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Use of Occupancy Sensors in LED Parking Lot and Garage Applications: Early Experiences

18 Feb

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Occupancy sensor systems are gaining traction as an effective technological approach to reducing energy use in exterior commercial lighting applications. Done correctly, occupancy sensors can substantially enhance the savings from an already efficient lighting system. However, this technology is confronted by several potential challenges and pitfalls that can leave a significant amount of the prospective savings on the table. This report describes anecdotal experiences from field installations of occupancy sensor controlled light-emitting diode (LED) lighting at two parking structures and two parking lots. The relative levels of success at these installations reflect a marked range of potential outcomes: from an additional 76% in energy savings to virtually no additional savings. Several issues that influenced savings were encountered in these early stage installations and are detailed in the report. Ultimately, care must be taken in the design, selection, and commissioning of a sensor-controlled lighting installation, else the only guaranteed result may be its cost.

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