Developing Flexible, Networked Lighting Control Systems That Reliably Save Energy

Seamless Integration of Networked Lighting Controls with Whole Building Automation Systems

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

This project developed a suite of networked lighting solutions to reduce lighting energy use in buildings: a) a low-cost sensing, distributed intelligence and communications platform, the "PermaMote," b) a task ambient daylighting system that integrates sensors with data-driven daylighting control using an open API, c) a new method for evaluating and specifying lighting systems' performance, d) a proposed lighting data model and user interface elements, which contributed to the ANSI Lighting Systems Committee (C137), and e) a metric for capturing the actual energy impact of a lighting system over time. Laboratory validation of the technologies showed significant energy savings, up to 73% for the PermaMote sensor system. These advanced technologies can reduce California commercial-building lighting energy use by 60-80% or about 1,500 GWh/year in savings.

The Issue

The greatest difficulty in deploying advanced and intelligent lighting control systems is the lack of multi-vendor interoperability and standard user interface elements. Building owners may have multiple lighting systems that cannot be controlled by whole-building automation because of different user interfaces, and replacing working lighting systems in order to use whole-building automation is costly.

Project Innovation

The recipient is developing low-cost lighting components with open communication interfaces, that allow seamless integration into whole-building control and automation systems. The project targets future California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24), and establish methods by which the site-specific configuration and operation of networked lighting controls systems can be effectively addressed, and more easily implemented in the marketplace.

Project Benefits

The research focus is on how low cost sensing and distributed intelligence can enhance energy efficiency and enable distributed points of controls that result in greater energy savings and more accurate energy reporting. The research will result in the design and development of a new innovative desk lamp with localized sensing and user control of overhead ambient lighting. This innovative technology alters the lighting retrofit landscape by inexpensively enabling highly granular lighting control at the occupant's fingertips (previously only zone-level control existed), to control overhead lighting. In addition, this technology can be enhanced with sensors to measure occupants circadian lighting exposure to enable system control to ensure human health and productivity is optimized while maximizing energy efficiency attributes.

Lower Costs


The technology could reduce energy consumption and costs associated with lighting energy use in commercial buildings by an estimated 60 to 80 percent. Additionally, one of the goals is to develop low cost lighting components which could facilitate easier implementation into the marketplace.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Richard Brown



Erik Page & Associates


Contact the Team