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Fluorescent Lighting Design Tips

US Dept. of Energy

Good lighting design isn't just about aesthetics- its about saving money. Many facilities don't think carefully about how they install lighting in their facilities and as a result they miss out on becoming more energy efficient. Here are some tips from the US Dept. of Energy to help you plan out your lighting systems and cut down on related costs.

When designing indoor lighting for energy efficiency, you want to consider some basic design principles and methods.

Energy-efficient lighting design principles include the following:

Remember that more light is not necessarily better. Human visual performance depends on light quality as well as quantity.

Match the amount and quality of light to the performed function.

Install task lights where needed and reduce ambient light elsewhere.

Use energy-efficient lighting components, controls, and systems.

Maximize the use of daylighting.

Here are some basic methods for achieving energy-efficient indoor lighting:

Install fluorescent light fixtures for all ceiling- and wall-mounted fixtures that will be on for more than 2 hours each day. These often include the fixtures in the kitchen and living room, and sometimes those in bathrooms, halls, bedrooms, and other higher-demand locations.

Install dedicated compact fluorescent fixtures, rather than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in incandescent fixtures, so that fluorescent bulbs continue to be used for the life of the building.

Use CFLs in portable lighting fixtures that are operated for more than 2 hours a day.

Use ENERGY STAR® labeled lighting fixtures. Use occupancy sensors for automatically turning on and off your lights as needed.

Consider light wall colors to minimize the need for artificial lighting.

If recessed lights are used in a ceiling with an unconditioned space above it, use only Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved fixtures that are airtight, are IC (insulation contact) rated, and meet ASTM E283 requirements.