Lighting Controls

LIA calls on UK to invest in smart controls during recovery

A smartphone with a lighting control app
Smart lighting systems can unlock benefits to building operations, and more importantly to the well- being and comfort of the building occupants, says the LIA. Here a BEG Lighting Controls system is helping Imperial College London achieve its goals. Credit: BEG

THE LIGHTING Industry Association has called on the Government to drive the adoption of smart controls as part of the UK’s ‘green recovery’ from the coronavirus pandemic.

It is pointing out that while LED lighting has cut the energy use associated with lighting, big reductions of up to 60 per cent can be derived with the addition of presence detectors, daylight linking, time-clock events, and personal control.

Additionally, by gathering the data generated by the sensing networks of lighting systems and combining it with additional data such as weather conditions, longitude and latitude, time of the year, and sharing that data with other building services, smart lighting systems can unlock benefits to building operations, and more importantly to the well- being and comfort of the building occupants as well as their productivity.

In a special white paper as its contribution to the debate on ways to speed up the UK’s economic recovery, the LIA said that the use of automation, personal control, and data analytics in commercial and public buildings could help realise not only further energy savings but reduce the spread of disease and its effect on health and the economy.

The LIA is recommending that the next edition of Building Regulations requires the use of smart lighting systems with capabilities such as presence detection, daylight linking and time-clock events for both new construction and during renovation work.

It also wants a review of tax policy to encourage the uptake of energy efficient products and incentivise property owners and landlords to upgrade the efficiency of their buildings.

Additionally, it wants the government to consider how circular economy product design and services such as ‘light as a service’ can be incentivised.

It wants the development of a metric for a product’s circularity – a score for the ability of a product to be more durable, use fewer precious resources, less embedded energy, less in-use energy, upgradability, re-useability and ease of recycling – and this to be linked to reduced WEEE costs and tax incentives to encourage uptake of products designed for a circular economy. 

The government should also set a minimum energy class C for all buildings and relax listed building regulations to allow greening of historic properties.

The LIA says that obligations placed on energy companies to fund energy efficiency schemes, such as Carbon Emission Reduction Target, was a major driver of energy efficiency in the past and points out that there are still many millions of inefficient light bulbs in use in UK homes. 

Its proposal is to consider a take-back scheme to remove these inefficient lamps from service and replace them with highly efficient LED lamps.
Finally, in the upcoming review of business rates, consider incentives for businesses raising the energy efficiency of their properties. 

Download the full white paper HERE.