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Investing in Energy Effectiveness PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Heising   
Nov 19, 2005 at 07:34 AM

Investments in energy effectiveness pay dividends in three important ways:

Cash flow from reduced monthly energy costs.

Rebates from Utilities reduce capital investment costs.

State and Federal Tax Incentives deductions and credits further reduces costs.

Productivity benefits can be substantial and would be a fourth dividend.

Simple investments can yeild attractive returns. Operating cost savings goes straight to the bottom line in business, and cash flow freed up from noticing and "harvesting" the low hanging fruit can be reinvested incrementally in additional energy saving measures.

Lighting offers numerous examples. Retire another incandescent light bulb but select the more expensive but more efficient light bulbs and get on with retrofitting all old T12 lighting to the new Super T8 or T8 Plus light sources.

Choose Compact Fluorescents with electronic ballasts. With compact fluorescents that have electronic ballasts the light will turn on as you throw the switch. There will not be the second or so delay and 60 cycle flicker common with magnetic ballasts. Too often the cheap CFL lamps so common these days are not the best choice. It is normal for the lamps to come up to full output as the temperature heats up. High temperature (in enclosed cans) and very low temperature (below freezing) operation can adversely affect the expected lamp life.

Pay attention to color temperature as the cheapest magnetic CFL bulbs are quite slow to fire and are quite yellow.

Select the higher color temperature bulbs can be used for visual work areas, and the lower temperature lower wattages for areas where warmer mood lighting is appropriate.

Specifying Direct Indirect and suspended fixtures where appropriate for offices and classrooms FineLite in California has a particularly nice suspended direct indirect T8 fixtures. Use 4 and 6 lamp T8 high bay replacements. Use the longest life T8 Plus technology and adjust the ballasts as required to tune the light output. Use suplemental task lighting like the 13 watt desk lamp to add user control where additional light is needed. Minimize the number and type of replacement lamps to lower maintenance costs.

Adding Heat-Mirror to a window to reduce overheating. Add a Solar light tube or skylight to a dark bathroom or hallway.

An Energy Audit can help to identify and prioritize your opportunities for investing in energy efficiency. There is considerable opportunity especiall in lighting for incremental investments that pay back in 2 to 3 years with 33-50% ROI.

Please call 303-581-9296 in Boulder for more information. Or toll free 1-866-4 SUNWAVE

Last Updated ( May 18, 2006 at 10:22 AM )
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Lighting News: Green Ballast Daylight Harvesting 
January 11, 2013 by Energy Manager Today Staff



Bronson Sporting Goods has installed Green Ballast‘s patented daylight harvesting fluorescent light ballasts in its new Memphis location. The new ballasts are direct replacements for the existing “standard ballasts.” Each ballast includes a photocell sensor that interacts with daylight harvesting technology, allowing each Green Ballast equipped fixture to:

  • Actively measure the amount of daylight in its coverage area
  • Harvest this daylight and calculate how much fluorescent light is actually needed to provide adequate lighting
  • Adjust the power consumption of the lighting fixture accordingly
Lighting Roundup: Green Ballast Daylight Harvesting
December 13, 2012Energy Manager Today Staff



The Broadway Square Building, a twelve-story office building in downtown Kansas City has installed Green Ballast‘s patented daylight harvesting fluorescent light ballasts, replacing the existing standard ballasts.  The new ballasts adjust power consumption for each lighting fixture, while measuring and harvesting available daylight to calculate and provide only the amount of needed electricity for proper lighting. It is a “plug and play” solution and has controls within each ballast. Green Ballast expects lighting consumption costs in the Broadway Square building to be reduced by over 50 percent.