Saving Energy in Buildings with Adaptive Lighting Systems: Solutions for the Retail Sector

Publication Date: 

The retail sector, which represents 13 percent of California’s lighting electricity use, has historically not embraced the use of lighting controls to save energy. California regulators have responded to retailer’s concerns that lighting controls and lighting power density restrictions may have a negative impact on sales and customers. Currently, building lighting energy-efficiency standards for the retail sector are less stringent than regulations imposed on other commercial space types. As such, the use of adaptive lighting systems, which automatically adjust their output and operation based on occupancy, daylight availability and other application-specific criteria, are severely underutilized in the retail sector, costing California ratepayers millions in unnecessary electricity costs each year.

To address the slow adoption of adaptive lighting solutions in the retail sector, researchers developed and demonstrated an optimized retail lighting control strategy based on a set of control layers specifically designed to deliver maximum lighting energy savings and minimal negative impacts. The feature set incudes specific recommendations for retail lighting power density and optimized control settings. Application of this feature set in retail environments is expected to save up to 65 percent of lighting energy use as compared to systems designed to current energy standards.

Authors: Samantha Havassy, Cori Jackson, Michael Siminovitch

​Prepared for: California Energy Commission