By Doug Avery, Michael Siminovitch, Ph.D., and Geoffrey C. Bell. P.E.
Typically 10 to 20 percent less energy is consumed by lighting in laboratory-type facilities than by the HVAC system. Nonetheless, efficient lighting systems provide significant energy savings. Efficient lighting design begins with understanding the tasks to be performed in the laboratory. A design that incorporates both dedicated task illumination and general ambient lighting is most energy efficient. High-efficiency lighting components, such as T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts, are the starting point in energy-efficient lighting designs. Lighting energy is also dramatically reduced by control systems that turn off lights based on occupancy or adjusts lighting in response to available natural light. In some laboratories, a remote lighting system provides the benefit of isolating a large portion of the lighting system from the laboratory space.