SEATTLE, WA and SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 23, 2013) - A study commissioned by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) on the impact of Enlighted Inc. advanced lighting controls on workplace energy consumption finds that organizations can substantially reduce their utility bills and improve employee satisfaction and comfort by letting individuals adjust their own lighting.
"The lighting controls industry is taking full advantage of innovations in IT and telecom sectors, leading to a new generation of lighting control products known as Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLCs)," stated Kelly Sanders, senior product manager at NEEA. "These LLLC products are well positioned to transform energy efficiency and lighting use in the commercial sector through more sophisticated, individualized controls."
NEEA, the New Buildings Institute and Enlighted, a leader in solutions for improving the effectiveness and value of commercial buildings and real estate, collaborated on a project at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Enlighted's technology was deployed to help manage lighting and other environmental parameters for 20,000 square feet of office space in Hutchinson's Yale Building in Seattle.
Enlighted's system -- which allows individuals to tailor lighting levels to their personal preferences and tasks -- reduced overall lighting energy consumption by 59% and daytime peak watts associated with lighting by 46%. NEEA is an alliance of more than 100 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices in the Northwest.
Among the other findings from data gathered between September 2011 and June 2012:
- Lighting Power Density, a commonly used metric to measure lighting per square foot, was reduced by 51% during weekday hours and 74% during weekends and off hours.
- Automated building controls with motion sensors, individual light fixture controls, data networking and other technology can save energy by delaying morning ramp-up of lighting and accelerate evening ramp-down of lights.
- When given the opportunity to control the lighting around them, users prefer less light, creating more opportunities to save energy.
- Employees were at their desk an average of four to six hours during an eight hour plus workday, creating an opportunity to save energy through automated controls.
- Before lighting controls were installed, electricity consumption during the "janitor bump" during evening and night hours when maintenance crews work was significant in both magnitude and duration. Lighting controls minimized this.
Approximately 100 employees worked in the space. Data on energy consumption was compared to a baseline and captured every 15 minutes during both work and off-hours and weekdays and weekends.
"This trial with NEEA demonstrates how Enlighted works with utilities to meter real energy savings in real commercial settings," said Tushar Dave, Enlighted's CEO. "This real metered data provides a high confidence basis for utility incentive programs that add to the ROI associated with the installation of these advanced lighting systems. This study also shows that advanced systems simultaneously save money and make people happier with their surroundings."
The real estate, lighting and construction industries are in the midst of a fundamental sea change thanks to sensors, networking and data analytics. Buildings consume for approximately 74% of the total electricity in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. Lighting alone accounts for nearly 35% of the electricity consumed in commercial buildings and the heat generated by lighting systems can drive up air conditioning costs, the DOE adds. (NEEA notes that lighting constitutes 43% of the load in commercial buildings in the Pacific Northwest.)
Buildings and lighting systems, however, have historically not been operated to maximize energy efficiency. 70 percent of the lights in commercial buildings and 86% of the lights in homes in the U.S. have no lighting controls whatsoever beyond on-off switches, according to a 2012 DOE report. Experts regularly state that building energy consumption can be reduced by 20 to 30 percent.
Additionally, other studies have shown that energy efficient buildings enjoy higher rental and occupancy rates and sell at premiums compared to ordinary real estate, according to the Institute for Market Transformation.
Enlighted combines leading-edge sensor technology, Big Data analytics, and advanced controls to more effectively operate office buildings, public spaces, industrial sites and other real estate. Enlighted's system generates visual representations of building data quickly and easily so real estate managers can determine conference room occupancy, indoor traffic patterns, energy consumption per 100 square feet of floor space and other parameters.
The company's technology has been installed to improve the effectiveness and value of more than 10 million square feet of commercial real estate. Customers include LinkedIn, Bank of New York, Google, the City of San Jose, JDSU, Tarlton Properties and several other Fortune 1000 companies.