Energy saving lighting systems

With the climate conferences, the participating governments aim to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, notably CO2 emissions. CO2 is a by-product of energy generation.

Lighting in Germany makes up roughly 3% of the primary energy demand (Energy data: general edition of: October 2015, BMWi – Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy). The average power consumption for all indoor and outdoor lighting installations is estimated to make up ca. 19% of the total power consumption globally, and 11% for Western Europe. In some buildings, however, lighting constitutes a significant portion of yearly operating costs. According to the European Commission, the portion of power consumption due to lighting is ca. 9% in industrial settings, ca. 10% in apartments and residential buildings, and ca. 28% in trade, commerce and service applications (source: "Options and potential for final energy efficiency and energy services – short version").

More recent statistics even claim that 40% of power consumption in trade, commerce and services is due to lighting (energy efficiency data for climate protection, German Environment Agency, August 2012).

Great potential savings can be utilised where necessary light is generated, distributed and controlled in an inefficient manner by obsolete technology. However, there is no panacea. An optimised solution is always designed for the individual application situation. Therefore, it must be carefully planned in terms of

  • visual task,

  • conditions of use,

  • architectural preconditions,

  • spatial surroundings, and

  • the possibility to utilise daylight.

In view of all this, the prospective lighting installation is always more than just the sum of its parts, since necessarily their adequate interaction is required to provide a proper solution.

All energy-related considerations for lighting aside, it is important that, as expressly emphasised by EN 12464-1, quality criteria for lighting must be prioritised over the doubtlessly important issue of minimising energy consumption.

The resultant lighting installation is ideally one which fulfils all photometric requirements as well as possible at minimum energy consumption. Only a solution like this can be called efficient and not merely economic.