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System Impacts

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Human Behavior on System System Impact on Humans

Human Behavior on Lighting

Human behavior and interaction with the building space plays a critical component in achieving holistic sustainability. Desired gains in energy efficiency can only be achieved and sustained if the occupants and lighting system are working in tandem.

Occupant behavior plays a critical role in achieving the designed energy efficiency of lighting systems. Energy modeling accuracies can often vary by 10-40 percent, due in part to the effect occupants have on the space itself.

  • Training: Training is important to ensure occupants know how the lighting technologies function, how they are related, and how to optimize their use for energy savings and personal comfort. Occupants should be trained how to optimize daylighting to avoid over shading windows or inefficiently arranging flexible furniture. Overriding automatic controls should be done so with proper understanding of implications.
  • Awareness: Providing informative placards, disseminating electricity submetering data over time, performing occupant comfort and system understanding surveys, and creating ongoing energy optimization incentives are all ways to maintain lighting upgrade goals throughout the building occupancy.

Best Practices and Strategies

Regularly survey occupants to ensure the ambient workspace light conditions are satisfactory and not being consistently overridden. Use lighting controls that dynamically adjust lighting levels according to ambient levels while allowing manual override if desired. Facilitate the transition from a passive occupant to an active participant through training and incentives. Where appropriate, account for passive occupant behavior by automating the lighting system through effective use of lighting controls.
Provide placards encouraging users to turn off unneeded lights. Consider incentives for those reducing their electricity consumption. Provide placards explaining the principles of automated light controls so users understand when and how it is appropriate to override those controls. Provide placards explaining how blinds are best used to control glare to avoid over shading and preventing daylight from entering the space.
Provide information at workstations explaining the benefits of the lighting system and offer suggestions for adjusting task lighting levels for various activities. Properly explain the functionality and purpose of all newly-installed lighting technologies implemented in the system. Train workplace specialists and occupants the value of maximizing daylight for the occupants.
Consider Green Team projects to reduce lighting energy consumption