DOE | Business | Aug 10, 2023

DOE Recognizes 14 Partners for Excellence in Commercial Lighting Systems

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 2023 Integrated Lighting Campaign (ILC) recognized 11 organizations for exemplary commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in their buildings, and 3 organizations for exhibiting exemplary support and advocacy for this work. Partners were recognized on August 5 at the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) annual conference for projects that showcase how lighting system upgrades can lead to significant energy savings and create more comfortable, productive, and environmentally responsible spaces.

Now in its third year, the ILC is part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative and designed to demonstrate that integrated lighting systems enable deeper energy savings in buildings and create an enhanced user and occupant experience. In 2023, the ILC added new categories that highlight the potential of novel lighting technologies to contribute to energy equity, sustainability, and indoor air quality in commercial and public buildings.

Recognized Participants

Morenci Area Schools in Morenci, Michigan, is recognized under the Advanced Use of Sensors and Controls in Lighting category for investing $1.4 million in energy system improvements in their schools. Improvements include lighting controls, LED lighting upgrades, new building automation controls, and an energy management system. The upgrades are expected to save more than $1 million in energy and operational costs and nearly 490,000 kWh over 10 years. The schools' lighting upgrades have noticeably improved the overall lighting experience for visitors, providing consistent, even, and brighter illumination; receiving positive feedback from staff; and offering increased safety, improved athletic facilities, and enhanced maintenance efficiencies.

Freeform in Boise, Idaho, is recognized under the Advanced Lighting Solutions for Small Projects or Buildings and Sustainability in Lighting categories. The project involved a comprehensive redesign of the lighting system at Freeform’s Boise office, including LED fixtures/retrofit kits, luminaire-level lighting controls, motion and photocell sensors, a remote access bridge, switches, and individual occupant switches. Old lighting materials were recycled and daylight monitoring and sensing was incorporated to balance brightness and maximize automatic and natural lighting adjustment. The project resulted in a 40 percent reduction in fixture count and significant energy savings, in addition to improved lighting uniformity, customization, remote control, and automation capabilities.

The City of Berkeley Public Safety Building in Berkeley, California, is recognized under the Innovative Maintenance, Operation, and Financing Service Models category. The project included replacing fluorescent lighting with LED lighting and adding lighting controls and vacancy sensors. The combined efforts resulted in an annual energy savings of 33 percent, equivalent to 336,573 kWh, and the implementation costs were fully covered by incentives and grants. The project also used on-bill financing, which is a zero-interest loan that pays the contractor up front, and the customer pays the loan back on their monthly energy bill. The monthly loan payment is equal to, or less than, the monthly energy costs saved by the retrofit.  

The State of Michigan's General Service Building in Dimondale, Michigan, is recognized under the Innovative Maintenance, Operation, and Financing Service Models category. The project involved replacing 900 linear fluorescent lamps with 200 18-inch square LED luminaires. The new smart lighting system with controls reduces lighting power by over 90 percent compared to the previous fluorescent setup, while also generating significant maintenance savings. The control system allows for mobile phone interfacing, offering features such as occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and energy monitoring. The implementation resulted in a $110,000 rebate from Consumers Energy. What is exemplary about this project is the use of the State's revolving fund, which uses energy savings from existing energy upgrades to fund future energy efficiency projects.

Two Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities in Minnesota are recognized under the Energy Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category. The Jerry Gamble and Southside Village clubs sought to upgrade their interior and exterior lighting to address poor light levels, maintenance costs, safety concerns, and an unwelcoming atmosphere. With grants and rebates covering half of the project costs, the clubs achieved improved lighting quality and a better environment for children to learn and feel safe. The project is expected to create an annual savings of $7,000, which will be reallocated for use among the clubs, and a simple payback of approximately 7 years. 

Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, is recognized under the Advanced Use of Sensors and Controls in Lighting category for deploying an energy savings program at the university’s Evans Library. The objective was to increase light levels so that bookshelves could be moved to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. By upgrading to LED lighting and installing an Internet of Things lighting control system, the library not only increased light levels but also reduced energy use by 83 percent and saved up to 20 percent in HVAC energy costs by creating smart zones that reduced the air conditioning load. The intelligent lighting control system adjusts lighting based on occupancy, incorporates daylight harvesting, and allows for scheduled lighting. 

Lighting Environments in Baltimore, Maryland, is recognized under the Advanced Use of Sensors and Controls in Lighting and Other Integrated Systems and Lighting categories. When Lighting Environments redesigned its Baltimore office in 2019, they seized the opportunity to create both a comfortable and customizable office for their employees and a state-of-the-art showroom for their customers. The office features lighting technology that can change brightness and color, create various lighting effects using pre-programmed shows, and automatically adjust the lighting throughout the day for a dynamic and visually appealing environment. In addition, the building’s HVAC system is integrated with lighting schedules and motion sensors to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. 

Kinnelon High School in Kinnelon, New Jersey, is recognized under the Germicidal Ultraviolet (GUV) Systems for Energy Savings and Improved Indoor Air Quality category. During the pandemic, Kinnelon High School explored how they could use federal funding to ensure ongoing sanitization and improve indoor air quality in shared learning spaces. The solution included installing in most classrooms two hybrid ultraviolet C (UV-C) air-purifier and whole room disinfection fixtures with embedded occupancy sensors. The fixtures were installed between the rows of regular pendant lighting and operate on the same electrical circuits. During the day, the fixtures perform recommended air changes using HEPA, UV-C, and active carbon filtration in occupied spaces. At night, scheduled UV-C treatments disinfect surfaces and airborne pathogens throughout the facility. 

Lineage Logistics in Seattle, Washington, is recognized under the Advanced Use of Sensors and Controls in Lighting category. At a large cold storage facility like Lineage’s Seattle location, energy use constitutes a significant portion of operating costs. Thanks to a $99,000 incentive from Seattle City Light, Lineage reduced the number of lights in their facility from 636 fluorescent bulbs to 585 LED fixtures, which brought their annual energy usage down from 561,081 kWh to 109,866 kWh. The LED lighting upgrade project resulted in energy savings of $38,890, refrigeration savings of $5,890, and projected annual maintenance savings of $10,000, resulting in a total annual savings of $54,780. 

Ortega Middle School in Alamosa, Colorado, is recognized under the Advanced Use of Sensors and Controls in Lighting category. When the school began a pilot project of color-tuning fixtures in two classrooms, teacher feedback was so positive that when the school decided to replace asbestos ceiling tiles and install new LED fixtures, it was an easy decision to install color-tuning lights throughout the building. Along with tunability, the lighting systems include occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting, and zone controls. Both students and staff have expressed the positive effect of the lighting on their attitudes in the building.

Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation in Los Angeles, California, is recognized under the Germicidal (GUV) Systems for Energy Savings and Improved Indoor Air Quality category for installing upper room GUV technology in its offices and selected public facilities. The technology is deployed in sites with high employee density and frequent interaction with the public. The fixtures use UV-C light to neutralize airborne microorganisms in real time, targeting the upper room of occupied spaces. It achieves a high air change rate, providing at least 12 equivalent air changes per hour for efficient air disinfection. This deployment enables Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation to continue operations and provide safe environments for both staff and the community.

Left to right: Kinnelon High School, Texas A&M University, Freeform.

Recognized Supporters

 These organizations are recognized for their exemplary support and advocacy of the use of advanced lighting controls and technologies that facilitate integration of lighting with other building systems to improve efficiency and performance. 

California Energy Alliance (CEA) in Sacramento, California, is recognized as an Exemplary Supporter. CEA is a nonprofit organization advocating for energy productivity and various aspects of energy efficiency, including lighting technologies. CEA collaborates with business, government, and non-governmental organizational leaders to achieve economic growth, environmental justice, energy security, affordability, and resilience. Since early 2022, CEA has promoted the ILC through emails and announcements in monthly newsletters. They have also invited the ILC team to speak at their Member Meetings, both connecting members and raising awareness for the campaign, and invited the ILC to participate in structured member discussions during LightFair 2022, connecting the campaign with other members and stakeholders. is recognized as an Energy Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion. The open-access forum was established in 2022 for lighting professionals and the wider community to share information and ideas about lighting justice issues, which involve providing good lighting for historically neglected and under-resourced communities. Light justice challenges industry standards perpetuating social, economic, and racial inequities and advocates that good lighting is a human right, not a luxury. collaborates with various organizations to guide conversations and lead efforts to reshape these industry standards and address environmental justice and social equity issues and opportunities related to outdoor and indoor lighting.

Evergreen Consulting Group in Beaverton, Oregon, is recognized as an Exemplary Supporter for both advocating for energy efficient lighting and lighting controls for over 25 years and primarily supporting utility programs to influence program design and incentives for basic and advanced controls. Evergreen is at the forefront of offering incentives for advanced control systems, collaborating with utilities like Rocky Mountain Power to require controls in lighting retrofit projects and providing technical training to industry professionals. It has partnered with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance on the Luminaire Level Lighting Controls Market Transformation Initiative, working with various control companies to promote integrated controls and highlight their benefits to building owners.

The ILC is a collaboration between the DesignLights Consortium® (DLC), IES, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO®), the Lighting Controls Association (LCA), the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), and DOE. For more information, go to Integrated Lighting Campaign or the Better Buildings Solution Center.

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