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US Labs21 energy benchmarking data shows that the lighting energy use in laboratories represents between 8 to 20% of the total electrical energy use. While typically 10 to 20 percent less energy is consumed by lighting in laboratory-type facilities than by the HVAC system, it should be an essential component of an integrated sustainable design approach, for at least two reasons: a) efficient lighting still remains one of the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures available; and b) the visual environment has been shown to have a considerable impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity.

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.

Follow the links below for more information on the following:

Lighting Design

High-Efficiency Lighting Components

Lighting Control

Remote Lighting Control

Best Practice

Click here for US Labs21 Best Practice Guide on Daylighting in Laboratories

Click here for 2004 conference paper on Best Practice Strategies for Laboratory Electrical Lighting Systems (abstract only)

Click here to see how the Wolfson Medical School, University of Glasgow, winner of the 2004 Green Gown Awards for energy efficiency, saved £7000 annually in electricity costs through its lighting system which combines daylighting with a sensitive control system. For a single building the system has payback of 8 years. Similar systems have been installed for the Cardiovascular and Biomedical Research Centres Building and the Cancer Research UK Beatson Cancer Research Facility, the latter using triple glazed low emissitivity facade.

See also US case studies on:

Sandia National Laboratories New Mexico – which achieved actual lighting performance of 0.07W/m2, better than design targets, thgouh efficient lamps and ballasts, LED exit signs and programmable lighting controls

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre, Seattle – which uses energy efficient lamps and ballasts, programmable lighting controls, motion detectors and low-e glass