A Winning Strategy: Daylighting Sensors Combined with Occupancy Sensors

June 19, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

Integrated lighting technologies that combine daylighting with light sensing and controls can achieve internal rates of return of 24 percent and lead to gains of up to $27 billion in lighting energy costs, according to Lux Research.

Daylighting technologies deliver energy savings of between 90-95 percent, depending on weather conditions but have a high capex hurdle, with costs ranging from $10/square meter to $43/square meter. But sensors are well under $1/square meter and help drive other savings, reducing HVAC costs by up to 10 percent, extending the lifespan of lamps and reducing maintenance costs.

“For some daylighting technologies the payback is on the threshold of tolerance, at about five years, but for many others it stretches above 10 years or even 20 years,” said Alex Herceg, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Investigating the Economics of Integrated Lighting Technologies.

However, daylighting with occupancy sensors that save energy lowers the payback period. Coupling daylighting with sensors is a winning strategy. The net present value (NPV) for sensors and controls ($7,315) in Lux’s modeled case is similar to a 10-year NPV for solar control film combined with sensors ($7,291).

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