A new study from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and University of Oregon’s Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory found that retrofitting outdated commercial lighting individually with LEDs equipped with luminaire level lighting controls (LLLC) has the potential to save just as much energy as investing in a full commercial lighting redesign – but without the big price tag.
Researchers studied a roughly 1,000 square foot office space – analyzing the amount of energy saved when fluorescent lights were individually retrofitted with an LED equipped with LLLC compared to a complete redesign and upgrade of the lighting system.
The study found that 1:1 replacement saved between 50-74% in energy annually, compared to the 59% savings of a full redesign. 1:1 replacement can typically be about a third to half the cost.
The use of LLLCs has grown over the years as a way save more energy by integrating daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors and streamlining control into commercial lighting. But without research proving the effects of retrofitting, building operators were often pushed toward an expensive full redesign when seeking upgrades or opted for a lighting system that had limited to no controls.
Along with the energy savings, this study also showed the quality of light in a 1:1 replacement scenario is comparable to a full redesign.
This new analysis and the overall benefits an LLLC system offers are even more important as the industry looks at the future of commercial spaces following COVID-19. Those benefits include great flexibility – LLLC fixtures can be grouped and regrouped wirelessly (often through a tablet or smartphone app) to configure spaces to changing occupant and operational needs. This level of flexibility is key now that the workplace has fundamentally changed. And, some LLLC systems can even integrate with a building’s HVAC system for greater granularity of control and real-time data.
For a deeper dive into the findings from the report, join NEEA’s Chris Wolgamott and the University of Oregon’s Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg for a free, virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PST.