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Efficient LED Lighting & Control Systems

The ability of LED technology to produce high-quality white light with unprecedented energy efficiency is the primary motivation for the intense level of continued service Texzon Utilities provides our valued clients.

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Efficient Lighting & Control Systems

Unlike incandescent lamps, LEDs are not inherently white light sources. Instead, LEDs emit nearly monochromatic light, making them highly efficient for colored light applications such as traffic lights and exit signs. However, to be used as a general light source, white light is needed. White light can be achieved with LEDs in three ways:

 

  • Phosphor conversion, in which a phosphor is used on or near the LED to convert the colored light to white light

  • Color-mixed systems, in which light from multiple monochromatic LEDs (e.g., red, green, and blue) is mixed, resulting in white light

  • A hybrid method, which uses both phosphor-converted (PC) and monochromatic LEDs.

The ability of LED technology to produce high-quality white light with unprecedented energy efficiency is the primary motivation for the intense level of research and development and continued service Texzon Utilities provides our valued clients.

 

Future of LEDs

 

There are many white LED lighting products available on the market, and the number continues to grow, with new generations of devices constantly emerging. While many of these products perform quite well, their energy efficiency and color qualities can vary; but standards, test procedures, and resources such as ENERGY STAR® and the DesignLights Consortium™ Qualified Products List help buyers make informed choices. LED lighting technology now offers the highest luminous efficacies (and efficiencies) of any light-source technology, and affordable pricing have resulted in significant adoption.

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How is LED lighting different from other energy-efficient lighting technologies?

 

LEDs offer the potential for cutting general lighting energy use nearly in half by 2030, improving resiliency of the grid, saving energy dollars, and cutting carbon emissions in the process. Their unique characteristics—including compact size, long life, resistance to breakage and vibration, good performance in cold temperatures, lack of infrared or ultraviolet emissions, and instant-on performance—are beneficial in many lighting applications. The ability to dim and provide color control are other benefits of the LED lighting technology platform.

 

One of the defining features of LEDs is that their small size and bright output enable good optical control. This reduces optical losses, which improves efficiency and can enable new, more effective form factors. In contrast, fluorescent and "bulb"-shaped incandescent lamps emit light in all directions, with the result that much of the light they produce is lost within the fixture or escapes in a direction not useful for the intended application or requires pricey and bulky optics to get the light in the right place. With many fixture types, including recessed downlights, troffers, and undercabinet fixtures, it is not uncommon for only 50% to 60% of the total light produced to be emitted.  

 

Since LED sources are inherently dimmable and instantaneously controllable, they can be readily integrated with sensor and control systems, thus enabling further energy savings through the use of occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and local control of light levels. What this all adds up to is the potential to improve the performance and value of lighting in totally new ways.

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What about LED light quality?


Key aspects of high-quality light are the color appearance of the light itself, which is described by its color coordinates but is often condensed (with significant loss of information) to correlated color temperature (CCT), and how the light affects the color appearance of objects, which is referred to as color fidelity. Color fidelity can be quantified using the color rendering index (CRI), or with another color metric, the recently developed TM-30. LED light sources have demonstrated that they can achieve a wide range of color qualities, depending on the demands of the lighting application. However, to achieve high levels of color fidelity, there are typically cost and efficiency tradeoffs. In general, a minimum CRI of 80 is recommended for interior lighting, and LED products can readily achieve this performance. CRI of 90 or higher indicates excellent color fidelity; LEDs can also meet this threshold.

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Efficient Lighting & Controls Capabilities

 

TEXZON UTILITIES provides the following services to support your energy efficient lighting implementation:

 

  • Audit and study of current lighting and control systems

  • Custom lighting design and feasibility studies 

  • Consultation with architects and design engineers on new construction 

  • Lighting system estimates on installed (turnkey) green energy projects 

  • ROI, IRR and cash flow analysis-payback schedules 

  • Evaluation, design, and integration of Smart Lighting systems and controls 

  • Integration of photovoltaic controls, occupancy sensors, and dimming systems 

  • DMX, BAC Net, wireless, and remote dashboard capabilities 

  • Electrical load analysis 

  • Interface with local utility provider and process of applicable rebates 

  • Compliance with DOE, Title 24, IECC, NEC, DLC, OSHA, and local regulations 

  • Electrical permitting and regulatory applications support 

  • Software support: IES guidelines, CAD, photometric layouts, Snap Count Energy 

  • Full-service post construction commissioning and monitoring of lighting controls

  • Independent engineering reviews and inspections 

  • Recognition of federal, state, and local grants and tax incentives 

  • Financial products and funding incentives

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LED lighting products typically last far longer than their conventional counterparts. The useful life of an LED luminaire or lamp is typically described by the number of operating hours until it is emitting 70% of its initial light output. Good-quality white LED lighting products are expected to have a useful life of 30,000 to 50,000 hours or even longer. A typical incandescent lamp lasts about 1,000 hours; a comparable CFL, 8,000 to 10,000 hours; and the best linear fluorescent lamps, more than 30,000 hours. Learn more about LED  lifetime and reliability

 

Other aspects of reliability should also be considered. Catastrophic failure describes the situation where a luminaire no longer emits light, typically due to an electronics failure. The long life of the LED means that there is ample opportunity for the electronics to fail before the LEDs go bad. Another type of failure is due to color shift. All light sources change color over time. The long-term expected life of an LED lighting product means that before the LED fails, the color of the light may shift to an unacceptable degree, depending on the application. In general, LED lighting lives up to its promise for long life.​

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Lighting controls can help save energy – and money – by automatically turning lights off when they're not needed, by reducing light levels when full brightness isn’t necessary, or otherwise controlling the lighting in and around your home. 

 

Common types of lighting controls include:

  • Dimmers

  • Motion sensors, occupancy sensors, and photosensors

  • Timers.

 

Before purchasing and using any lighting controls, it's a good idea to understand basic lighting terms and principles. Also, it helps to explore your indoor and outdoor lighting design options if you haven't already. This will help narrow your selection.

Dimmer controls provide variable indoor lighting and can be operated manually, or with timers or sensors.. When you dim lightbulbs, it reduces their wattage and output, which helps save energy. Dimmers are generally inexpensive and can increase the service life of certain types of light bulbs, as well as provide some energy savings when lights are used at a reduced level. However, with incandescent lighting, dimming reduces lumen output, or brightness, more than wattage, which makes incandescent bulbs less efficient as they are dimmed.

 

Dimmers and LEDs


Many light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs can be used with dimmers, but they must be designed for dimming. The packaging or accompanying instructions will indicate if the product is dimmable.

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Motion Sensors

 

Motion sensors automatically turn lights on when they detect motion and turn them off a short while later. They are especially useful for outdoor security and utility lighting.

Because utility lights and some security lights are needed only when it is dark and people are present, the best way to control might be a combination of a motion sensor and photosensor.

Occupancy Sensors

 

Occupancy sensors detect indoor activity within a certain area. They provide convenience by turning lights on automatically when someone enters a room and save energy by turning lights off room or reducing light output when a space is unoccupied. Occupancy sensors must be located where they will detect occupants or occupant activity in all parts of the room.

Ultrasonic sensors detect sound, while infrared sensors detect heat and motion. In addition to controlling ambient lighting in a room, they are useful for task lighting applications such as over kitchen counters. In such applications, task lights are turned on by the motion of a person washing dishes, for instance, and automatically turn off after the person leaves the area.

Photosensors

 

You can use photosensors to prevent lights from operating during daylight hours. This can help save energy because you don't have to remember to turn off your lights. Photosensors sense ambient light conditions, making them useful for all types of outdoor lighting. These light-sensitive controls can be less effective inside the home because lighting needs vary with occupant activity rather than ambient lighting levels. Many LED nightlights, however, have this feature built in which makes them effective and easy to use.

Timers

 

Timers can be used to turn lights on and off at specific times. Manual timers plug into an electrical outlet for controlling objects such as lamps or light strings. Programmable digital timers, which can look like digital thermostats, automate indoor or outdoor lighting.

Programmable timers are not often used alone for outdoor lighting because the timer may have to be reset often with the seasonal variation in the length of nighttime. However, they can be used effectively in combination with other controls. For example, the best combination for aesthetic  lighting may be a photosensor that turns lights on in the evening and a timer that turns the lights off at a certain hour of the night (such as 11 p.m.).

For indoor lighting, timers are useful to give an unoccupied house a lived-in look. However, they may have limited use in an occupied home because they do not respond to changes in your day-to-day activities.

 

Using Timers with CFL and LED Lighting

 

Timing controls work well with LED and CFL light bulbs, as they do not interrupt the circuitry. This is especially true with manual timers that use pins for setting the on and off times. When using a programmable digital timer, check the package label to be sure it’s compatible with the type of lighting you want to use.

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TEXZON UTILITIES

Let's talk to empower your lighting goals.

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