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.
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 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.
The potential to reduce energy consumption in existing and commercial buildings is enormous. On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Lighting has a large potential for energy savings for any U.S. building end use, with a significant fraction of that potential coming from lighting controls.
One of the features of networked lighting controls is the ability to monitor lighting energy use over time and adjust the system to achieve the best possible performance. Facility managers can match system use to expectations and adjust system settings to result in optimized user comfort while maximizing savings. Real-time energy monitoring offered by some control systems has also piqued the interest of utility program managers in locations in the U.S. where rebates assist with the accelerated adoption of emerging technologies.
CLTC, in partnership with Southern California Edison, completed a project portfolio from 2014-2018 to assess controls, lighting, and daylighting technologies and their potential for commercial applications. The projects have elements of market assessment, EM&V, and selected demonstrations.
The project focus is on evaluating the following technologies:
Advanced lighting control systems (ALCS) provide networked control and monitoring capabilities of connected luminaires via onboard metering and system reporting features. These advanced features allow system owners to dynamically balance visual comfort and lighting energy use. CLTC, in collaboration with SDG&E, developed a technology validation program to determine the accuracy and reliability of onboard metering and system reporting features of advanced lighting control systems.
Advanced lighting control systems provide networked control and monitoring capabilities of connected luminaires via onboard metering and system reporting features. These advanced features allow system owners to dynamically balance visual comfort and lighting energy use. CLTC, in collaboration with SDG&E, developed a technology validation program to determine the accuracy and reliability of onboard metering and system reporting features of advanced lighting control systems.