Dimmable Lights

An important daylighting technique is to use only as much light as required for a space. Modern lamps often suffer from the problem of being too bright for a space; from a design standpoint, it is better to over-light than not to light enough. Unfortunately, this can mean wasted power and glare for users.

The solution is user-dimmable lights. Dimmable ballasts have been shown to use up to 50 percent less power per year than traditional ballasts. If hooked into a smart lighting system, they can be controlled by users, via a schedule, or via a dimming switch, and they can even be set to different levels during the summer and winter depending upon the brightness of a room. They can also be hooked into motion sensors so that they turn off when a room is empty.

The inhabited spaces of the IL Centre (with the exception of the plazas) use smart lights. These switch- and computer-controlled lights can be controlled remotely, and dimmed either via computer or via switch (or both). An online widget allows staff to change the lights over their workspaces, because user control of light levels has been shown to reduce glare, increase productivity, and contribute to an overall sense of well-being. The dimmable smart lights also allow users to program lighting scenes, so that a multi-function wall switch can turn different lights on at different levels with one button, allowing for different room uses.

On the covered area of the second-floor plaza, switch-dimmable fluorescents have been installed, so that the light level can be changed on brighter or darker days.

In the group rooms on the third floor, successful trials have been run with a WAGO controller and a light sensor to lower the lights automatically to a set level when the rooms are bright during the day. This type of daylighting has further reduced the power consumption of the lights and is becoming a popular new technology.