Research Focus Areas
Lighting California's Future (LCF) was a PIER project focused on developing lighting technologies to increase energy efficiency in buildings. This project included partnerships among lighting manufacturers and California utilities in the following areas: daylighting (tubular daylight device optics), demand response (commercial building bi-level lighting loads and integration of lighting controls with utility signals), integrated systems (retrofit classroom lighting and wireless/photosensor/motion sensor controls), and solid-state lighting (commercial LED downlights, residential/commercial hybrid downlights, LED lighting in residential fans, and advanced LED lighting for residential and commercial applications). This project developed and commercialized three lighting technologies that could potentially save California thousands of gigawatt hours annually.
This project developed and commercialized three lighting technologies that could potentially save California thousands of gigawatt hours annually.
With the assistance of PIER, the California Lighting Technology Center developed in partnership with manufacturers, task/ambient lighting which is a total systems approach to reducing the billions of kilowatt hours (kWh) consumed annually by office lighting. The majority of the lighting is provided by overhead troffers or pendants. This approach achieves a significant amount of energy savings by reducing the overhead lighting load without allowing user comfort and visual acuity to suffer. This is made possible by incorporating high quality, efficient task lighting.
The introduction of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) into the residential and commercial hospitality markets has had some success over the last 15 years, primarily in the hotel and motel industry. Generally, the CFL used has had an Edison-base socket, making it easy for the consumer to switch back to a less-expensive, but much less efficient, incandescent lamp. If the lamp fixture has a pin-based socket, only pin-based CFLs can be used, thereby ensuring that the fixture will remain an energy-efficient one throughout its lifetime. However, there are very few pin-based portable lamp fixtures currently on the market, and manufacturers are reluctant to spend the R&D money necessary to serve this market niche. By sharing the development costs of new ENERGY STAR® -certified portable fixtures, California will realize significant savings in both energy and electricity demand.
Traditional overhead, ceiling mounted lighting systems for commercial office spaces have serious drawbacks, both in terms of energy efficiency and lighting quality. Generally, these systems place high levels of illuminance throughout the space, wasting energy by putting light where it is not needed, and often hindering visibility with glare. Combining low-level ambient lighting with task light has been shown to reduce energy use while improving lighting quality in office spaces.
This report summarizes research to design, develop, and test prototype portable workstation luminaires, and then to implement lighting controls in these lamps that would provide both workstation and office-level lighting control. Thirteen workstation luminaires were designed that provide controlled task and ambient lighting and a prototype of the most promising concept was then fabricated and tested in the laboratory. Additionally, four control scenarios were developed to provide task and ambient lighting at the workstation and in the office. The new unit is projected to reduce California office lighting energy use by about 45 percent, totaling about 3,700 GWh/year, or about 1200 MW of demand reduction
There are unique energy savings opportunities in the United States estimated 4 million hotel guest rooms, which includes approximately 365,000 rooms in California. One of the key opportunities relates to the lighting of the hotel guest-room bathrooms. The energy-saving opportunity is even larger considering the numerous related institutional applications such as dormitories, assisted living housing, etc.
The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) research team developed two energy-efficient bathroom lighting technologies that will save energy and improve safety in hotel bathrooms and related institutional applications. The first is a Motion Sensor Nightlight, targeted at retrofit applications. It is now a commercial product produced and distributed by The Watt Stopper as product WN-100. The second is a "Smart" Light Fixture (SLF), targeted at new construction or major renovations, to be produced and distributed by Speclight, a subsidiary of Lithonia Lighting. Both products reduce bathroom lighting energy use by about 50 to 75 percent.
In response to failing daylight harvest technology, PIER assisted the California Lighting Technology Center at Davis in developing a more user/occupant friendly daylight harvest system called Simplified Daylight Harvesting (SDH). The SDH allows users to adjust the levels of lighting to their individual preference; this is the most important aspect of daylight harvesting for if the user does not agree with the lighting level, they will override the system, rendering it ineffective.
The Center for the Built Environment at the University of California developed a wireless lighting control system, with the help of PIER, in an effort to bring down the high cost of retrofitting building with a lighting control system. Lighting control systems are essential to reducing the costs of lighting in non-residential buildings. After being developed at Berkeley the technology was further developed at Adura Technologies for commercialization and is now available and competitive in the marketplace.
It is often the case that classroom lighting does not meet the needs of students or their teachers. The Integrated Classroom Lighting System offers an efficient and user friendly alternative that teachers can operate from the front the classroom to adjust as they please to meet their various lighting requirements. This system is now being offered commercially by Finelite, Inc of Union City California.
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