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Daylight harvesting: why high-tech lighting controls are good for business

Daylight harvesting: why high-tech lighting controls are good for business

Imagine being offered a magic pill, which promises to improve your mood, fuel your energy levels and boost your concentration. Many of us would swallow it without hesitation.

In reality, we are surrounded by something that has the power to do all of these things. Light. Used wisely in the workplace, it can increase productivity, stimulate our body clocks and help us sleep. In a hospital environment, studies suggest it can even help us heal faster too. Yet when it’s used incorrectly or insufficiently, light can have negative consequences.

The hazards of poor lighting

Inadequate lighting can lead to eye strain, lethargy and migraines. In an industrial setting the impact can be even more harmful. Here, the difference between well-thought-out and poorly planned lighting can mean the difference between life and death.

Consider traditional discharge lamps for example, which often emit a dull or flickering light. This can make it challenging for employees to detect fast-moving vehicles, machinery and trip hazards, potentially causing costly injuries.

Indeed, figures from the UK Health and Safety Executive suggest that over a five-year period a staggering 18% of workplace fatalities were caused by moving vehicles. Likewise, 31% of non-fatal injuries were caused by slips, trips and same-level falls. In hazardous workspaces, it’s impossible to overemphasise just how critical lighting can be.

The LED solution

At Schréder, we understand that bright, glare-free LED lighting can make employees feel safer, more accurate and more alert.
Our daylight harvesting systems also enable LED fittings to work in harmony with whatever natural light is available. As a result, lighting remains at the ideal level, whatever the time of day.  

This state-of-the-art technology uses photosensors to closely monitor the level of natural light. Each LED then automatically adjusts its output, ensuring the environment is neither too dazzling, nor too dark. On a naturally bright day, photosensors prompt the luminaires to dim. Then, when the ambient light dips below a pre-set level, the LEDs brighten in response.

The outcome? A seamless transition, which optimises the level of natural and artificial light allowing staff to work in comfort and safety, without the inconvenience of using complex controls.

Daylight harvesting systems also offer flexibility. Sunlight is rarely distributed evenly throughout an industrial space, but zoning can resolve this. Multiple high-tech photosensors can be installed across a facility, ensuring the lighting in each area automatically adjusts to suit its occupants.

Saving on energy costs

It isn’t just your staff that will gain from daylight harvesting – your finances will also benefit. One study, by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, put the average energy savings at 28%.

With lighting typically consuming 20% of the electricity used in industrial buildings, it represents a significant improvement to your costs. You’ll find a welcome decrease in maintenance bills too. As the Carbon Trust confirms, a properly-engineered LED lasts a staggering 50,000 hours.  

All these advantages are strengthened when a daylight harvesting system is used in tandem with occupancy sensors. Specific luminaires can be set to either dim or switch off entirely when no movement is detected for a set period of time. That means you’re not wasting energy lighting empty spaces, such as little-used storage areas.

Ultimately, by ensuring each luminaire emits the optimum amount of light when and where it’s needed, your business will cut its energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint.
Your employees will also benefit from consistent illumination, which not only enhances their safety but also improves their well-being.

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