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Scheduling involves switching of lighting systems on a regular time schedule, usually from a central location. In its simplest form, it is performed from a simple time-clock device that is installed on a single circuit. Scheduled control generally meets the requirement of most energy codes and standards that require automatic shutoff, however, scheduling alone, in many applications, can result in significant wasted energy. Scheduling is best for spaces that are occupied continuously on a predictable schedule, such as retail spaces, and it is also commonly applied to exterior lighting, where astronomic time clocks base system operation on sunrise and sunset time throughout the year. Scheduling can also diminish or extinguish exterior lighting to comply with late night curfews, or to eliminate unneeded lighting after business hours. In open office and other similar spaces, running lighting equipment on a time schedule basis with no other shutoff devices such as an occupancy/vacancy sensor can result in lighting equipment that operates for significant periods when spaces are unoccupied, which is wasteful.

Scheduled off-sweeps throughout the evening can extinguish lighting that has been turned on by occupants or the janitorial staff who are working after hours. These sweeps represent another form of scheduled lighting control. In many systems, a warning signal is provided just prior to the sweep to allow workers who still occupy a space to request an override of the pending shutoff action in their area.

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Lead Author(s): Rick Mistrick

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