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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Simulating the operation of photosensor-based lighting controls


Energy savings from the use of daylighting in commercial buildings are realized through implementation of photoelectric lighting controls that dim electric lights when sufficient daylight is available to provide adequate workplane illumination. The dimming level of electric lighting is based on the signal of a photosensor. Current simulation approaches for such systems are based on the questionable assumption that the signal of the photosensor is proportional to the task illuminance. This paper presents a method that simulates the performance of photosensor controls considering the acceptance angle, angular sensitivity, placement of the photosensor within a space, and color correction filter. The method is based on the multiplication of two fisheye images: one generated from the angular sensitivity of the photosensor and the other from a 180- or 360-degree fisheye image of the space as "seen" by the photosensor. The paper includes a detailed description of the method and its implementation, example applications, and validation results based on comparison with measurements in an actual office space.

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