Last edited 07 Feb 2019

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BRE Group Researcher Website

People-friendly lighting controls

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

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People-friendly lighting controls (IP 4/14) was written by Stephanie King, Paul Littlefair, Gareth Howlett, Feride Sener and Cosmin Ticleanu, and published by BRE on 30 May 2014.

In 2012, lighting accounted for 41% of electricity consumption in the UK services sector (including commercial). Improving the energy efficiency of lighting can therefore contribute substantially to overall energy savings.

Lighting controls can allow significant energy savings, and new techniques, such as touchscreens, scene setting and colour changing LEDs, allow flexible and sophisticated control.

Good lighting control systems can prevent energy from being wasted by lighting unoccupied or daylit spaces, or providing too much light when less might be preferred. Energy savings of up to 30 to 40% or more are achievable in some types of building, but clear and accessible system interfaces are necessary if users are to control the lighting properly.

This 8-page information paper explains how to design lighting controls interfaces so that they are easy to use, easy to understand, and give appropriate feedback to users. It is intended for controls manufacturers, lighting designers, building services consultants, ergonomists, facilities managers and building owners.

Its contents are:

  • Introduction
  • BRE lighting controls experiment
  • Findings
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • References

--BRE Group

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