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System Impacts

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O&M Impact

A lighting upgrade can cut energy bills, improve the look of a facility, and boost employee morale, but all those benefits can fade away if the new lighting systems are not well maintained. All lighting systems experience a decrease in light output and efficiency over time, because:

  • Lamp light output decreases (lamp lumen depreciation).
  • Dirt accumulates on fixtures (luminaire dirt depreciation).
  • Lamps burn out.
  • Control systems drift out of spec or are overridden by occupants.
Percentage of initial light output versus operating hours
Percentage of initial light output versus operating hours

Green Tips and Strategies

Design lighting systems with components that minimize light loss over time, are easy to maintain, and use the fewest types of lamps. Upgrade lighting economically by retrofitting components (lamps, ballasts, or reflectors) within the existing system. Replacing the lamps with appropriate lamp/ballast combination provides necessary illumination with substantial savings in energy. Train personnel in proper maintenance techniques, including cleaning and relamping.
Control purchasing and inventory to ensure that only the right replacement components are available. Plan for group relamping to reduce labor costs and maintain lighting uniformity. Perform periodic maintenance of control systems to ensure optimized performance to avoid unwanted behavior by occupants to bypass the system.
Retro-commission lighting controls to ensure that they continue to work as expected and are not obscured by new furniture arrangements. Develop an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manual to serve as the lighting-management policy and a central operating reference for building management and maintenance staff. Dispose of lamps properly to reduce waste; avoid sending substances like mercury and PCBs to the landfill.