ANETWORKED LIGHTING CON- trol system consists of an intelligent network of individ- ually addressable luminaires and control devices. Potential advan- tages include cost-effective applica- tion of multiple control strategies, building- or enterprise-level control from a single point, programmability, zoning and rezoning using software, and measuring and monitoring. First developed for fluorescent lighting, these systems were inhibited by interoperability, lack of familiarity, complexity, and cost issues. As a re- sult, the DOE estimated current mar- ket adoption in the installed lighting base at less than 1%, focused mostly in larger commercial buildings. The controllability of the LED source, coupled with falling costs re- lated to integrating sensing, micro- processing, and networking, resulted in renewed interest in networked lighting control. Today, it is a major product trend among lighting man- ufacturers. These systems may be wired or wireless; be interior or exte- rior; focus control on the luminaire, room, or building or enterprise; and be stand-alone or integrate with other building systems. Additionally, they have been developed to reduce com- plexity, commissioning, and installed cost, positioning them as suitable even for small projects. The DOE regards connected light- ing as a major energy-savings oppor- tunity that will eventually replace tra- ditional single- and multiple-strategy controls as well as energy manage- ment systems. In its 2016 Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications report, the DOE fore- casted market penetration in the installed lighting base to reach 15% in 2020, 31% in 2025, and 59% in 2035, with the com- mercial building sec- tor leading adoption. This translates to con- nected controls ac- counting for one-third of all LED energy sav- ings by 2035. However, the DOE recognized issues in- hibiting adoption of connected lighting, such as interoperabil- ity. If industry does not address these inhibitors, the DOE will significantly downgrade its adop- tion forecast. In 2015, the DOE an- nounced the Connected Lighting Systems Initiative, through which it is working with industry on energy reporting, interoperability, system configuration complexity, and new features. More recently, the DOE also launched the Connected Lighting Test Bed, which provides a platform offer- ing testing and data to industry to facilitate development. The energy-savings potential of
CHANGING THE GAME
Rebates, third-party energy savings, and training are expected to raise
demand for networked lighting controls in existing commercial buildings. by Craig DiLouie
networked lighting controls has also attracted interest from utilities, prompting the DesignLights Con- sortium (DLC) to develop a market transformation program that may be an industry game changer.
Qualified Products List Each year billions of dollars are al- located to lighting rebates, making them influential in the lighting market, particularly in existing con- struction. With approximately 100 utilities as members, the DLC main- tains the Qualified Products List (QPL), which is a list of LED prod- ucts that satisfy strict performance criteria. Utilities use the QPL to qualify products for rebates. In May 2016, the DLC released a specification for networked lighting controls that formed the basis for a dedi- cated QPL. In turn, this positioned net- worked lighting controls for rebate programs. Utilities already promote lighting controls but are looking for ways to save energy beyond en- ergy codes, resulting in interest in high- performing LED products and net- worked controls. Recognizing that standardization among products is lacking, the DLC developed a flexible specification. Systems are listed with “required” and “reported” capabilities (see side- bar on page 88). Required interior networked control system capabilities include luminaire and device addressability and networking; continuous dim- ming; zoning; and occupancy sens- ing, daylight harvesting, and high- end trim control. Further, the sol- ution must be commercially avail-
For building designers, specifiers, distributors, con- tractors, and end- users, the new QPL provides a valuable tool to identify and compare potential control systems for their projects based on their capabilities and characteristics.