Motion-Activated Lighting 101: How to Light Storage Spaces

Motion-Activated Lighting
Switching to motion-activated lighting can lower your workplace’s energy consumption.

Does your workplace have closets, hallways and storage spaces that are rarely used but always lit? Artificial lighting uses a significant portion of most offices’ electricity, and leaving lights on when they aren’t needed can cost hundreds of dollars a year.

Energy efficiency isn’t just about installing less wasteful lighting and equipment; it’s also about turning off existing lighting, appliances and other items when they aren’t needed in order to reduce total energy consumption.

One of the easiest and least costly ways to make your workplace much more energy efficient is by installing motion-activated sensors to control the lighting in hallways, closets and storage spaces that are only used occasionally.

In this guide, we’ll share a simple strategy to help you identify the rooms and spaces that could benefit from motion-activated lighting and work out which lighting is the best choice for each space in your workplace.

Which spaces are best suited to motion-activated lighting?

Motion-activated lighting is excellent for reducing your workplace’s energy usage, but it isn’t suitable for everywhere in the office. Areas in which people work aren’t suited to motion-activated lighting, as it can become an annoying distraction.

Likewise, important hallways and walkways that receive a lot of constant traffic are suited to constant lighting. Any area in which visibility is essential for safety should be lit for visibility in order to prevent accidents and potential injuries.

Most of the time, the spaces best suited to motion-activated lighting have four of the features listed below:

– They’re compact and require few bulbs to illuminate

– They’re never worked in, only accessed occasionally

– They’re not important walkways or thoroughfares

– They have few or no sources of natural daylight

This makes closets, storage rooms and other areas that aren’t worked in by any of your staff members ideal for motion-activated lighting. If a room is only used for a fraction of the day and never for more than a few minutes, it’s an ideal choice.

How to light storage spaces, closets and rarely-used areas

Since the rooms best suited for motion-activated lighting are only used occasionally, it’s important to get the most from your lighting when they are used. The rooms that feature natural lighting should be brightly lit for maximum visibility.

As a general rule, it’s best to set your motion-activated sensor to light the space for at least five minutes upon being activated. This gives your staff ample time to look within the space for important items or use the equipment stored inside.

It’s also worth allowing people to manually override the motion sensor and keep the space lit using an on/off switch. Copy rooms and storage closets will occasionally be used for longer than expected, and having an on/off switch can be very helpful.

Lighting storage spaces and other rarely-used areas is fairly simple. However, these spaces differ significantly from workspaces and should be lit for functionality, rather than comfort and productivity:

– Over-illumination isn’t a significant issue in storage spaces, as people spend only the minimum required time inside this environment.

– Lighting should be directed towards storage shelves and other spaces that people are likely to look at to provide maximum visibility.

– Fluorescent lighting is ideal for storage spaces, as it doesn’t produce excess heat comparable to other forms of artificial lighting.

Why not light your storage spaces naturally?

Installing motion sensors to control lighting in your workplace’s storage spaces and other rarely-used rooms is a great way to reduce energy consumption. However, it’s far from the only way – or the most efficient way – to do so.

From skylights to small interior windows, it’s also possible to light your workplace’s closets and storage rooms using natural light. Free and easy to control, natural light is the ultimate way to light your office at a low or minimal cost.

Whether you’re interested in lowering your bills or reducing your office’s carbon footprint, switching to motion-controlled lighting is a great choice. Just remember that it’s possible to have an even greater impact using energy efficient daylighting.

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