News Brief

Internet-Based Lighting Controls Reduce Electricity Use

By Evan Dick

New developments in Internet-based controls for electrical systems documented in research for the California Energy Commission (CEC) have given new life to demand-response (DR), and led to the development of a training program to prepare electricians to implement the technologies.

DR is the process of reducing electricity usage in response to a utility signal during peak demand. This reduces the load on the grid—avoiding brownouts and reducing the need for supplemental power generation. DR programs have been difficult to implement because they relied on communication between utilities personnel and facilities management, and many buildings lack centralized lighting controls. The development of an Internet-based interface for automated DR systems has proved effective at eliminating reliance on person-to-person communication.

Researchers also note that in California pilot projects, the pairing of automated DR and wireless lighting controls could be particularly effective at reducing energy consumption. The CEC researchers report that buildings with automated DR were able to reduce peak demand by 10%–14%.

Published July 1, 2011

Dick, E. (2011, July 1). Internet-Based Lighting Controls Reduce Electricity Use. Retrieved from

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