New ballast dimming switch developed

April 20, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've developed a simple, cost-effective, energy-saving device designed to "harvest" daylight automatically.

The device -- The DaySwitch -- was designed at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center in Troy, N.Y., as an alternative to traditional dimming ballast systems that adjust light levels by reducing lamp current.

"The DaySwitch is designed to build end-use efficiency by reducing light energy usage in commercial buildings and maintaining occupant satisfaction," said Peter Morante, director of energy programs at the LRC. "It is estimated the DaySwitch will be able to reduce lighting energy consumption by 30 percent in buildings with significant daylight contribution through windows or skylights, allowing for a payback period of approximately three years."

LRC researchers say the new switch works with all conventional fluorescent ballasts and, because of its simple circuitry, the cost to produce the device is minimal and far less expensive than traditional daylighting control systems that utilize dimming ballasts.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that lighting accounts for one-quarter of the total energy consumed by U.S. commercial businesses.

The initial research appears in the journal Lighting Research & Technology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Digital media are changing the face of buildings, and urban policy needs to change with them

Related Stories

Plasmons in an open box create miniature laser

October 13, 2017

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed the first miniature laser in which the light is guided along the floor of an open metallic trench. The laser could act as a nanoscale ...

Recommended for you

Spider-web 'labyrinths' may help reduce noise pollution

October 17, 2017

(Phys.org)—Researchers have demonstrated that the geometry of a natural spider web can be used to design new structures that address one of the biggest challenges in sound control: reducing low-frequency noise, which is ...

In search of the ninth planet

October 17, 2017

A University of Michigan doctoral student has logged two pieces of evidence that may support the existence of a planet that could be part of our solar system, beyond Neptune.

A new way to harness wasted methane

October 17, 2017

Methane gas, a vast natural resource, is often disposed of through burning, but new research by scientists at MIT could make it easier to capture this gas for use as fuel or a chemical feedstock.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.