PLC Provides Control System for Washington State Route 520

PLC-Transportation has finished its largest project to date; Washington State Route 520’s new tunnel and roadway lighting control system was recently completed. Three tunnels’ lights on the east side of Seattle’s Lake Washington and two miles of interconnecting roadway lighting are controlled using the ELMS system. ELMS is the Electrical Lighting and Management System, NTCIP Standard 1213. The ELMS system provided the ability to configure, control and monitor roadway and tunnel lighting circuits using public data communication infrastructure from the WSDOT offices 15 miles away in Shoreline, Washington.

The system consisted of three tunnel lighting control cabinets, each of which had an ELMS datalogger/controller and fiber optic communications to send data to the Shoreline based server and workstations. The architecture of the ELMS system will allow for additional structures and dataloggers to be added to the system. The PLC-Transportation’s team included integration partners Gridaptive and The Ferrari Group as well as project manager Tom Remedios, hardware engineer Steve Houle, field technician Jasmin Grebovic, and programmer Norm Dittmann.

Click here to view the architecture of the SR520 solution.

Click here to learn more about the ELMS System.

For more information about PLC-Multipoint, Inc., visit

Jim Brodrick on the Connected Lighting Trend

Republication of Postings from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program

by Jim Brodrick, SSL Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

As we mentioned in these Postings a few weeks ago, the biggest takeaway from this year’s LIGHTFAIR® International was the prevalence of connected products, and the fact that sensors and controls seemed to be everywhere the eye could see. All of this was evidence of the sea change that’s taking place within the field of lighting, courtesy of SSL. Whereas lighting has been viewed since Edison’s day as a relatively one-dimensional commodity that illuminates spaces, the advent of SSL has created growing recognition within the industry that lighting can fulfill a multiplicity of functions and doesn’t have to be static and unchanging.

While it’s clear from what we saw at LIGHTFAIR that manufacturers are already embracing this idea and are starting to design their products accordingly, it’s not yet clear whether building owners and lighting designers will be as enthusiastic about those products. Infrastructure changes do not happen overnight. Conventional lighting is typically static and unchanging — not by choice, but because of its technological limitations. But SSL is not subject to many of those limitations, such as warmup time — which is opening up whole new dimensions to lighting that were unimaginable a few years back.

Unlike other lighting technologies, SSL can be designed so that it’s controllable across multiple characteristics — not just lumen output, but also CCT, chromaticity, and even beam angle. SSL’s microelectronic nature makes it not only physically possible, but also economically feasible, to integrate sensors, intelligence, network interfaces, and other functionality that can boost overall energy efficiency and offer a range of other potential benefits and services as well.

There’s widespread agreement that SSL — driven by maintenance and energy savings — will eventually become the dominant technology for most lighting applications. Concurrently, lighting could even become the platform for the Internet of Things, which offers a way to connect a wide range of electronic devices to communication networks and is expected to make possible an unprecedented exchange of data. That data exchange will facilitate the development of higher-performing algorithms, which could enable better device and system performance as well as data-driven energy management of lighting and other building systems. And SSL fits into that picture like a piece to a jigsaw puzzle: light sources are ubiquitous in the built environment, making it possible to build out a dense web of data collection points by integrating sensors into those sources.

Of course, there are a number of hurdles that need to be overcome for solid-state lighting to fulfill its potential in this regard — most of them centering on incorporating it, along with control technologies, into the built environment. But given the challenges SSL has met to date, it’s likely to only be a matter of time before we see these things happening on a wide scale. Solid-state lighting is still at a relatively early stage of its development, with the best yet to come. It wasn’t long ago that telephones were strictly for talking, whereas today they’re sophisticated minicomputers. If you take a step back and look at what’s happening across the industry, you’ll see that lighting, too, is becoming vastly different from what it was before — and that even the catchphrase “it’s not your grandfather’s lightbulb anymore” has taken on whole new layers of meaning.

Leviton Introduces Solutions for Connecting Wireless Access Points and IP Devices to Networks

Leviton recently introduced QuickPort® In-Wall and In-Ceiling Brackets, two unique solutions that support LAN connections for IP devices in environments where traditional wallplates are not practical. The brackets provide contractors and consultants with a location for a standards-based, testable permanent link for in-wall and in-ceiling connections to wireless access points, IP clocks, security cameras and other IP devices.

* QuickPort In-Wall and In-Ceiling Brackets protect installed cabling by providing a stable mounting and termination point for any category-rated QuickPort connector.

* In-Wall Brackets attach to standard electrical boxes, allowing the contractor to install and test the connection during initial installation. With the data connection recessed in the wall, the termination is protected throughout the rest of the construction process, and then during installation a short patch cord is used to make the final connection to the IP device.

* In-Ceiling Brackets attach to drop ceiling hardware, allowing the installed cabling to be tested and warranted, even in a plenum space. With cable lances and VELCRO® Brand tie downs to hold slack cable (also available from Leviton), contractors can perform the initial installation and permanent link testing, while allowing the flexibility to move the bracket to refine Wi-Fi coverage or WAN placement without needing to retest the link.

* Plenum-rated QuickPort® Surface-Mount Boxes attach to the In-Ceiling Brackets, which protect the termination and provide strain relief. This combination, when used with plenum-rated patch cords and cable, creates the ideal system for air-handling spaces above a drop ceiling.

* In-Ceiling Brackets support TIA-162-A cabling guidelines for wireless access points, and will support the upcoming TIA-862-B Intelligent Building Systems cabling standard.

The QuickPort Brackets, Surface-Mount Boxes and VELCRO Brand products are available through Leviton’s extensive distribution network. For assistance ordering plenum-rated patch cords, contact Leviton customer service. Go to the Leviton website for more on QuickPort® In-Wall and In-Ceiling Brackets.

Click here to learn more.

For more information about Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc., visit

DOE Profiles Commercial Building Stock

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has begun releasing results from the 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS).

The CBECS is an estimated profile of the U.S. commercial building stock based on an interviewed sampling. Information includes number of buildings, floorspace, age, building type, region, energy consumption, end-use equipment and more.

DOE defines a commercial building as one in which at least half of the floorspace is used for a purpose that is not residential, industrial or agricultural. It therefore includes schools, hospitals, religious worship and other buildings.

Want to know how many healthcare buildings there are in the Midwest? Or the total floorspace of office buildings? Or adoption of occupancy sensors in buildings built before 1980? The CBECS has an estimate.

What does the 2012 CBECS have to teach us about the commercial building stock and adoption of lighting upgrades and controls?

Taking stock

In 2012, DOE estimates that there were an estimated:

• 5.6 million commercial buildings in operation
• 87 billion sq.ft. of commercial building floorspace

This is a 14% increase in the number of buildings and a 21% increase in floorspace over the 2003 CBECS. The number of office, warehouse, food service and public assembly buildings increased, while some markets, such as retail/malls and grocery/convenience stores, decreased.

With its large population, the South (Census region) had the largest population of commercial buildings and floorspace, followed by the Midwest and West regions. The smallest population of buildings, but also the largest, resided in the Northeast.

Looking at size:

• Nearly three out of four buildings were 10,000 sq.ft. or smaller
• About half were 5,000 sq.ft. or smaller
• The average size was 15,700 sq.ft. due to weighting effect of small number of very large buildings
• Largest buildings 2% of building population but about 35% of total floorspace

DOE found that newer buildings continued to trend larger, particularly healthcare, lodging, retail and religious worship buildings. Buildings built in the 2000s average 19,000 sq.ft., 17% larger than those built from 1960 to 1999 and 58% larger than those built before 1960. On average, the largest were in the education, healthcare and lodging markets. About half of commercial buildings built since 2000 are in the South.

Office, warehouse/storage, service and mercantile buildings are the most popular building types, representing more than one-half of the total buildings and floorspace. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Office, warehouse/storage, service and mercantile buildings are the most popular building types, representing more than one-half of the total buildings and floorspace. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Lodging buildings are the largest building type, while food service buildings are the smallest. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Lodging buildings are the largest building type, while food service buildings are the smallest. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Lodging buildings are the largest building type, while food service buildings are the smallest. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Looking at age:

• Median age for commercial buildings is 32 years
• About half of commercial buildings were built before 1980

Detailed energy consumption data for commercial buildings, the final phase of the data release, will be published by September.

About half of commercial buildings in the United States were built before 1980. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

About half of commercial buildings in the United States were built before 1980. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Lighting and controls

The 2012 CBECS estimated adoption of various lighting sources:

• Standard fluorescent lamps illuminated 92% of all commercial floorspace
• Compact fluorescent lamps, 62%
• Incandescent, 44%
• Halogen, 32%
• HID, 27%
• LED, 25%

I believe the high incandescent and LED numbers are due to exit signs. When interpreting the results of a study like this, one must be careful about conclusions. We simply do not know how the interviewer and respond interpreted each question.

Standard fluorescent lamps are the most prevalent light source in U.S. commercial buildings, illuminating 92% of floorspace. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Standard fluorescent lamps are the most prevalent light source in U.S. commercial buildings, illuminating 92% of floorspace. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

And lighting controls:

• Occupancy sensors controlled lighting in 41% of all commercial floorspace
• Time-based scheduling controls, 35%
• Multilevel and dimmable lighting, 17%
• Daylight harvesting, 7%

Several conclusions can be gained from this. One, automatic lighting controls have significantly gained in popularity in commercial buildings.

Two, flexible lighting, once reserved for spaces such as conference rooms, has become more popular, driven by energy management and visual needs. Multilevel and dimming control is most popular in retail (35% of floorspace), in-patient healthcare (35%), lodging (24%), office (17%) and education (16%). These lamps are controlled by line- or low-voltage dimmers.

And three, daylight harvesting, while still controlling a small percentage of floorspace, nonetheless is demonstrating remarkable growth.

Occupancy sensors and load scheduling are the most prevalent forms of lighting control, covering about 36 and 30 billion sq.ft. of commercial building space, respectively. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Occupancy sensors and load scheduling are the most prevalent forms of lighting control, covering about 36 and 30 billion sq.ft. of commercial building space, respectively. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Lighting upgrade potential

The greatest potential for lighting and control upgrades is buildings with older lighting systems, overlighted spaces, long operating hours and high energy rates. Buildings built before 1980, for example, would be a good place to start looking for opportunity. In 2012, this market represented an estimated 2.8 million buildings comprising 38.6 billion sq.ft. About half of all buildings and 44% of all floorspace.

The 2012 CBECS estimates:

• Lighting upgrades have been performed in 25% of these buildings
• Lighting upgrades have been performed in 40% of this floor space
• Lighting upgrades have *not* been completed in nearly 2.1 million buildings, or 75% of buildings built before 1980
• Lighting upgrades have *not* been completed in 23.1 billion sq.ft., or 60% of floorspace built before 1980

This suggests that despite big gains over two decades, the lighting upgrade market is still far from realized.

Lighting upgrades have covered 40% of U.S. commercial building floorspace built before 1980, leaving an untapped upgrade potential of 23.1 billion sq.ft. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Lighting upgrades have covered 40% of U.S. commercial building floorspace built before 1980, leaving an untapped upgrade potential of 23.1 billion sq.ft. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Got a question?

There’s plenty more in the 2012 CBECS that can be used for business planning oriented around the existing buildings market. The lighting data alone can be parsed by building size, age, type, region and so on, providing rich insights. It’s important to note, however, that the results are estimates based on a sample population. It’s important to view the results with an educated eye. It’s also important to remember that how some data appears depends on how the question was interpreted by both DOE and the respondent.

Click here to check out the 2012 CBECS, available free in a series of tables.

WattStopper Extends Occupancy Sensor Control to Plug Loads for Energy Savings and Code Compliance

wattstopperWattStopper recently introduced its Wireless Receptacle Controls (WRC) series. Extending occupancy-based lighting control to plug loads, the WRC line of products helps lighting control professionals meet new ASHRAE 90.1 and California Title 24 requirements to switch off selected receptacles. The solution also minimizes costs for retrofits and new construction as it utilizes RF technology and works with existing line voltage wiring.

The WRC solution facilitates Auto-On/Auto-Off occupancy-based control of plug loads and includes an RF Transmitter and intelligent RF Receptacles. The WRC line of products come in two versions: for use with stand-alone occupancy sensors, or with WattStopper’s Digital Lighting Management (DLM) platform. The solution features:

· Robust 15A and 20A receptacles
· Simple Auto-On/Auto-Off receptacle control
· NEMA-approved labeling
· Convenient override and testing capability
· Works with all 24VDC WattStopper sensors and power packs
· DLM model works with DLM sensors

The products are ideal in a variety of applications including commercial offices, classrooms, conference rooms, copy rooms and any other space that requires a simple to implement plug load control solution.

Click here to learn more.

For more information about WattStopper, visit

Nedap Introduces Wireless Activator

Nedap recently launched the Luxon wireless Activator. This product makes all kinds of luminaires (e.g., LED) truly intelligent and enables wireless dimming. It extends system functionality of lighting systems and maximizes energy savings.

With the Luxon wireless Activator, Nedap meets multiple market requirements offering lighting technology and brand-independent lighting solutions.

In a market where the demand for controls is rapidly growing, this newly developed solution adds intelligence to lighting systems in an easy way. The Luxon wireless Activator comes in three different versions: two for individual luminaire control in a built-in or remotely mountable version and one for group/line control. Each with its own functionality and benefits. All recommended luminaires enable integration within Luxon light management software.

Click here to learn more.


For more information about Nedap Light Controls, visit

Applied Engineering Solutions Head Office Wins IES Lighting Control Innovation Award of Merit

The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective application of lighting controls in nonresidential spaces.

This month, we will explore the role that a connected lighting control solution plays in an engineering head office. Lighting and control design by Sunny Ghataurah, Doug McMillan and Brad Ou-Yang, Lighting Designers with Applied Engineering Solutions. Photography by Ema Peter. Lighting controls by Elan and Lutron Electronics.

Main-lobby luminaires create the feel of a Fairmont hotel using high-mounted dimmable LED, 3000-lumen, white pendants that match the ceiling. 2x18W LED adjustable/recessed downlights providing higher illumination for the reception desk, with luminaire control connected via smartphone, desktop/TV app and security system.



A rich/warm/residential/hotel feel for the boardroom is achieved via 2x18W recessed/adjustable LED downlights with internally lit 90W LED indirect pendants, providing reduced glare and better vertical illumination for videoconferencing.


Luminaire control is connected via smartphone, desktop/TV app and security system. The boardroom has an additional in-room wall mounted controller with scene switch that integrates lighting, AV, blinds and fireplace Luminaire control connected via smartphone, desktop/TV app and security system.


The project was designed in October 2012 to ASHRAE 90.1-2010, although local code was ASHRAE 90.1-2007; enclosed spaces have dimming luminaires integrated with vacancy sensors, bathrooms have occupancy sensors, and all lighting is controlled via smartphone and security system. The majority of luminaires are OFF during the day.



Check out everything new at Eaton with this video providing a virtual tour of the company’s 2015 LIGHTFAIR booth.

For more information about Eaton Corporation, visit

GE Intelligent LED Lighting Connects with Apple HomeKit Ecosystem

GE recently announced plans to engineer intelligent, color-changing LED lighting compatible with Apple’s HomeKit during GE’s Connected Future event, unveiling LED-enabled Intelligent Environments capabilities for cities, buildings and homes.

Embedded with GE Align™ technology, GE’s HomeKit-enabled LED bulb takes smart home technology a step further, giving consumers the ability to automate lighting according to the body’s natural sleep circadian rhythm. Lighting impacts our sleep patterns, and GE Align tunes the light spectrum to help promote the body’s natural sleep cycle by controlling the blue concentration of light output. In the morning, GE Align produces a bright, bluer tone that suppresses the body’s production of melatonin, and in the evening it produces an amber light, reminiscent of candlelight and campfires.

HomeKit provides an easy, secure framework to easily navigate, integrate and control GE intelligent LED lighting, enabling:

* Individual device control and grouping devices into scenes all under one command
* Interoperability and integration with other connected devices
* Secure pairing through authentication and end-to-end encryption between GE intelligent LED and iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

GE’s Homekit-enabled intelligent LED offering will be available later in 2015.

For more information about GE Lighting, visit

Lighting Aspects of ASHRAE/IES 189.1-2014

Craig DiLouie, LC wrote this article for the June issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

In November 2014, ASHRAE published ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This green building standard—picture something like LEED in mandatory code language—covers energy efficiency, site sustainability, water use, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. The 2014 version updates the 2011 version and includes a number of stretch requirements related to lighting and controls.

Another green building standard is the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), published by the International Code Council (which also publishes the IECC model energy code). IgCC recognizes 189.1 as an alternative compliance standard. During the summer of 2014, the USGBC, ASHRAE, AIA, IES and ICC agreed to harmonize 189.1, the IgCC and LEED.

Standard 189.1-2014’s major sections are divided into mandatory requirements plus a prescriptive and performance option. The mandatory requirements are just that, mandatory. The prescriptive option includes both the mandatory plus a series of prescriptive requirements. The performance option requires a building simulation and related calculations.

The lighting and control aspects of 189.1-2014 are related to energy efficiency, “light pollution,” daylighting and occupant lighting control. Standard 189.1-2014 references the ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2013 energy standard as the baseline and then presents various modifications. Therefore, these requirements, briefly described below (except for daylighting), must be achieved in addition to everything else that is applicable in 90.1-2013. Below is a brief description (except for daylighting). Consult 189.1-2014 for specific requirements.

Section 7, energy efficiency (mandatory): Energy consumption for certain lighting systems must be separately measured using a device that remotely communicates with a data acquisition system. The system must be able to store the data and provide user reports.

Section 7, energy efficiency (prescriptive option):
Lower interior and exterior lighting power allowances must be achieved by applying a multiplier to the lighting power allowances in 90.1-2013.

Certain hotel and motel guest rooms must install automatic lighting controls that automatically turn OFF power to lighting and switched outlets after a period of vacancy.

Lighting in commercial and industrial storage stack areas must be controlled by an occupancy sensor that reduces lighting power by at least 50 percent.

Security and emergency lighting that must be continually illuminated is limited to 0.1W/sq.ft., though more can be added if connected to an automatic shutoff control.

Sign lighting power must be automatically reduced at certain times, with the level of reduction dependent on the lamp type and whether it operates during any daylight hours.

Exterior lighting serving uncovered parking areas must be controlled by a photosensor and astronomical time switch. Certain lighting must be reduced using an occupancy sensor.

Installed lighting covered by the ENERGY STAR labeling program must satisfy ENERGY STAR performance criteria. Specifically, integrated LED lamps and, if using the Alternate Renewables Approach (Section, other lamps and those commercial and residential luminaire types covered by the program.

Section 5, site sustainability (mandatory): Exterior luminaires must satisfy prescribed BUG ratings, indicating suitable control of backlight, uplight and glare. Uplight is additionally restricted based on lighting zone, which in turn is based on population density.

Section 8, indoor environmental quality (mandatory): Lighting in at least 90 percent of enclosed office spaces, if a certain size, must be controlled using multilevel controls or bilevel controls with separate task lighting. Multilevel control is required in listed multioccupant spaces. Gymnasium, auditorium, ballroom and cafeteria lighting must be zoned as at least two independently controlled groups of luminaires.

Section 8, indoor environmental quality (prescriptive option): Presentation lighting must be controlled separately from other general lighting.

Section 8, indoor environmental quality (performance option): Presentation lighting must satisfy certain illumination criteria based on the type of permanently installed presentation system.