According to EPA’s Energy Star program, lighting consumes close to 35 percent of the electricity used in U.S. commercial buildings and affects other building systems through its electrical requirements and the waste heat it produces. Upgrading lighting systems with efficient light sources, fixtures, and controls can reduce lighting energy use, improve the visual environment, and affect the sizing of HVAC and electrical systems. The Green Proving Ground program is investigating the effectiveness of technologies such as Occupancy Responsive Lighting Solutions and Integrated Daylighting Systems in reducing lighting energy usage while maintaining occupant satisfaction.
Preliminary Technology Assessments
The Green Proving Ground program, in association with federal laboratories, is currently subjecting the following technologies to real-world measurement and verification in GSA buildings. Preliminary technology assessments are available below as PDFs. Findings from these investigations will be available by 2015.
Integrated Daylighting Systems > This technology enables “daylight harvesting,” which maintains a consistent level of light on work surfaces by actively adjusting the amount of overhead light in response to the amount of daylight available.
LED Lighting with Integrated Controls > This lighting technology integrates the LED lamp, driver, daylight controls, and occupancy sensors into a single fixture for easy one-for-one replacement of the existing luminaires. Auto-calibration of daylight sensors and use of a handheld remote to group fixtures promises to overcome a key hurdle to realizing lighting energy and cost savings: the effective integration and commissioning of controls. The luminaire builds on the inherently dimmable nature of LED lighting by integrating occupancy and daylighting controls directly into the fixture and its driver.
LED Retrofit Luminaire > This technology is designed to upgrade existing recessed fluorescent troffer luminaires to LED luminaires.
Wireless Lighting Control System > This technology enables switches, ballasts, fixtures, and sensors from a variety of manufacturers to communicate as a single system by using wireless area controllers. The technology enables building operators to tailor lighting control to building characteristics and occupancy patterns more easily and cost effectively than incumbent technologies offering similar levels of control.
Wireless Lighting Controls > The wireless lighting control system represents an innovative private sector application of a wireless mesh network communication protocol developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It leverages low cost radios developed for the cell phone industry and recent advances in powering devices using scavenged power. A small wireless module mounted on the inside of an existing light fixture communicates with other wireless modules, self-powered switches, photovoltaic-powered daylight and infrared sensors, and a facility automation server to create a low-power wireless control network throughout the commissioned work area.