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Old 07-14-2016, 09:30 AM
Orwell Orwell is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Keystone State
Posts: 1,880
Originally Posted by MacLir View Post
Let me throw another twist into this.

The building I work in has fluorescent lights in most of the enclosed offices, but mainly incandescent lamps for general illumination in the open areas (cube farms). Turning them off manually is discouraged (especially in cold weather) because the heat generated is calculated into the climate control. (Some are on circuits that turn off in the wee hours and back on for work hours.)
The "wasted" energy in any type of lighting is thrown off as heat. And, certainly, leaving lights on in the winter adds heat to the building, which can be viewed as a benefit. While some of the heat radiates downward to the occupied space, some of it goes up above the drywall or suspended ceiling and does not benefit occupants. But, certainly, leaving lights on during the heating season is better than leaving them on during the cooling season, where the wasted heat has to be removed by air conditioning.

If your building is actually dependent on byproduct heat from lighting, it sounds like the heating system is undersized. I can't imagine it makes sense to keep incandescent lights for the byproduct heat, since HVAC systems are more efficient at heating space than lights, but it is certainly a short-term strategy. If you are using incandescent lights, you are likely either wasting light or wasting heat, depending on the weather and time-of-day occupancy.