Choosing the most efficient lights

Selecting energy efficient lights and fixtures is extremely important when seeking to reduce energy use. There are two types of lighting upgrades:

  • a retrofit which changes only part of an existing luminaire system, such as lamp or control gear.
  • replacing an entire luminaire with a new luminaire.

Upgrading controls with sophisticated systems like sensor and timers can reduce the hours of lighting output, but they don’t address the basic efficiency of the light fixture itself.

To help the decision-making process, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Energy Efficient Lighting Technology Report gives details of lighting upgrade options with associated capital costs, energy savings, typical pay back, greenhouse gas reduction and energy reduction for a given quantity of luminaries. The report is supported by an excel tool to assist in comparing suitable technologies and by a template Request for Proposal document that a company can send to prospective suppliers.

Key terms

  • Luminaire - also referred to as light fitting or fixture, including the lampholder and lamp. The luminaire will also have a means of getting as much light as possible to leave the luminaire and travel in the required direction, for example reflectors, louvres, lenses or diffusers.
  • Lampholder - part of the luminaire that provides electrical connection to the lamp and holds the lamp in place.
  • Lamp - the light source mounted within a luminaire.
  • Control gear - converts the energy supplied to the building into a form that best suits the light source. Includes starters and ballasts.

When selecting products, the choice should also adhere to your sustainable procurement policies. The Lighting Council of Australia provides a list of lighting suppliers.



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