Standardizing Communication Between Lighting Control Devices
Integrated lighting controls can significantly improve building performance, increase energy efficiency, and enhance occupant comfort and satisfaction with the built environment. While previous research has shown that simple lighting controls such as occupancy sensors are effective at reducing the amount of electrical energy used for lighting in commercial buildings, advanced lighting control strategies have the potential to achieve even greater energy savings and offer many advantages over simple controls. But more advanced control strategies, such as daylighting or load shedding, which require a more systems-oriented approach, were less successful. Some of these difficulties are a result of the horizontal structure of the U.S. lighting controls market. While there are notable exceptions, the market is comprised largely of manufacturers of components (ballasts, switches and controls devices) rather than systems. Lighting controls components often do not work well together when specified as systems, especially in dimming applications where wiring is more elaborate. Lighting control equipment for implementing more complex strategies such as daylighting has proven difficult to commission in the field, leading to poor operation and user complaints. Finally, the lack of agreement on communications protocols was identified in as another market barrier.