UC Davis Smart Lighting Initiative

UC Davis Smart Lighting Initiative

The UC Davis Smart Lighting Initiative was established in 2010 to improve the quality and efficiency of both indoor and outdoor lighting on campus. The initiative's primary goal is to reduce UC Davis's electricity use for lighting by 60 percent, based on 2007 levels of energy use. The effort was inspired by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and its call to reduce statewide electricity consumption for lighting by 60 percent or more by 2020.

With the installation of over 1,500 adaptive, networked LED luminaires, UC Davis has already reduced its exterior lighting energy consumption by about 60 percent. Phase 2 of the Smart Lighting Initiative will entail interior lighting retrofits for 42 buildings (2.5 million square feet) on campus. Students, faculty and staff will all benefit. Most will notice improved lighting conditions both indoors and outdoors when compared to the older lighting being replaced.

The Smart Lighting Initiative is a collaborative effort involving CLTC, the university's office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, Facilities Management, Design and Construction Management, and the Utilities unit. Many of the lighting technologies, innovations and strategies implemented through the Smart Lighting Initiative were developed at CLTC and first demonstrated through pilot projects on the UC Davis campus.

Funding comes from a combination of sources, with the majority of project expenses to be repaid through energy cost savings. Incentives of up to 24 cents per kilowatt hour are realized through the CPUC, and portions of the work have been funded through the Statewide Energy Partnership Program. In addition to reducing UC Davis’s overall energy usage, electricity costs and carbon footprint, Smart Lighting Initiative projects, technologies and strategies are serving as examples to other university campuses and commercial facilities as they work toward their own sustainability goals.