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AmerCable Incorporated

Energy Conservation in Hotels

(intro) (initiative) (lighting)  (HVAC) (boilers) (controls) (laundry) (windows) (water)



Innovation and continuous improvement in the field of lighting have given rise to tremendous energy-saving opportunities. Lighting is an area in which there is enormous energy-efficiency potential, starting at the design stage by incorporating modern energy-efficient lamps and luminaires. Following responsible operational practices also can significantly reduce lighting-associated energy costs.

Lighting is not only a very high priority when considering hotel retrofitting, it is also a high-return, low-risk investment. By installing new lighting technologies such as dimmers, photosensors, occupancy sensors, and timers, hotels can reduce the amount of electricity consumed and energy costs associated with lighting.

There are several types of energy efficiency lighting and affordable lighting technology, such as compact fluorescent lights, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and lighting controls. Below are just a few examples of energy-saving opportunities with efficient lighting:

  • Installation of energy-efficient fluorescent lamps in place of "conventional" fluorescent lamps—for example T8 and T5 (T12s to T8s in developing countries).

  • Installation of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in place of incandescent lamps.

  • Installation of high pressure sodium vapor (HPSV) lamps for applications where color rendering is not critical. Mercury vapor lamps should also be considered.

  • Installation of LED exit signs to replace incandescents.

  • Installation of microprocessor-based controllers.

  • Optimum usage of day-lighting in new designs.

  • Installation of high frequency (HF) electronic ballasts in place of conventional ballasts.

  • Installation of occupancy sensors, a cheap way to ensure that unneeded lights do not remain on.

  • Installation of photocells, devices that automatically detect the natural light level in a room and adjust the intensity of the artificial light accordingly.

  • An automatic device, such as a key tag system, will improve housekeeping energy management. This measure will help improve the load factor in the electrical system. With a key-card system, only occupied rooms consume energy, as most electrical appliances are switched off when the key-card is removed. This will reduce the load when guest presence in the rooms is low.

  • Replacing incandescent wall lights and exit sign lighting with CFL or LED-lit units will not only save a considerable amount of energy, it will also significantly reduce labor costs associated with changing light bulbs, since CFLs and LEDs last much longer than incandescent bulbs.

If the HVAC system is being upgraded or replaced, the lighting system, too, should be reviewed and the loads attributed to lighting recalculated.  When the air conditioning system is optimized, the air conditioning loads will be calculated based on existing lighting systems.  If a hotel plans to upgrade the lighting, it’s best to do so at the time of the HVAC retrofit, since, as explained on the HVAC page, the lighting and HVAC systems have such a large effect on each other.

Whenever a hotel is undergoing renovations, hotel managers should consider incorporating daylighting tactics and integrating electric lighting systems appropriately.

Visit the Alliance to Save Energy Lighting page for more information.


ASHRAE Standard 90.1, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Atlanta, GA.

Energy Star. Commercial Lighting.

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New York, NY. (212) 248-5000.


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