Integrate Lighting Controls and HVAC to Reduce Energy Consumption

Learn how integrating window shading and power management into a building automation system can cut back on energy consumption.

The Campus Safety article titled “Enhance Life Safety, Security and Comfort With Integrated Lighting Controls” covers how integrating lighting controls into building automation systems (BAS) is becoming more of the norm than the exception.

Additionally, the article explains how incorporating fire and life safety, security and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) elements into such building management systems can not only provide enhanced life safety and security but also increase occupant comfort as well as energy savings – especially in campus settings.

So just how can integrated lighting controls and HVAC reduce energy consumption?

In a building, lighting and HVAC account for the greatest energy usage, consuming 30% to 35% apiece. It is more cost-effective to tie both components into a BAS than let them run isolated all of the time. Also integrating window shading and power management into the BAS can help the building realize even more savings.

Occupancy sensors and override switches control where and when lighting is needed, plus adjust temperature/air flow according to occupancy demand. Using occupancy sensors to turn lights on/off and control heating, cooling and ventilation can help save significantly on energy costs and also reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

To meet energy codes, light overrides and/or occupancy sensors must cover 100% of a building. To install a separate matching security sensor system would duplicate everything and be very costly. Again, incorporating the security system into the BAS saves system redundancies as well as installation and operating costs. However, additional security sensors and cameras might need to be installed in high-risk areas.

David Thurow is the senior product manager for lighting controls at Siemens Industry Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Ill. He can be reached at (847) 941-5808 or at

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