Lutron lights up the Gurdon Institute

The Gurdon Institute was identified as one of five pilot departments due to its high energy consumption.

When Kathy Hilton, building facilities manager at The Gurdon Institute initiated an energy reduction programme, it paved the way for Lutron's Energi TriPak™ retrofit lighting control solution which enables the 'unloved' areas of the department to deliver significant energy savings. The Gurdon Institute was identified as one of five pilot departments due to its high energy consumption. As well as a behaviour change campaign, various energy savings technologies were looked at that would maximise savings, yet minimise disruption to the researchers or their work environment.


Kathy Hilton explains: "We wanted to reduce electricity consumption throughout The Gurdon Institute but we wanted to do this without affecting the 'good science' that is done here in developmental biology and cancer research. With this in mind, we challenged the researchers to get involved in an energy reduction competition. The key to keeping 'switching off' front of mind was to maintain a high profile of energy awareness and reminders. An iPad kiosk in the main entrance helped with this, as did various behavioural changes. We began to see great results, one lab in particular achieved electricity consumption reductions of 50%, without compromising their research, by a complete shift in behaviour; this involved planning usage of equipment in advance and leaving it switched off when not in use.

To see the impact that lighting control could have in 'unloved' areas, Kathy Hilton set up a trial in an equipment room; and a research laboratory. The results not only showed the significant savings that can be achieved when lighting is used well, but also the reductions that can be gained when the system is adapted to suit user habits.

Equipment room 323

Energy monitoring and management company, Building Sustainability Ltd, installed Lutron's Energi TriPak wireless retrofit solution in lab 323 that houses scientific equipment. This met Kathy Hilton's classification of 'unloved' perfectly, as it had no 'owner' and individuals visited the room only sporadically throughout the day.

As well as one wireless Lutron Rania® RF switch and two Radio Powr Savr® wireless occupancy/vacancy sensors, in the 50m2 equipment room, Building Sustainability Ltd. also fitted a meter to monitor results. Thanks to the wireless nature of Lutron's Energi TriPak solution, the retrofit was carried out with no disruption to the researchers' working day and the existing T8 36W fluorescents remained in situ.

The electrical consumption used during a pre-specified sensor controlled period was then monitored and the sensor control was subsequently disabled and a period of manual light switching control was monitored. Using Building Sustainability's Workplace Footprint Tracker system, the results showed that during the sensor controlled phase, an average of 6.45kWh was used per 24 hours and an average of 16.39 kWh was consumed when it was switched to manual control. This equated to a 60% reduction between manual switching and sensor control. Taking into account the cost of the Lutron Energi TriPak system, it was calculated by the students of the University of Cambridge that the equipment payback would be achieved in approximately 1.5 years (at present energy costs).

Laboratory 328 Trial

Following the success of equipment room, the light control trial was expanded to include a laboratory. As well as installing Lutron's EcoSystem Energy Savr Node digitally addressable lighting control, four occupancy and daylight sensor plus a tracking meter, the T8 36W fluorescents were also changed to lower energy 28W T5 alternatives.

Kathy Hilton explains: "The importance of taking into account occupant usage patterns was highlighted for us in lab 328. It was only when the data didn't show the kind of energy savings that we expected that we explored further and found that the lab occupants were traditionally in the habit of leaving the lights off while working in the lab during weekend, whereas the sensors were automatically switching on the lights. As we had been encouraging behavioural changes for some time, the lab users had become used to only turning on lighting when they needed it, rather than doing it out of habit."

With this in mind, the Lutron occupancy sensors were reset from presence detection to vacancy sensing, accommodating the lab researchers altered behaviour patterns. Combined with the daylight harvesting, lab usage went from 360 kWh (during the manual measurement period of already improved user lighting behavior) to 160 kWh following sensor re-programming. This equated to a 56% reduction between manual switching and sensor and daylight control. Taking into account the cost of the Lutron Energi TriPak system, it was calculated that the equipment payback would be achieved in approximately 2 years (at present energy costs).

Expanding out the trial

Following these successful trials, Kathy Hilton then worked with Building Sustainability to prepare an expansion programme to a further 97 zones, including research support and equipment rooms, stores, , toilets and some small office areas have been retrofitted with Lutron's light control solution since the trial's completion earlier this year. Projected financial savings for these zones, based on the findings from the equipment room and lab trials, are as follows:

Rs. 9, 00,000/- projected financial savings per annum
100,000 kWh electricity savings per annum
54 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide saved per annum
Investment - Rs. 18, 00,000/- and payback - 2 years

Lutron's Energi TriPak solution

At The Gurdon Institute, Lutron's Rania wireless RF switch and Radio Powr Savr wireless sensors: occupancy/vacancy sensors and daylight sensors were used. Lutron's Energi TriPak solution provides easy to install, cost-effective, energy-saving retrofit light control in commercial spaces.

Lutron's first retrofit solution, Energi TriPak consists of wireless transmitting devices that send out RF commands to load controllers that then switch, dim or integrate, depending on the information received. With no output wires and simple screw/adhesive mounts, Lutron's Energi TriPak can reduce installation time by up to 70% over wired equivalents.

Saving Energy the Lutron Way

Lutron is committed to helping its customers find ways to save energy and all of Lutron's lighting control systems enable customers to reduce electricity usage and extend lamp life significantly. In addition, the company's range of shade and blind controls allow natural light levels to be maximized, offering the ultimate in efficient artificial and natural lighting control. Lutron leads the industry in controlling energy efficient light sources and full-range dimming is now possible for a wide range of fluorescent lamp types. The trend toward LED lighting for accent and general lighting is growing, and Lutron is there to control it all.

Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, is the world's leading designer and manufacturer of lighting controls and architectural lighting control systems for residential, commercial and institutional applications. The company that invented solid-state dimming, Lutron is the most recognised and requested brand in the industry and sells and services products in more than 80 countries around the world. It offers more than 15,000 products-from single-room dimmers to comprehensive architectural systems that operate lighting throughout an entire building and can control virtually any lamp source. Lutron has offices in Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Coopersburg, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Mexico, New Delhi, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo.

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