B2 Project Considerations


a. Lighting Project Management

The objective of a “quality” lighting design is to provide a safe and productive environment – whether for business or pleasure. This is accomplished by a redesign or upgrade to ensure that the appropriate quality and quantity of light is provided for the users of the space, at the lowest operating and maintenance cost.

A “quality” lighting design addresses more than ‘first cost’ issues. Either Net Present Value (NPV) or the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) can properly evaluate life cycle costs.

Proper evaluation of the data, planning and execution are essential for successful implementation. Building systems are inter-related. For example, removing 10 kW of lighting energy from a commercial building will have a significant impact on the heating, ventilation air conditioning system. Cooling cost will be reduced, but replacement heating may be required. It is necessary for the lighting designer to have a clear understanding of all the building systems and how they interrelate.

Typical ‘lowest (first cost)’ projects save energy, but they usually do not maximize the saving potential in the building. This can result in a ‘re-lamping’ exercise that provides a 10 to 30% savings, but prevents a lighting designer from returning to the project to maximize savings at a later date. Valuable energy reductions are sacrificed.

For example, in a commercial building in Toronto, the original scope of work would have resulted in electrical
lighting savings of 37%, which on the surface would appear to be a respectable objective. However, a lighting designer was retained and a comprehensive design solution was provided. The project achieved:
o Lighting energy savings of 63%;
o Reduced payback;
o An Internal Rate of Return of more than 30%; and
o Solutions for related building issues such as maintenance, end of fixture life, etc.
The ‘first cost’ was higher, however the life cycle cost as calculated using either the Net Present Value or the Internal Rate of Return proved a significantly superior solution.

b. Evaluation Methods
The methodology used to evaluate the energy savings for a lighting project, either for a retrofit or a comparison for new projects, is critical to the success of installing a complete energy efficient solution. Too often the simple payback method is used which undervalues the financial benefit to the organization. Following are brief descriptions of the various payback evaluation methods. It is important that the choice of method reflects the same principles the company uses when evaluating other capital investments.

Life Cycle Costing
A proper life cycle costing analysis will provide a more realistic financial picture of an energy retrofit project than a simple payback evaluation. Unfortunately, energy efficiency has been a low priority and for convenience, the ‘Simple Payback’ analysis is often used to evaluate energy projects, particularly for lighting projects.
o Simple Payback consists of the project capital cost divided by the annual energy savings realized. The result is the number of years it takes for the savings to pay for the initial investment, e.g.; $100,000 project that saves $35,000 annually has a three-year payback.
o Life Cycle Costing analysis is a similar calculation, however, it looks at a realistic timeline and includes the maintenance cost savings, the potential increased cost of replacement lamps, and the cost of money, and can only be properly evaluated by considering the cost of money by either the Internal Rate of Return, or the Net Present Value, as discussed below.
Discounted Cash Flow
Discounted cash flow methods recognize the time value of money and at the same time provide for full recovery of investment in depreciable assets.
o The Net Present Value method discounts the stream of annual savings by the company’s required return on investment or Cost of Capital.
o The Internal Rate of Return method finds the discount rate, which matches the cash inflows, and the cash outflows leaving a Net Present Value of zero. A company can then make capital investment decisions based on the projects that have the highest Internal Rate of Return; e.g., with interest rates below 10%, a project that delivers an IRR above 10% creates a positive cash flow.
c. Lighting Levels
Light level, or more correctly, Illuminance Level, is easily measured using an illuminance meter. Illuminance is the light energy striking a surface. It is measured in lux (SI) or foot candles (Imperial). The IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) publishes tables of recommended illuminance levels for all possible tasks. It is important to realize that the illuminance level has no relevance to the lighting quality; in other words, it is entirely possible to have the recommended illuminance in a space but with a light source that produces so much glare that it is impossible to work. This accounts for many of the complaints of either too much or not enough light.

d. Light and the Environment
There are a number of methods for determining whether a lighting installation is efficient. One method is for the lighting designer to check with the current version of the ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 lighting standard. This document, which is revised regularly, provides a recommendation for the Lighting Power Density or watts per square meter or square foot attributable to lighting. It is usually possible for a capable lighting designer to achieve better results than the ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 recommendations.

e. Technology Integration
While this handbook is divided into sections dealing with individual lighting technologies, it is essential to realize that the best lighting measures combine technologies to maximize the efficiency of systems. Experienced lighting designers will, for example, select the fluorescent ballast Power Factor, the lamp, and the control system that provide the best possible results for the particular environment and client objectives. The best solution is a derived by matching client requirements with the technology. Therefore, one application may use T-5 technology while another uses metal halide.

f. Case Studies
The following are three case study examples

Case Study One

A University Library in Central Ontario

Lighting systems, just like furnaces, chillers, motors and pumps, are part of older facilities and have a defined life span. Over time, lamp sockets and internal wiring deteriorate, lenses become cracked and broken. Therefore, at some point it is more economical to replace rather than to continue to repair.
Another significant concern for the facility manager is change in use. Computers were unheard of in primary and secondary education when these facilities were constructed, but they are now in common use both in the classroom and for facility management. As a result, there are many rooms where the lighting technology is out-dated, the equipment is due for replacement, and the light fixtures are no longer appropriate for the illumination of the task. However, there are limited funds for replacement, so upgrading the systems in these facilities is often the only option.

Lighting technology changes lead to more choice. University library is a good example. Older universities may have inefficient incandescent and fluorescent lighting in their libraries. In these facilities significant energy and demand savings can be achieved by redesigning the space with more efficient fluorescent systems using High Performance T8 or T5 fixtures, combined with occupancy sensors.

Situation: With more than 250,000 square feet over six floors of study spaces and book collections, the library is one of the biggest electricity consumers on the campus of a University in central Ontario. The library has to be open and lit for 18 hours a day for students to study, in addition to being lit for the cleaning staff after it has closed. Because the building has been built more than 40 years ago, the lights were never turned off without control and timing devices.
"It was on 24 hours a day, all year long," says the Department Head of Energy and Utilities, Physical Resources. Turning off the building's breakers - the only way to shut down the lights - could damage the building's electrical system. "It was not practical or safe to turn off the lights every day for a few hours."
Replacing thousands of inefficient lighting fixtures and lamps and installing automatic occupancy sensors in the library was identified as a priority in the University’s Energy Conservation Plan.

Area: 250,000 square feet

Action: Project funding was contributed by both the University and its students. An engineering company specializing in the design and upgrade of lighting systems hired to provide the Library a full assessment of lighting retrofit opportunities, and an analysis of savings and costs effectiveness to achieve a comprehensive energy project.

Technology: The majority of lights on all six flours of the library were T12 fixtures with magnetic ballasts. The stacks were lit with three-foot fluorescent tubes with double H-type fixtures on the book stacks. The existing fluorescent tubes had been replaced in the past and were rated at 34 watts.

Solutions: With the retrofit project, the T12 tubes were switched to High Performance single lamp or two lamps T8s and T5s with electronic ballasts, and the wattage dropped to 28 watts. As well, the double H-type T12 units on the stacks were changed to one-tube T5 or HP T8 fixtures with a new reflector manufactured locally. All the Exit Signs in the building were retrofitted to be low energy LED models.

Results: Total Project Cost: $800,000

Incentives: $74,000 granted by an OPA funded Conservation Program, with the prescriptive component at $33,000 and the custom component at $41,000

Energy Savings: 2.1 million kWh

Demand Savings: 246 kW

Cost Savings: $187,000 per year
Internal Rate of Return greater than 20%

Case Study Two

An Industrial Facility in the Greater Toronto Area

Situation: A plastic container manufacturer located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) operates 24/7 to continuously produce millions of tons of plastic containers annually for the food, beverage and a variety of other industries. The containers, which are up to six gallons in size, are made by injection moulding and are used for products ranging from kitty litter to dish detergent and motor oil.

The facility, like many companies, has increasingly realized that controlling electricity consumption has a high dollar value. The cost of making the containers can be better controlled by installing more energy-efficient technologies since the facility was built at a time when energy costs were much lower and many conserving technologies were not available.

“In the past, electricity was seen as a necessary evil; it was just another commodity. But now studies are clearly showing there are things you can do to save money.” says the facility’s Project Manager. "Businesses today have to be leaner," he says "Whenever there is an opportunity to conserve energy that is where we will go."

Area: 160,000 square feet

Action: The company attended a customer information seminar of an OPA funded Conservation Program that was conducted by the Local Distribution Company. As an outcome of the information learned at the seminar, the company contracted an independent energy conservation company to conduct a detailed analysis of its facility’s lighting needs and prepare different scenarios in terms of energy consumptions and savings before and after the retrofit project. A small scale retrofit test, consisting of few new T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps were installed in several target areas of the facility, was implemented to test the impact the lighting change.

Technology: Typical high-cost 1,000 watt and 480 watt metal halide lights were in use throughout the facility as per the original installation since the building was built. Due to the nature of metal halide lights, staffs were complaining that they had to wait in the dark forever for the lights to start back up and get back to work if any of these fixtures went off. As well the office area was lit with inefficient T12 fluorescent fixtures with magnetic ballasts.

Solutions: Shortly after proving significant savings in both electricity usage and hydro bills in the small scale test, the facility decided to complete the retrofit project for the entire facility. In the plant and warehouse, the existing 1,000 watt and 480 watt metal halide lighting fixtures were replaced with eight-lamp T5 high-intensity fluorescent and six-lamp T8 high-intensity fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts. In the office, T12 fluorescent fixtures were retrofitted to T8 lamps with high-efficiency electronic ballasts. Over 500 fixtures in total were replaced.


Total Project Cost: $100,000

Incentives: $14,000 provided through an OPA funded Conservation Program and other funding also offered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), which helped to reduce the payback period to one year from two years.

Energy Savings: 530 MWh

Cost Savings: $56,000 per year based on 2009 electricity rates

Case Study Three
Situation: An industrial facility in southern Ontario was receiving increased complaints and concerns about existing light levels. Operators were finding poor light levels an increasing concern in certain areas. In addition, there were unusually high maintenance costs due to annual lamp replacements attributed to the plant having a dusty environment.

Action: An industrial lighting designer was retained to tour the facility, interview staff and suggest potential options.

Technology: Typical two lamp 34 W, T-12 open fixture fluorescent fixtures were in use throughout the plant as per the original installation in a standard ‘grid’ pattern. Although changes had occurred in the plant over the years, the lighting remained the same. Light levels in some areas had deteriorated to as low as 5 foot candles, compared to IESNA recommended 15 foot candles. Staff was concerned and offered to demonstrate the challenges of operating equipment in constraint areas.

Solutions: A three phase solution was proposed and accepted.

Phase 1: A short 15 page preliminary assessment was prepared to summarize the data on the existing situation including light levels, estimated lighting fixtures, lamp, ballast and fixture types, as well as recommended options.

Phase 2: Because there were other plants with similar opportunities, it was decided to arrange a tour so staff could see similar industries that had installed, and operated with, the proposed technologies; e.g.,
o Metal halide
o Low pressure sodium
o T-8 fluorescents
Phase 3: A demonstration pilot project was selected for the recommended option to confirm staff acceptance, light levels and recommendations. A design level of 20 foot candles was specified to off set loss of light output due to:
o Coefficient of utilization (CU),
o Lamp lumen depreciation factor (LLD), and
o Luminaire dirt depreciation factor (LDD).
The reflectance in the test area was considered zero because of the dirty environment. There was no prior experience in modeling this type of space due the complexities of the structures and type of work for maintenance, so flexibility was rated very high. The test area called for 27 metal halide 400 W fixtures and was increased to 32 at the request of plant staff. The pilot demonstrated a 36% IRR, to exceed the plant internal hurdle rate of 14%. Light levels went from 5 fc to 18 fc and 20 fc in the pilot areas, lamps were reduced from 256 W to 32 W with a 30% energy saving.

Results: Metal Halide 400 W enclosed fixtures were selected and provided the following results:

o 31% energy savings
o 51% fixture and ballast reduction
o 75% reduction in lamps
o Four times more light
o 100% client satisfaction with quantity and quality of light!