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Heating and plumbing giant cuts lighting energy use by 80%

A leading supplier of heating and plumbing products, has achieved savings of £116,000 on its annual energy bills at its Cumbrian distribution centre, as a result of an installation of LED lamps controlled by high-bay motion detectors from Steinel (UK) Ltd

The lighting at Wolseley UK's sites was identified as a significant source of energy waste. Not only were its fluorescent lamps and light fittings outdated and inefficient, the lights also blazed 24 hours a day.

Using sensor control seemed like the obvious solution, providing an automatic means to switch on the lights only in the areas that people were actually using – and switch them off again when that part of the building was empty. However, Wolseley had installed sensors in previous projects and found them not fit for purpose. Part of the problem was that the distribution centre’s high ceilings – 15m in some areas – were too much of a challenge for many types of sensors.

Rather than abandoning the idea of sensor control altogether, Wolseley brought in a leading supplier of LED lighting solutions, and ran a small pilot scheme in one of the loading areas at Wolseley’s Melmerby site in Cumbria.

For the pilot, they used Steinel’s highly-sensitive IS345 MX infrared motion detectors and not only established that the sensors were fit for purpose, but that it was also possible to make accurate payback projections. This meant that Wolseley was able to mobilise capital expenditure for a full installation of sensors.

Following the successful trial, QE Global completely overhauled the lighting at Wolseley’s Melmerby site, with the installation taking place over a seven-week period. All of the fluorescent fittings and high- and low-bay floodlights were replaced with LEDs, with 349 Steinel IS345 MX sensors installed to ensure intelligent control of the new lighting.

The Steinel IS 345 MX infrared motion detectors have been designed specifically for depot and warehouse environments with high ceilings. With a radial detection zone of 30 x 4 m, the IS 345 MX sensors are extremely sensitive – ensuring no one is ever left in the dark.

The energy savings resulting from the project have been dramatic, with Wolseley saving an estimated £116,000 on its energy bills every year. The lights have gone from being in use 24 hours a day to an average of 2.5 hours a day over a 5-day week. QE Global estimates the site is now using 80% less energy for its lighting – providing a huge contribution towards Wolseley’s energy-saving targets.

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