Media: Lighting control systems curb energy costs (Finance & Commerce)

Jan 2, 2019

From Finance & Commerce

Employees leave a room and sensors direct lights to shut off a minute after the last person leaves. Lights above desks near windows dim or go off on sunny days and brighten on cloudy ones. Overhead lighting in conference rooms is programmed to serve a variety of functions.

Advanced lighting control — or network-controlled lighting — represents the next wave of sophistication in illumination, following LEDs and potentially offering as big a bang for the buck. Xcel Energy has been talking to lighting contractors and distributors about networked lighting controls because they can dramatically reduce utility bills and offer a host of associated benefits...

...Such sophistication can be a barrier to further adoption, said Erik Ennen, facilities services manager with Minneapolis-based Center for Energy and Environment. Networked lighting manufacturers have plenty of products, and they are not always easy to understand, he said.  “They’re not as quick and easy as some people would like,” he said.

Wireless controlled lighting is more often found in new buildings rather than in existing ones, which the CEE serves through its One-Stop Efficiency Shop small business lighting program, Ennen said. Even so, he believes the future belongs to networked lighting. As a board director of the International Association of Lighting Management Companies, he has seen studies showing at least a third of the commercial building market will have networked lighting controls by 2035.

“There’s a big shift going that way, and it will be like the adoption of LEDs,” he said. “You see that ramping up with networked lighting. You’ll see prices will come down, it will get easier to install and to use.”

Read the full article at Finance & Commerce