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Lighting the Way to Energy Savings

Another way in which NSA is saving energy is with new approaches to lighting. Lighting typically accounts for 30% of a building's total annual electric energy use and the primary focus of the NSA Energy Team has been increasing the Agency's lighting efficiency. NSA has replaced most of the older fluorescent lights with more energy efficient lights and ballasts. Additionally, all new renovation projects incorporate new lighting technologies such as occupancy sensors and cost saving "LED" exit signs.

Technology, however, does not stand still and as new lighting technologies are developed, NSA will continue to explore their applications. Currently, several new energy-saving approaches are being investigated including the use of desk lamps to reduce overhead lighting, LED lighting, day-light harvesting, and the use of Spectrally Enhanced Lighting.

Spectrally Enhanced Lighting is a lighting design technique that utilizes a color spectrum that is more like daylight than most commonly used light sources, which appear more yellow. This technique can save 20% more energy than even the newer electronic ballasted fluorescent lighting systems, and with proper design, can achieve 50% savings over older fluorescent lights. In addition to saving energy, Spectrally Enhanced Lighting improves the workplace by offering visual benefits such as higher levels of brightness perception and greater visual acuity.