Combine lighting controls and energy efficient lighting at your business for Power Smart Express incentives

Image showing connection of the motion detector sensor
Occupancy sensors, also known as motion sensors, are automatic switches that control lighting based on the presence or absence of people. They can cut workplace energy costs by as much as 20 per cent.

Lighting controls, when correctly applied, can mean significant cost savings

There's no question that upgrading to more energy-efficient and longer-lasting lighting is good for a business' bottom line. Since 2004, more than 15,000 small businesses have partnered with Power Smart to reduce their lighting-related energy costs.

And now, with the help of Power Smart Express and its financial incentives, business customers can cut costs even further by combining specific lighting controls and energy-efficient lighting.

Modern lighting controls such as timers (similar to the kind that you might use for holiday lights), occupancy sensors, and daylight harvesting systems, provide a wide array of benefits, from energy savings to reducing your electrical demand and improving lighting conditions for staff.

Applied correctly, lighting controls can cut a business' energy use by an additional 20 per cent.

"Lighting controls can really help with energy conservation," says senior Power Smart engineer Cristian Suvagau. "However, if the sensors don't integrate with the functionality of the workplace, it will limit their effectiveness, and people may even disable them."

Scheduling an appointment with a Business Energy Advisor or Power Smart Alliance member is a great first step. They can help determine the lighting controls that are best suited for your business, aesthetic and budget, and help you make the most of the Power Smart Express program's financial incentives.

Boost energy savings, cut costs with lighting controls and sensors

While many customers consider switching to energy-efficient lighting as one way to cut costs, adding lighting controls can boost your savings even further. In addition to incentives available for bulbs and lamps, Power Smart Express incentives are available for all makes and models of lighting controls.

Incentive levels will vary depending on your business and the systems you select, but previous lighting control projects have covered received incentives for up to 75 per cent of the cost of the control technology. Incentives can range from $54 to $103 a unit.


Most modern timers are digital, easy to operate, affordable and can be programmed from 24 hours to seven days ahead. Many timers are plug-in products and are transferable — particularly important for businesses that lease their spaces.

By turning timers on and off at a pre-determined time, you can save energy from your interior and exterior lighting, and even appliances. Less expensive timers can be connected to lights to turn them off after a set period of time, depending on the timer's capacity.

Occupancy sensors (indoor)

Occupancy sensors are automatic switches that control lighting based on the presence or absence of people. They can cut workplace energy costs by as much as 20 per cent, especially when installed in infrequently used spaces like meeting rooms, back offices and lockers.

Sensors can be mounted on the ceiling or on walls or be a wall-switch combination installed right within the switch box. Ceiling and wall-mounted models tend to cost more, but they cover more area and work well for larger spaces.

Wall switches with occupancy sensors are best in private offices and small rooms that don't have obstructions.

Daylight harvesting systems

The concept for daylight harvesting is quite simple. Daylight harvesting uses strategically located photocells that respond to changes in ambient light. The information is then fed to a control device. When the ambient light level falls to a user-determined level, artificial lighting automatically switches on.

Equally, when the ambient light level increases to a user-determined level, the artificial lighting switches off. The lighting adjustments occur gradually, so that occupants in a space are not aware of it. Response delays are also used to prevent frequent adjustments due to passing clouds.