Lighting Control: Speaking Frankly About Dimming Benefits to Building Owners

In the overview blog post, The 10 Benefits of Lighting Control for Greener, Smarter Building Design, Bill Trammel of the Lighting Control Pros blog outlines the main benefits of implementing lighting control into architectural design.  This blog post provided a great overview of points that can both enlighten designers AND provide relevant data to assist them in convincing their clients (building owners and developers).

Mercedes with Red Gift Bow

Architects and designers probably understand this from multiple angles, many of which Bill Trammel touched upon, but the perceived benefits of lighting control really depends on who’s listening, right? Here’s GPI’s case for implementing controllable lighting systems, in plain language that building owners might connect with:

You wouldn’t buy a Mercedes Benz without purchasing the automatic window upgrade, would you?

High-end lighting systems are implemented through an intense detailed process that involve collaboration and engineering. The upgrade, offering real convenience, is a natural extension of the baseline system.  Additional cost, yes, but you will probably never regret the upgrade.

(Notice we are using the Benz as an example for the owner? If we were talking to you, Ms./Mr. Designer, we would have said “1999 Volvo”. Yep, we know you’re overworked and underpaid.)

Let’s make sure that everyone is satisfied with these lighting levels on-site after all is said and done.

You can quantify this LED fixture with test data all day long, but lighting levels are subjective. Avoid the costly mistake of implementing non-controllable lighting, which results in tearing down finishes to modify or remove fixtures. (Headaches, schedule extension, added cost)

Dimming control provides the opportunity for lighting designers and building owners to “tune” the brightness of fixtures based on many variables: desired brightness levels, ambient lighting conditions, subjective perception.

During the building walk-through and commissioning process, dimming control will prove to be a crucial tool in fine tuning all of the systems into a harmonious composition.

You like to see your huge building investment pay off over the years, don’t you?

As Bill Trammel succinctly put it: “from a purely bottom-line standpoint, dimming reduces monthly overhead costs”.  Dimming control reduces energy costs, increases occupant comfort, and can contribute to employee productivity.  Building owners see every project as an investment; quantifying this can help to justify the increased upfront costs.

And last but not least… controllable lighting systems can contribute to LEED certification, and let’s face it – LEED is a great marketing/publicity tool for building owners.

–> The bottom line: when your lighting fixture manufacturers have dimming capability available and the budget allows, take them.  Just like when you’re caught driving that new Benz (ehh, 1999 Volvo) in a rainstorm, you won’t regret purchasing the automatic roll-up window option.