Workplace Lighting in Commercial Buildings

Hanging light above group of workers. Managing energy use is a goal of ANSI workplace lighting standards

Lighting accounts for almost 35 percent of the electricity used in commercial buildings in the United States according to the US Department of Energy. Heat from lights also affects air conditioning equipment costs and operating expense. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that lighting in commercial buildings accounts for 22 percent of electricity use, “About 297 billion kWh was consumed for lighting by the commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street and highway lighting, equal to about 22% of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2010.”

It’s hard to compare these and other estimates of energy consumption for lighting commercial buildings and reports range from 19 to 40 percent in studies from various sources. But it’s clear that lighting is a good area to study for saving capital expense, operating expense and improving productivity and safety.

Using natural lighting, and turning lights off manually or installing controls to automatically turn lights off provide savings. An article appearing in GreenTech Enterprise in 2009 stated that, “Currently, dynamic lighting controls are only present in about 1 percent of buildings.” Managing Energy Costs in Office Buildings cites a range of energy savings ideas. One interesting point this paper makes is that lighting in parking areas often is more than is called for by the IES standards.

The ANSI Webstore has developed a special section for workplace lighting standards to cover lighting design, energy efficient lighting and much more. Please let us know what you think and what you have done with lighting in your buildings.

See also the past post, Workplace Lighting Standards.

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2 thoughts on “Workplace Lighting in Commercial Buildings
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