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Using lighting to reduce the carbon footprint

Trust Housing Association has replaced its manually switch-operated lights with high-frequency sensor-controlled lights in a bid to reduce its electricity consumption and improve its environmental profile.

Trust Housing Association has replaced its manually switch-operated lights with high-frequency sensor-controlled lights in a bid to reduce its electricity consumption and improve its environmental profile

Trust Housing Association Ltd has been providing homes for the elderly in Scotland for almost 40 years. As a not-for-profit housing association, Trust Housing offers rented accommodation and shared ownership for older people, families and others in need of housing, which numbers some 2,400 homes in all, spread across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Arran.

As part of an on-going programme of improvements to achieve savings and meet legislation, Trust Housing chose to look carefully at the energy efficiency of its buildings. A key area of energy waste was immediately identified and that was corridors. Communal areas, naturally, must be well-lit in order to ensure the complete safety of all residents. As a result, however, Trust Housing found that lights were typically left on permanently in empty corridors; a massive energy drain that was increasing costs.

“Intelligent, sensor-controlled lighting seemed like the obvious solution to the energy-inefficiency of lighting the corridors around the clock,” comments Gary Cusick, Facilities Officer at Trust Housing Association. “However, we needed sophisticated technology so that we could be completely sure that the lights would switch on automatically when a person entered the corridor and then stay on for only as long as they were needed. Steinel’s RS PRO 1000 sensor lights met our needs perfectly.”

Forty of the Steinel sensor-lights were initially installed by Trust Housing and this first installation proved to be so successful that another one hundred of the RS PRO 1000 sensor-lights were put in place. Each of the RS PRO 1000s works with two 18W low-energy lamps and two electronic ballasts, meaning less wasted energy and more light for power input from high-frequency operation. The state-of-the-art sensors guarantee detection accuracy in 360° at a distance of up to 8m.

Trust Housing Association found that the sensors do their work regardless of ambient temperature or direction of movement. The sensor-lights provide switching performance that’s virtually instant and they are largely integrated out of sight. RS PRO 1000s can even act as stand-alone units, limiting the amount of rewiring needed.

“As a result of the installation of RS PRO 1000s, the lighting at our residential homes has greatly improved, reaching a high new standard,” says Cusick. “We’ve also been able to reduce our electricity consumption. Not only have we upgraded to low-energy lamps but we’re safe in the knowledge that the lights are only being used when they’re absolutely needed. We’ll also be installing Steinel’s LED modules, providing a courtesy light, to ensure the total safety of all our residents.”

Trust Housing Association has found a solution that works and it’s sticking with it. As Cusick comments: “We’ve been so pleased with the Steinel sensor-lights that we’re planning to roll the RS PROs out across more of our sites, including the High Blantyre development in South Lanarkshire. We anticipate that the sensor-lighting will prove to be both a financial and an environmental win.”

The project’s outcome has indeed been an all-around positive for Trust Housing; higher-quality lighting, lower electricity bills and a reduction in its carbon footprint. Furthermore, it can look forward to even greater savings in the future as it follows up its trial with further installations of the RS PROs.

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