Luminaire-level lighting controls (LLLC), also called embedded controls, are lighting control systems in which sensors and controllers are installed within luminaires to enable autonomous, individual luminaire control. By making each luminaire a control point, control is highly flexible, responsive, and therefore generally more energy-saving. Serving as a preview for an upcoming Education Express course, this article describes LLLC technology, system types, advantages and disadvantages, studies characterizing energy savings and cost, and what’s familiar and distinctive in regards to design and installation.
The commercial market lighting rebate outlook for 2022 is even stronger than 2021, with relatively stable, substantial rebates promoting adoption of energy-efficient lighting and controls.
In 2020, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) published ANSI/IES LP-6-20, Lighting Control Systems: Properties, Selection, and Specification. Drawing on the Lighting Controls Association’s Education Express offering as a primary source, this 111-page Lighting Practice and American National Standard provides an excellent foundation for designing with lighting control systems.
According to the AIA Construction Consensus Forecast Panel of leading economic forecasters, nonresidential building construction spending is expected to expand 5.4% in 2022 and strengthen to a 6.1% expansion in 2023.
While networked lighting controls can deliver significant value in both energy and non-energy benefits, a challenge remains in translating these capabilities to one’s applications. What could be done with greater lighting control in my building? How is the system operated to save energy while deriving other benefits specific to my applications? How could the data be used to benefit my stakeholders? To answer this question, let’s look at three theoretical applications.
Adoption of the most robust connected lighting systems has been slower than expected. Training, education, field validation, greater interoperability, and greater standardization of utility rebate programs are strong opportunities to meet the challenges. These are some of the conclusions of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Connected Lighting Systems Stakeholders Research Study, published in September 2021.
Commercial buildings in the United States are getting larger and more commonly include energy-saving features like LED lighting and occupancy sensors, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), published in September 2021.
In A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings, DOE outlines its national goal to triple the energy efficiency and demand flexibility of buildings by 2030. A subsequent report, published in December 2019, specifically evaluates the potential for lighting and electronics (primarily consumer plus IT equipment) to optimize energy efficiency and comfort while providing services back to the grid. This article examines lighting’s potential to support grid interactivity, primarily in the form of networked lighting controls and automated demand response.
The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recently published ANSI/IES LP-12-21, IoT Connected Lighting. This 43-page Lighting Practice and American National Standard provides guidance for lighting professionals to consider and evaluate connected lighting and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and applications.
Outcome-based commercial-building energy codes are an idea gaining new interest among policymakers in the United States. This type of energy code prescribes building energy budgets instead of a complex list of requirements. The first efforts started 10 years ago, and we are still years away from a model sure to gain significant adoption. Due to the concept’s potential benefits, however, it is possible, if not likely, that outcome-based codes will be a tool in future energy regulation.