally sound energy conservation.
In a typical commercial building, lighting accounts for 40-80 percent of the total electric bill. Programs in California subsidize the replacement of conventional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that use approximately one-quarter as much electricity as incandescent and last several times longer.
Many locations in the U.S.—like parking garages, distribution centers, warehouses, retail superstores and schools—require around-the-clock lighting. Energy saving devices can be used in such locations to adjust lighting level.
“This is a great first step,” said David Murphy, CEO at EnerLume Energy Management Corp, about California’s CFL program, in a statement. “But it represents just a single positive step toward a greener, more environmentally friendly future. The question becomes how might businesses and other facilities become more energy efficient even after new, fluorescent lights are in place?”
To determine when to draw power, small, self-contained, easily installed devices, such as the EnerLume EM, can provide timing direction to the ballast. These regulatory devices increase the lighting system's efficiency and provide more foot-candles of light per watt consumed by making sure that the ballast draws power only when it is most efficient to do so.
EnerLume reduces the electrical consumption with negligible lumen loss at savings up to 15 percent by conditioning the incoming power wave. A single device has the ability to save energy on as many as 2,300 lighting fixtures. These devices are suitable for use in various types of buildings. Facilities no longer have to rely on the "last person out hit the light switch" approach; instead, the devices can easily be programmed to power lighting systems on and off.
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Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.