Load shedding involves the ability to reduce or eliminate non-essential and non-critical lighting loads in situations where a building is about to experience its peak monthly electrical demand or where utilities are reaching their supply capacity and request large commercial users to cut back on power consumption, such as during a demand emergency. When dimming ballasts are in place, research has shown that luminaire output can be slowly reduced by as much as 30% without occupant detection or dissatisfaction. When only switching is available, non-essential lighting loads or equipment in zones where daylight may otherwise provide sufficient ambient light can be switched off. Load shedding can be activated through a central control system by a building operator, or in some cases, directly by the supplying utility. Load shedding-ballasts that offer a 30% power savings with roughly 34% light reduction have been proposed, and can operate via a power line signal. The more commonly available bi-level ballasts operate with light output reduction between 40 and 50% and are less suitable for load-shedding applications due to their much larger light level reduction, which is more likely to cause occupants to be unhappy when a reduced lighting condition suddenly occurs.
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Lead Author(s): Rick Mistrick
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