Exterior lighting generally operates from early evening through early morning, a period of little to no renewable energy generation, which means this lighting is primarily powered by carbon-dense fossil fuels. Fossil fuel use is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), poor air quality, water pollution and land degradation. In addition, low-quality exterior lighting characterized by poor color, inappropriate light distribution, and inadequate light levels has also been linked to increased crime rates and reduced physical activity within the surrounding community.
Interior lighting remains a large component of electricity use in non-residential buildings. In California, electric lighting has both a direct effect on peak load, and an indirect effect by increasing cooling requirements during summer peak hours. Effective daylighting combined with electric lighting dimming controls can directly offset electric lighting energy by reducing lighting levels when necessary to reduce the load on the cooling system.
In the fall of 2017, the Mexican Ministry of Energy awarded funding to the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in collaboration with the University of California Davis to establish a lighting technology and design research center known as the Centro de Tecnología de Iluminación (CTI). This is a multi-year, public-private investment focused on addressing growing climate change concerns through translational research committed to clean energy and sustainability in Mexico.
Historically, power distribution has been dominated by Alternating-Current (AC) which significantly influenced the design of connected energy-consuming appliances. With the emergence of electronics and digital controls as standard design elements in almost all appliance categories, the need for Direct-Current (DC) has emerged, even as it opposes traditional distribution practices. This issue is typically resolved at the appliance level with AC-to-DC converters.
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency in Non-Residential Buildings (The Consortium), supported by the National Council for Science and Technology and Secretary of Energy in Mexico, is focused on reducing electricity demand in Mexico’s non-residential buildings through collaborative efforts with industry, government and universities. Specifically, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, with assistance from UC Davis, is funded to implement an energy efficiency laboratory featuring lighting and air conditioning technologies for non-residential buildings.
The California Energy Alliance (CEA) unites representatives of a broad range of organizations concerned about energy and the built environment. As a member-based organization, CEA works to improve California’s energy future and the migration toward a Zero Net Energy horizon. CEA focuses on the promotion and realization of deep energy savings, sustainable energy generation, and integration. The Alliance actively participates in the development and implementation of pragmatic, environmentally and economically sound building energy standards and other initiatives.
The California Lighting Technology Center, in collaboration with the California Energy Commission, is conducting research to develop and evaluate technology that integrates automated controls for heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), electric lighting and dynamic fenestration systems. The integrated system is referred to as the Integrated Building Control Retrofit Package (IBCRP), as it is aimed for retrofit projects in existing commercial buildings.