Networked Lighting Controls & Rebates by BriteSwitch - Energy Watch News

Networked Lighting Controls & Rebates by BriteSwitch

Since the addition of a networked lighting controls category to the Design Lighting Consortium (DLC) list in 2016, it has been seen by many as the next big thing in lighting. According to DLC, these controls can save 35% or more of lighting energy use in commercial buildings. They estimate that less than 10% of new construction projects and 1% of lighting retrofit projects currently use this technology. Seeing the opportunity to gain additional energy savings from commercial buildings, rebate programs have been trying to decide how to incorporate networked lighting controls into their offerings. It has proven difficult since these projects are usually complex and it’s hard to establish a deemed energy savings for each project.

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2 comments on “Networked Lighting Controls & Rebates by BriteSwitch

  1. James Benya says:

    Networked lighting controls (NLC) are perhaps the best way to control lights, and I have been using them for over a decade. However, we need to remember that with LED lighting systems, lighting power density is now in range of 0.30 w/sf for typical office and commercial lighting. Using basic occupancy and vacancy controls with conventional dimmable daylight controls in daylit zones, it is possible to get average energy use down to 1 kwh per SF per year costing less than $0.20 per SF per year in most of the USA including HVAC burden.To be cost effective (nominal 5 year payback), the added cost of NLC over ordinary analog power controls would have to be very small. The greater reasons for NLC in our future will most likely be:

    1. Cost effective controls retrofits in existing buildings
    2. Electric load management as we integrate renewable energy sources and interact with utility grid management.
    3. And as I wrote for the LCA website, using the NLC as a building systems manager to take full advantage of its presence in every space.

    That’s the problem with utilities, DLC and NLC’s. Used completely, NLC’s energy savings are only a part of their potentially crucial role in energy management at all levels. As an industry we need to get this message to the state utility regulators.

  2. Stan Walerczyk says:

    Other retrofitters and I are usually getting down to 0.20 – 0.25 WSF. Here are some examples of 0.25 WSF.
    20W 140 LPW LED troffer or troffer kit in an 8′ x 10′ grid in offices and classrooms
    100W 160-180 LPW LED hibay in a 20′ x 20′ grid

    With that low LPD even occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting are often not cost effective, and if they were not required by energy codes in retrofit projects, many more retrofit projects would be done. Also in many ‘owned spaces’ like private offices and elementary school classrooms annual hours of operation are often increased after occupancy sensors are installed, because people allow for the automatic delay instead of manually turning the lights off when they leave. Let the free market decide.

    I have seen many of the DLC reports, and way too often, too much of the savings come from high end trimming, which can be avoided by not getting too high lumen and wattage products in the first place.

    For advanced controls to really become popular focus on non-energy benefits, which is the most popular part of my lighting retrofit seminars.

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