Bi-level lighting ideal in stairwells with low to no foot traffic

Stairwell lighting

Stairwells, corridors seldom need full lighting

Despite long periods where few, if any, people use a stairwell or corridor, it's common for the lights in those spaces to be on around the clock. But they don't have to be.

Bi-level lighting – a motion sensor that maintains a minimum illumination level – has huge savings potential for businesses across B.C.

According to lighting engineer Cristian Suvagau, if bi-level lighting in stairwells was applied to even 75% of the commercial building stock in B.C., the total potential savings could be between 260 and 520 Gigawatt-hours per year – or enough electricity for 23,000-47,000 homes.

Bi-level lighting technology can be set to turn completely off when there is no one present – or to simply go dim. The electricity savings depend on how low the light turns down, and how soon it shuts off after a person has exited the space. Optimizing the settings for quick shutdown to the average level of illumination required by the building code is what yields the highest potential savings.

Pair bi-level lighting with LED exit signs and you'll really save in stairwells

Traditionally, exit signs use two incandescent light bulbs that draw 30 to 50 watts of power. And while that may not seem like much compared to other lighting sources, the B.C. fire code states that exit signs must be "on" 24 hours a day and seven days a week, which means the signs consume electricity constantly.

LED exit signs, on the other hand, use just 1 to 3 watts of power.

Incandescent exit signs burn out quickly too, which means you'll be buying new bulbs and climbing a ladder to replace the old ones in less than a year. By contrast, LED exit signs could last 100,000 hours, or the equivalent of more than 11 years. And don't forget, because LED exit signs last much longer, your replacement and maintenance costs will also go down.

Your time and money is valuable. Let us help.

Bi-level lighting for stairwells, and LED exit signs are eligible for incentives. If you're considering making some changes, talk to one of our energy advisors. There are eight energy advisors readily available across B.C. To request a free energy consultation, submit a consultation request. For more information on the program, call the Business Helpdesk at 1 866 522 4713.