Networked lighting controls can reduce energy consumption by an average 47 percent, according to a recent industry study. That makes control a powerful tool in managing energy costs, but it only captures a small fraction of its potential value in enhancing quality lighting with LED technology.
The AIA’s semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters, is projecting 4.4% growth in nonresidential construction spending in 2019 and 2.4% in 2020. This article by Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP reviews the forecast and leading construction industry economic indicators.
Cybersecurity is a challenge for the Internet of Things (IoT) as a whole (and corporate information networks beyond that), and lighting is not immune. This article discusses the issues involved and what specifiers and designers can do to mitigate any risks.
The LED revolution produced many luminaires with built-in switching and dimming. This facilitated a trend of using the same luminaires for both general and emergency lighting, powered by battery, backup generator, or UPS. This eliminates emergency units but creates a control challenge. The dual-function luminaires must be controllable for energy management and visual needs, while overriding these inputs to power to full brightness during a power failure.
In August 2018, the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) published a best practices guide for designing daylight harvesting lighting control systems. Titled Daylight Harvesting for Commercial Buildings Guide, it focuses on compliance with California’s Title 24 energy code, though it has broad application.
In August 2018, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) released Energy Savings Potential of DLC Commercial Lighting and Networked Lighting Controls, which projects energy savings for LED commercial lighting and networked lighting controls. The report makes a case that to continue getting big energy savings from lighting for another decade, utility rebate program administrators should transition to supporting LED luminaires and networked controls.
Networked control and connected luminaire manufacturers are now promoting their products as “IoT enabled.” This means when the IoT does arrive, the lighting system will stand ready to play a part in it without significant additional cost. The converse may also be regarded as true, which is without connected lighting, any new LED lighting may instantly become obsolete after installation.
Software plays a central role in commissioning, operating, and analyzing data collected by networked lighting control systems. As connected lighting becomes more popular, manufacturers continue to make their software simpler, more robust, more portable, and require less training. Software is a major touch point regarding the lighting control system serving either as a platform or an integral part of implementing the Internet of Things in commercial buildings.
On July 26, 2018 the International Code Council published the 2018 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which has been updated every three years since 2000. This 2018 version reduces lighting power allowances, broadens mandatory controls requirements, and issues clarifications.
The most popular lighting control rebates continue to be occupancy sensors, light sensors, and daylight dimming systems. The average rebate for controls is fairly high when one considers their cost, positioning them as an attractive add-on to a retrofit. In some cases, such as high-bay lighting, the rebate can almost completely cover the cost of adding a luminaire-mounted occupancy sensor.