Academy is an education in efficient lighting
Lighting energy consumption at an academy in Northampton has been reduced by 79% following the replacement of uncontrolled fluorescent lighting with T5 and LED lamps controlled by presence detectors from Steinel (UK). The energy savings will achieve a payback of four to five years, and maintenance costs have also been reduced.
Malcolm Arnold Academy has specialisms in maths and music and occupies premises that belonged to a predecessor school. Howard Parkinson, business-development manager at the academy, explained, ‘Lighting throughout the academy tended to be switched on at 6.30 a.m. and not switched off until late at night. Classrooms are in use for just seven to nine hours a day, but the lights could be left on for 16 hours a day. Corridors are occupied for even less time — only for brief periods between lessons — but, again, the lights were on all day.’
Electrical contractor Gryphon Electrical was called in. Neil Goodall explains, ‘The academy decided to upgrade to energy-efficient T5 and LED lighting, but we also realised that it was important to control the lighting better.
‘The old lighting had some rudimentary control options, but they were unreliable and tended to be over-ridden by staff. We felt the lighting needed to be truly intelligent — switch on automatically when it was needed and switch off when the rooms were empty.’ The control gear in the old fittings also interfered with new interactive whiteboards in the classrooms.
The academy secured a Government-backed loan for the project via the Salix initiative. Following a successful trial, Steinel presence detectors were installed in all classrooms and corridors.
Presence detectors in the corridors sense movement in either direction. These detectors have a reach of 20 m.
Howard Parkinson comments, ‘We’re thrilled with the whole lighting upgrade. The Steinel presence detectors mean that staff can forget all about the lighting. Lights switch on instantly when there are people in the classrooms and corridors and switch off automatically when the rooms are not in use.’ The financial saving is over £34 000 a year.