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University Of Colorado 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 use of lighting controls in nonresidential applications. In this award’s first year, eight projects were recognized with an Award of Merit, with one further recognized with a Special Citation Award.

This month, we will explore the role that energy-saving lighting controls play at the University of Colorado Center for Community in Denver, which applied for LEED Gold. Photography by Paul Brokering Photography. Control manufacturers/products: Encelium’s Energy Control System. Lighting control design by M-E Engineers, Inc.

A sustainability plan was put in place to achieve LEED Gold. Lighting controls were implemented in various areas in the 302, 000 gross sq. ft. campus. Dining, student center, gathering spaces, meeting rooms and underground parking garage to name a few.

The owner wanted centralized control of HVAC and lighting systems to seamlessly integrate with a building management system. The goal was to maximize lighting energy savings, increase occupant comfort, integrate with BMS, and reduce costs. Lighting technology was used to layer six strategies (Daylight harvesting, Occupancy Sensing, Personal Control, Task Tuning, Time
Scheduling and Load Shedding) that integrated into the BMS system. Estimated lighting energy savings 50-75%.

Lighting Control System includes I/O Modules, Dimming Electronic Ballasts, Occupancy Sensors, Photo Sensors, Wall Controllers, Relay Control Panels, Communication Wiring, and energy and graphical lighting control software.

Typical graphical floor plan showing Daylight Harvesting.

Typical graphical floor plan showing lighting status On/Off.

Lighting Control Software provides two separate levels of PC interface: personal and central control to the administrator to perform energy management, configuration and monitoring operations.

Basis of Design included color coded drawings describing control strategies by type of space. Area A (Green) Individual fixture control, wall mount occupancy sensors, controlled by exterior daylight sensor. Area K – Conference rooms and similar: Ceiling mounted occupancy sensor, individual fixtures control, and time clock control. Rooms with 2 zones or less provide individual zone control. Rooms with greater then 2 zones provide scene controller and individual zone controls.

Typical lighting energy consumption savings chart.

A centralized Lighting control system provided multiple lighting control strategies to maximize savings while minimizing the amount of product and labor. Example: Common hardware (dimming ballasts) are used for 4 different lighting control solutions. Daylight harvesting, Load Shedding, Task Tuning and personal control.

Got a project? Criteria for the new award, along with submissions forms and procedures, can be viewed at

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1 comment to University Of Colorado Wins IES Lighting Control Innovation Award Of Merit

  • Shawn Arni

    Just an FYI, this building is located in Boulder, NOT in Denver as the article maintains. As Travel and Leisure magazine recently pointed out, the Boulder campus is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country and this building particularly and specifically fits the architectural style of the flagship Boulder campus.

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