Lighting Design

Photo: Adrian Grycuk. License: CC BY-SA 3.0.


Energy-efficient lighting is seriously misunderstood by many in the green building industry. Long associated with CFLs and poorly lit spaces, today’s energy-efficient lighting uses state-of-the-art LEDs, controllers, and optics to direct light just where you need it.

Outdoors, LED streetlamps use advanced sensors and are optimized for maximum efficiency, yet they produce little light pollution that could disrupt local wildlife.

Indoors, LEDs can be integrated into DC power systems via power-over-ethernet cables. The color can be changed to help increase worker productivity, improve patient moods, or mimic natural outdoor light to help maintain our natural circadian rhythms.

New forms of LED and OLED lighting are revolutionizing how we light our buildings.

  • The Death and Rebirth of DC Power
    August 4, 2016

    Feature Article

    Direct current is replacing AC in microgrids and other setups that maximize the efficiency of lighting, HVAC, and onsite renewables.

  • LEDs: The Future Is Here
    November 29, 2011

    Feature Article

    LEDs have finally become an economically viable lighting option, but choosing the best LED products still takes knowledge and skill.

  • Controls Go Wireless
    December 4, 2007

    Feature Article

    Particularly for lighting and ventilation controls in retrofit situations wireless systems offer potential energy, money, and resource savings. The technology is still new, however, and potential drawbacks like health risks, interference, and even the potential for increased energy consumption need to be examined.

  • The Evolution of Exit Signs (and Why the Latest is a Bad Idea)
    October 27, 2006

    Feature Article

    Searching for reliable, energy-efficient exit signs, EBN's Alex Wilson explains why photoluminescent exit signs, one of the newest "energy-saving" devices, are one of the worst from a total-energy-use standpoint. The article reviews current technology, including LED and electroluminescent exit signs, and offers recommendations.

  • BuildingGreen Announces Top 10 Products for 2017
    October 4, 2016

    Product Review

    Our innovative Top 10 product selections reduce stormwater and wastewater, improve efficiency and IAQ, and contain fewer hazardous materials.


  • DC Power Supply Integrates AC and Renewables
    September 7, 2016

    Product Review

    Nextek PhD provides AC-to-DC power at the building scale, integrates renewable energy, and can even save on first costs.

  • Circadian Rhythm and the Role of Lighting
    August 4, 2016


    LEDs with color tuning are now being sold, but do we really have the light formula for waking us up and putting us to sleep?

  • The Best Indoor LED Luminaires of 2016
    June 6, 2016

    Product Review

    Winners of an annual DOE competition represent some of the best LED lighting for decorative pendants, downlights, and healthcare. 

  • LEDs Finally Hitting Stride in Supporting Health, Productivity
    November 3, 2014

    Product Review

    By allowing tunability of color and intensity, USAI’s Color Select LED technology can match the natural daylight cycle and needs of end users.

  • BuildingGreen Announces Top-10 Products for 2015
    October 13, 2014

    Product Review

    Transformative products eliminate toxic chemicals and fossil fuels, and improve building and site performance.