Hotel energy savings made easy with lighting control

Hotels want to offer their guests the best experience possible, but must ensure that doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the bottom line. Lighting control is one area where hotels can improve customer experience while also making cost savings.

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Lighting control makes it possible to create ‘lighting scenes’ that enhance the characteristics of a room and highlight key features while also setting an appropriate lighting level for certain times of the day or when a room is undergoing a particular use.

Bright settings incorporating bedside lamps can be set for reading, or dimmed scenes can be used when watching television – the possibilities are endless and can help create an unforgettable ambience.

Energy savings of up to 80%

Meanwhile, by dimming lights in each scene, lighting controls can offer vast energy savings of up to 80%. Savings of between 20-30% can be achieved by dimming the LEDs alone, with further savings of 50% possible by using PIRs to turn off lights when a room or area is not in use, which is particularly beneficial in hotels.

Furthermore, using a soft start dimmer can offer further savings by extending the typical 25,000-hour life of a LED lamp. By making current switching smoother and by reducing the lamp temperature, lamp failure is reduced along with maintenance requirements.

Gavin Williams, Marketing Manager at Hamilton Litestat, a supplier of electrical wiring accessories and lighting control solutions, says: “Even the most basic system that uses a pre-set timer or dimmer will use less power, so lighting control offers vast energy saving improvements. Any person or business looking to reduce their expenditure and carbon footprint will find such systems valuable, with the hotel industry – and in particular the boutique hotel industry – a key business market that can benefit from this type of product.”

Creating an appropriate pre-set ambience, lighting control can also be useful in health spas, bars, entertainment spaces such as home cinemas, and residential properties, all while reducing energy usage.

Ease of use

“Lighting control is extremely easy to use. The atmosphere can be determined at the touch of a button or by entering a room using a key card switch,” adds Williams. “Either can activate one of a series of set lighting scenes that can vary depending on the time of day. The Mercury Lighting Control system is one such system that offers just that and can help with dramatic energy and cost savings, without the need for complicated programming as it comes with four pre-programmed scene set selections.”

Making lighting control even more effortless to use, advances in smart phone technology have been utilised so that systems can be controlled with intuitive LED back-lit glass touch controllers. These controllers are perfect for modern settings, while a range of mechanical controllers with buttons are also available in stylish designs for a variety of settings, including period properties.

Hamilton’s Mercury system even comes with a credit card-sized IR controller that gives users the ability to switch between scene settings from anywhere in the room.

Effortlessly coordinated

Mechanical button controllers can be supplied in a huge variety of designs and finishes to suit any taste and provide a seamless, coordinated look throughout the space – perfect for the most stylish hotel.

“We find that our customers want their newly-installed lighting control to match the existing décor of a property, providing minimal disruption to the existing look and feel of a room or area – whether that is in a contemporary or period style,” says Williams. “On the market there is a huge variety of classic and modern styles and finishes for lighting controllers to suit.

“At Hamilton we offer designer switch and socket wall plates that are available in matching or coordinated finishes, as well as a completely bespoke service. We are seeing bespoke services become increasingly popular as it offers a hotelier or interior designer to specify exactly what they want to see in their room, whether that is a completely new design or recreating an existing fixture.”

Optional integration

The latest lighting systems can also control much more than just the lighting, either as a standalone system or integrated as part of a DALI network. They can be programmed to control mains dimmable LEDs, DMX and 1-10v drivers, so a system can also activate other room services. Relays can be used to incorporate non-dimmable loads and blind controllers, so screens, blinds, fans, air conditioning and in-room entertainment centres can all be controlled by one central point.

This adds huge flexibility to the functionality of a room, really bringing a space up-to-date with the latest connected technologies, while saving both energy and money.