Intelligent Lighting

In an attempt to drive a greener environment the EU Directive for Energy Performance of Buildings plays a key role in the UK building regulations. It is now a requirement to provide an Energy Performance certificate (EPC) to identify the carbon footprint of any building and to use this information to consider improved opportunities to reduce energy performance. This means that designers have to consider networking technologies and control functionalities early on within the design process. For residential properties the use of energy monitoring and control of light sources through mobile smart phones are becoming more and more popular.

What is intelligent lighting?

Intelligent lighting is the use and control of lighting that goes beyond reliance on a manual on/off switch. There are many situations that intelligent lighting can be used from domestic dimming through to complete automated control systems that can manage a whole building. It ensures that no light is used or left on unnecessarily which will provide improved efficiency and reduce costs for businesses and homes.

Part L Building Regulations introduced - April 6th 2014

Part L1 (Building regulations for domestic dwellings)

On the domestic front, Part L1 2013 Building Regulations further reduce carbon emissions over the 2010 edition, but lighting requirements are unchanged. They remain as follows:

Internal lighting

  • At least 75% of all light fittings in main dwelling spaces should be low energy (this excludes infrequently accessed storage spaces such as cupboards and wardrobes).
  • Low energy light fittings must have a luminous efficacy greater than 45 lm/W and a total output exceeding 400 lumens.
  • • Light fittings consuming less than 5 watts are excluded from the overall count of the total number of light fittings.

External lighting

Either of two sets of criteria is possible: a 100W maximum lamp capacity with occupancy sensor and photocell (light must stay off when daylight is sufficient) or minimum lamp efficacy of 45 lm/W with a photocell and manual on/off switching.

Part L2  (Building regulations for non-domestic / commercial premises)

This update of the Part L Building Regulations brought profound change to non-domestic lighting requirements. In complying with these regulations, specifiers are now faced with two options:

1. The previous luminaire efficacy calculation method, which takes lighting control into account

2. The long-awaited LENI system that performs a complex equation to calculate actual energy usage