Housing association reaps the benefits from new lighting scheme

A combined high efficiency lighting and control solution is delivering significant cost savings for the Wales and West Housing Association. In a typical two-storey development of 40 apartments, an annual £3,000 has been cut from the electricity bill.


In addition, the solution offered by CJS Electrical and Ex-Or is helping the organisation meet its environmental commitments and help stem the rise in maintenance costs.


The Housing Association is landlord to 25,000 residents living in 110 housing developments across Wales. CJS Electrical of Cardiff, and Ex-Or the lighting control specialists, are working together to provide new lighting systems in the communal areas within the developments which include corridors, reception areas and lift lobbies.


The projects involve the replacement of inefficient T5 and T8 fluorescent luminaires with high efficiency LED lamps. These are controlled by Ex-Or LightSpot ultrasonic detectors which instantaneously switch the lights on when an occupant is about to enter the monitored area. When lighting is no longer required in the area, then the detectors automatically switch off the lights.


In a typical scheme carried out recently by CJS Electrical and Ex-Or at the housing association’s Cwrt Anghorfa development at Bridgend, an 80 per cent reduction in lighting load has been achieved. This involved the replacement of the 28 watt and 16 watt 2D bulkhead light fittings and a number of fluorescent tubes with LED fittings throughout all the communal areas.


Electricity usage savings have been further cut by the use of Ex-Or lighting control detectors. Previously, most communal areas – in particular the corridors – were permanently lit 24 hours a day. Now that the lights only come on when needed, it is estimated that these areas are only lit for around 20 percent of the time. At the Cwrt Anghorfa development the annual electricity bill for lighting in the communal areas was £3,275. Following the installation of the new lighting and control systems that annual bill has been slashed to £216.


“Landlord lighting is by far the biggest element of electricity use at Cwrt Anghorfa and all the other residential developments in the Wales and West Housing Association estate,” said Chris Williams, director at CJS Lighting.


“On the environmental front, a total of 20.8 tonnes of CO2 per year is being saved at Cwrt Anghorfa following the installation, with similar carbon savings being made at the other Wales and West Housing Association developments where the combined LED lighting and control system has been installed.”


Tim Mann, electrical and mechanical contracts manager for the housing association, said: “As a responsible landlord we need to address fuel poverty issues. These installations are helping us make significant carbon savings. Our residents, who are either on benefits income or pensions, pay for their electricity through their service charges so it is our responsibility to make their energy costs as affordable as possible.”


Wales and West Housing Association worked closely with the fire service and with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) to ensure the lighting systems comply with health & safety legislation and meet the security requirements of partially sighted people: the housing association runs a number of developments on behalf of the RNIB.


“A particular concern was that residents opening their front door into a communal corridor would not be stepping out into darkness,” said Tim Mann.


“The ultrasonic technology used in the Ex-Or detectors ensures the lights in the corridor come on instantaneously as soon as a door starts to open, so ensuring the residents walk out into a brightly lit corridor. This would not be possible with a PIR detector. In addition, the LED lights fire up to instant brightness immediately. If traditional low energy lights had been used, then there would have been an initial warm up period which would not give sufficient corridor lighting for partially sighted residents.”


A final comment from Chris Williams on maintenance costs: “LED lighting has a tremendously long life expectancy. We estimate that a traditional 2D fitting would potentially require 40 replacement lamps during the lifetime of a LED fitting. Couple that with the reliability of Ex-Or sensors and you essentially have a maintenance-free system not requiring any further turnouts by electricians or maintenance people. We have been installing Ex-Or’s equipment in projects around Wales for years and we have yet to experience a single failure.”


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