Efficient lighting - photo sensor controls

Efficient lighting - photo sensor controls
© bubutu, image #155569905, 2017, source:
All sectors
Investment cost:
Low cost
Payback time:
2.7 Year(s)
Cost savings:
Annual: £ 94 (€ 102.46)
Resource type:
Electricity - Lighting
Resource saving:
Annual: lighting is supplemented by daylight, ensuring lighting is only in use when required; 1040 kWh; 520 kg CO2 equivalent
Investment cost:
272€ / £ 250 (€ 272.50) for one sensor; investment cost is proportional to project; sensor should be placed to ensure that adequate lighting is provided to all areas of the room at all times; no maintenance required
Assumptions taken in the presentation of the above performance indicators:

Installation of control and appropriate wiring; works in applications where lighting is required, uncontrolled and sufficient daylight is present (e.g. a corridor or waiting room); installation of photo sensor and appropriate wiring in waiting lobby used for 6, 000 hours annually, with 20 luminaires of 2 x 26 W providing 200 lux

The case for photo-sensor controls

Movement- and photo-sensors, timers and other smart technology can be used to adjust lighting to conditions outside, when you are away, and to manage overall operating hours. Photo-sensors, mounted inside or outside, monitor natural lighting conditions, and automatically adjust the brightness based on optimised settings and lighting needs.

Making lighting energy efficient can help a company achieve significant savings. Estimates show that in the UK, some 20 % of the electricity generated is used for lighting and that over 75 % of lighting installations are thought to be out of date.

Cost-effective changes include the:

  • Lighting technology itself (e.g. LEDs and organic LEDs, or OLEDs, metal halide, fluorescent, etc.),
  • Luminaires (e.g. checking that the light is well diffused)
  • Lighting controls (e.g. installing sensors for better lighting management)
  • Lighting design (e.g. over-lighting a space, or leaving lights on unnecessarily)

There are many low- and no-cost options to help save money and improve lighting operations. They range from 'quick wins' to more significant refits or investments. While quick wins' can deliver instant energy and cost savings, consideration should be given to the potential longer-term gains of a full overhaul.


Consider the three following operations:

  • New construction project: a completely new lighting installation, bearing in mind the future operational costs of the installation
  • Refurbishment: consider the long-term benefits of replacing light systems as part of other planned refurbishments, which could remove existing constraints such as ceiling type or height, space, layout for improved future gain
  • Retrofit: a project where only the lighting is reviewed, and no other works are actively pursued

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