How much energy do lighting controls save?

August 21, 2013


Calculating Energy Savings

Energy savings due to installing lighting controls can be challenging to predict since spaces and lighting needs vary from site to site and throughout the year. Energy savings from controls achieve power savings through dimming and shutoff based on varying inputs like daylight availability and occupant utilization. Further, lighting controls with dimming capability create light level changes based on user preference and other factors.

While lighting control savings can be estimated for a given project based on application data, it is useful to evaluate various lighting control strategies based on average energy savings. Knowing an average is also useful for benchmarking predictions and results.
Enter the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), which analyzed 240 energy savings estimates from 88 case studies and papers. Using filters to zero in on lighting energy savings produced by lighting controls in actual field installations, the researchers developed best estimates for average lighting energy savings and published the results in an industry paper. These estimates ranged from 24-42% and covered occupancy sensing, personal and institutional tuning, daylight harvesting and the combination of multiple control strategies, as shown below.
The LBNL study demonstrates that advanced lighting control strategies typically save significant amounts of energy, and provide guidance for average savings.

LBNL best estimates of average lighting energy savings for various lighting control strategies.
1. Occupancy sensors that change lighting automatically can reduce energy consumption by up to 24%.
Acuity’s Sensor Switch® is an industry leader in developing occupancy sensors and control switches and has the widest array of sensors offered from any manufacturer. Their controls feature small motion detection, relay circuit protection and passive dual technology (PIR / Microphonics™) that can literally “See & Hear” into areas with obstructions.
2. Institutional tuning of light levels (using high end limits on the lighting to deliver the right amount of light) by dimming controls reduced energy consumption by up to 36% on average.
Dimming systems from  Acuity’s Synergy® Lighting Control, SensorSwitch’s nLight® and LC&D enable smooth full-range dimming on fluorescent, LED, low voltage and halogen luminaires. These systems can be tailored for office, education, retail and institutional spaces.
3. Using daylight harvesting can reduce energy consumption by up to 28%.
Daylight levels are detected by photosensors which can then tell the controls how much to reduce electric light while still delivering excellent illumination in the space. Acuity Brands can integrate a full range of daylight harvesting strategies with the LC&D, Synergy or nLight® controls systems plus Sunoptics® LightFlex™ daylighting delivery system to bring sunlight deeper into the space for additional savings. This allows the user to control how much daylight or electric light is being used to illuminate a space, or they can have the footcandle levels pre-set and let the system do the adjusting for them.
4. Combining any of the multiple strategies reduces energy consumption by 38%.
Acuity Brands makes combining control solutions with energy-efficient and smart lighting easy with an extensive portfolio of products – also Acuity solutions are manufactured and supported by one company.
How Acuity Brands Can Help
Acuity Brands leads the industry in helping make these savings a reality with the most extensive product portfolio in the industry. The previously mentioned products and solutions integrate seamlessly with each another, providing the end user with a complete lighting solution that enhances their environment, reduces energy usage and saves them money.

Click here to download the complete LBNL study.


Would you like to receive iNews, or do you know somebody who you believe would benefit from iNews? Click here to sign up today!

Announcing New Brighton Switch from LC&D

January 16, 2013

lcd_brightonWe are pleased to introduce the Brighton wall switch, an extension of our versatile line of GR2400 digital switches. Brighton is available in 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 button configurations. Standard engraved buttons are ideal for quick-turn projects that do not require customization. The Brighton switch is optimal for various applications, including open offices, classrooms and retail spaces.


  • May be programmed to control any relay, SmartBreaker or dimmer in any panel
  • Optional factory pre-programming available
  • Low price point for 2 button switches

Programming Options:

  • Toggle, on/off, mixed mode and group control
  • Dimming/scene control
  • Alternate programming based on input, time of day or day of week
  • Enable/disable button, wall switch or schedule
  • Partitioning (up to 3 sections)

Download Brighton Spec Sheet Here.


nWSX LV – Innovative Low Voltage Wall Switch Sensor from Sensorswitch

January 9, 2013

This stylish wall switch sensor provides occupancy detection, photocell control, on/off switching control and optional raise/lower dimming adjustment in a single gang housing that matches the style and design of the nLight® technology push-button WallPods. Providing this level of control for a standalone space is easy – simply connect to any digital luminaire using nLight technology. One CAT-5 cable is all it takes!

Click here to see all of the new nLight products from Sensorswitch.


Acuity Brands: Can Lighting Quality be Measured?

November 30, 2012


Lighting Survey Tool Measures Occupant Satisfaction 

Building owners acknowledge the importance of lighting quality, but decisions are usually made solely on the bases of cost. Part of the problem is that while individual elements of lighting quality are definable and can be expressed using metrics, an overriding lighting quality metric remains unattainable. 

A new free tool from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), launched in association with the Department of Energy’s Commercial Lighting Solutions program, seeks to define lighting quality in office buildings. Funded by the Department of Energy, General Services Administration, National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the Lighting Controls Association, the Light Right Survey Tool enables building owners to survey office lighting workers about their lighting equipment, level of satisfaction, and preferences.

The result is a metric for lighting quality—as expressed by the people who use the lighting. 

The Light Right Survey Tool uses 50 questions to profile respondents. It identifies the type of lighting in their workspace, how satisfied they are with various aspects of their lighting, and their preferences. The questions were developed by people with a high level of knowledge in lighting—including TED’s lighting columnist Craig DiLouie—but geared toward people with very little knowledge. 

The results can be used to identify problem areas for corrective action, measure the effectiveness of lighting upgrades, justify investments in higher-quality lighting to the building owner, facilitate communication across stakeholders, and support choices that produce higher satisfaction. By studying the results, the owner will be told by the people who actually use the lighting—workers whom the owner wants to see satisfied and productive. Distributors can use the results to justify various lighting options that not only save energy, but may also improve lighting quality. 

The survey begins with general questions about the type of work performed and asks respondents to describe their personal workspace, type of computer screen, availability of windows, etc. It then goes on to ask further questions about the lighting environment, such as: 

To what extent can light levels from your overhead lights be adjusted?

 What type of shading system do you have to control the amount of daylight entering your windows?

 Are you satisfied with your ability to control your overhead lighting?

 Are you satisfied with your ability to control your task lighting?

 Are you satisfied with your ability to control your window shades or blinds?

 Is your work surface is evenly lighted without very bright or dim spots? 

 If the majority of respondents indicate that there isn’t sufficient light levels for tasks they perform, this information can be used to determine which fixtures to include in an upgrade project.

 Acuity Brands has an extensive portfolio of lighting fixtures, giving building owners and lighting designers a wide range of options to best meet the occupant needs that are indentified in this survey. One example is the Lithonia Lighting AL LED, which provides superior light quality and color consistency. When the nLight™ lighting control system is included in the solution, the end result is a lighting system that provides quality lighting while reducing energy use. 

Survey results that detect insufficient satisfaction with the availability of natural light could indicate that a Sunoptics High-Performance Daylighting Solution should be included in the project. Sunoptics patented signature series prismatic system provides greater daylighting with no hot spots, glare, moving parts or UV damage. When combined with Acuity Brands lighting and control systems, building owners and designers can provide one of the most cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing lighting environments available.

Check out the free Light Right Survey Tool or click here for a complete list of questions.lesco_controls


Lighting Control & Design New Application Guide & Product Catalog

November 28, 2012

Lighting Control & Design (LC&D) has released its new Application Guide & Product Catalog. This 150-page color guide was created to illustrate how LC&D brings simplicity and performance to the design of lighting control systems. The application section introduces the unique value propositions of LC&D and highlights three categories of solutions:  Packaged Room Components, Quick Configured Systems,  and Factory Engineered Solutions.

Download the new Application Guide Here.

Look Up…Look Around Renovation Application Guide Now Available from Lithonia Lighting

November 6, 2012

Acuity Brands is excited to announce the launch of the “Look Up…Look Around Renovation Application Guide!” This Guide will aide you in identifying renovation opportunities by enabling you to recommend energy efficient solutions that incorporate both lighting and controls.  Download the Application Guide here.


Easyl DMX Controller from Acuity Brands Controls – RGB LED Controls Made Easy!

October 9, 2012

Easyl™ Solo is a DMX controller that simplifies control of RGB LED luminaires with just a touch. The color LCD touchscreen allows users to modify preprogrammed shows to create subtle or dramatic eye-catching effects. The intuitive design, show preview bar and consistent iconography invite users to play. 

DMX512-A Compatible

Easyl Solo is compliant with DMX512-A, which means it can work with virtually any DMX luminaire, including those with RDM support. Control, programming and maintenance of DMX color-changing lighting have never been easier. Pairing Easyl Solo with Winona’s Parata flood or any DMX RGB luminaires from Acuity Brands ensures the highest level of performance and quality from a single source.

Download specifications & other product information here.