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Eliminating unnecessary use of lighting at Council HQ

The installation of Ex-Or lighting controls throughout Portsmouth City Council's civic headquarters has led to the council cutting its lighting bill by an estimated £39,000 a year. This has been achieved by the automatic elimination of the unnecessary use of office lighting.

The energy savings have also enabled Portsmouth City Council to cut its carbon footprint and make a serious contribution to its Carbon Reduction Commitment obligations.

The council has cut its annual energy consumption for lighting in the offices and corridors before the Ex-Or installation from 1,259,398 KWh to 655,211 KWh.  This represents annual cost savings of around £39,151 and annual CO2 savings of 326 tonnes.

Within the 31,679m glass-fronted civic offices on Guildhall Square, built in the 1970s, more than 1,500 staff are at work across its seven floors. Before the Ex-Or installation, the lights were on for much longer than the core 9am to 5pm working day.

Portsmouth City Council electrical services manager Jamie Cake said lighting controls were needed that would ensure light was delivered only where and when it was required.

After a competitive tender, the council chose Ex-Or, part of Honeywell, to supply Gold Series LightSpot detectors for installation throughout the open plan office areas. LightSpot Standard Series detectors were also supplied to control the lighting in corridors and lift lobbies.

These discrete, flush-fitting units control the lighting by both presence detection and photocell control. The microwave Gold LightSpot detector provides 360O movement detection capability. When occupants are detected, LightSpot ensures the lights remain on until such time as the monitored area is vacated.
It then automatically switches the lights off. Integral photocells monitor levels of natural light, ensuring the lights only come on when natural light levels are low.

Said Mr Cake: "The lighting control solution we required also needed to be flexible, so that changes in workspace areas within the open plan office areas would not require visits by electricians to alter light fittings or controls."

Now the Ex-Or LightSpot controls have been installed by council M & E contractors Kier, it is a simple matter to change lighting patterns whenever workstation layouts are altered. A simple remote control unit is pointed at the LightSpot controls to change the parameters at the touch of a button.

"Not only that, but the installation has led to us cutting an estimated £39,151 a year off our electricity bill,” continued Cake. “We are also saving a significant amount in maintenance costs as we do not have to replace the fluorescent tubes as frequently. Put these two factors together and we estimate the installation will have paid for itself within four years, and will continue to deliver energy cost savings for many more years to come."

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