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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2015
    How often are dimmers used as dimmer Switches

    Majority use is as on full or off in many cases this is the only way that they are used.
    My kitchen has a triple dimmer switch, which is used as on-off since I wasn't paying several extra £££ per GU10 for about 25 spotlights when I switch to LEDs a couple of years ago.

    Typo: switched.

    Bah, said the sheep.

    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2015
    They are about as useful as lighting designers.
    • CommentAuthordb8000
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2015
    Depends which room.
    I have a dimmer in my office. Good for dimming to see the computer without glare at night.
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2015
    Depends on the application - if it dims in response to daylight then the energy savings are pretty impressive, Tony - I could show you several large commercial schemes where 70% savings are realised

    As for lighting designers, there are good, bad an indifferent - a good one is pretty useful

    In a domestic setting, I suspect a reasonable number of dimmers are actually used as dimmers as well


    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2015
    I like the idea of daylight dimming, most offices and schools close the blinds and turn all the lights on

    It is not a normal dimmer that controls daylight dimming, building management system linked presumably in the best of caring companies.
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2015
    Lights on and blinds down is usually a glare problem - bad fenestration design usually

    It could be a full management system Tony - but basically dimming control gear and a photocell at each luminaire will do an effective job straight out of the box

    As for caring companies, well, they may not care about the polar bears but will usually care about money - so it's relatively easy to get daylight dimming (and absence control) specified - back to good lighting designers again, I guess


    • CommentAuthorscrimper
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2015
    Gotta disagree with the Steamster there ... and as befits my name, I like to cut any excess ... but the hour or two we spent with a lighting designer was very much worth it. We have long months of dark, and using light well is often not intuitive or easy to get right ....
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2015 edited
    Feel free to disagree.

    I worked for the RNIB a decade ago, they had all sorts of lighting products and experts (partially sighted people hate bad lighting). Prior to that I worked for a lighting manufacturer (though on a separate project).
    They had a fantastic lighting system that could illuminate different desks at different levels (had a zoned heating system as well), I never saw people adjust it. Then they moved the desks.
    I was usually the first in, turned the main switches on (so full illumination), no one bothered to adjust anything.
    I was the first to leave (flexitime was great until 7/7 then you don't know who is late, just starting late or blown up, luckily no on blown up) so I never knew if anyone turned the lights off.

    I can see the advantages from an energy saving viewpoint, but as Barney says, probably bad building design.

    I got an 'app' form my phone that tells me the light levels, showing 3 lux at moment, can see well in it.
    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2015 edited
    It used to be claimed that dimmer switches 'save power', which is true relative to having the lights full on, but untrue relative to other ways of dimming such as turning off some of the lights.

    That was in the halogen age. It's less of an issue now with LEDs. I don't think dimming 10 LEDs is hugely wasteful compared with switching off five of them. So even when I don't fit dimmers, I tend to instal dimmable LEDs just in case.

    It is a relatively cheap and simple way of lighting rooms where you don't want to live in a blaze of light, but you might want a bit of oomph in reserve for cleaning, finding dropped contact lenses etc. And bringing parties to a close, of course.
    Every dimmer I have, I use it as a dimmer to give the lighting level I need for the context. I didn't fit dimmers on lights that wouldn't ever be used for ambiance. I don't care if they save money or not - in a heating climate like mine, I tend to only have them on in winter and the heat they provide is not wasted (though not as efficient as the main GSHP - though if it's cold enough to need aux heat, then the halogens help direct it to where it's needed most :D ).

    Paul in Montreal.
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