According to a report on, the emerging global lighting technologies market is expected to be worth $109.2 billion by 2014 and is growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1 percent from 2009 to 2014. According to the report, fluorescent lighting makes up the largest technology segment and is expected to reach $82.6 billion by 2014 at a CAGR of 7.9 percent for the same period.

Not surprisingly, the North American lighting market is the largest emerging segment and is expected to be worth $42.8 billion by 2014, accounting for nearly 30 percent of total revenues. Europe is poised to be the second-largest market segment, but Asia is the fastest growing market and is in position for growth rates of 8.9 percent for the next five years.

Growth for all types of lighting can be attributed to the increase in living standards and the greater demand for energy-efficient lighting technologies and controls. Most applications, from small residential lighting to complex commercial and industrial systems, have all benefited by emerging lighting technologies—such as fluorescent, light-emitting diode (LED), high-intensity discharge (HID), pulse start and electronic ballasts—and from increasingly automated, intelligent and integrated lighting controls.

Technology trends
As the demand to control energy consumption relentlessly increases, lighting automation in commercial facilities is becoming the rule, rather than the exception. A Ducker Research study, funded by WattStopper, Santa Clara, Calif., a Legrand group brand, found that lighting automation is being used in a majority of new construction and renovation projects in the office building and education markets.
Individual fixture control in commercial facilities is an automated lighting control technology that is quickly becoming a standard specification point, said Brennen Matthews, national sales manager for the energy solutions group at Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., Coopersburg, Pa.

“This technology allows dynamic control of a fixture and provides digital zoning capabilities, which reduces the amount of wiring and labor during installation,” Matthews said.

Other capabilities include digital high-end trim setting, daylight harvesting and demand response at the fixture level.

Digital communication within a lighting control system now provides end-users with an economic combination of multiple control strategies to maximize savings.

“Digital communication protocols use a single pair of communication wires connected to multiple control inputs, such as occupancy sensors, photosensors, PCs and other devices,” said Gary Meshberg, LC, LEED AP and president of the Lighting Controls Association, administered by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va.

Digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) systems have been around since the mid-1990s. They have not experienced great market acceptance in North America because of the cost of digital ballasts and the fact that the DALI standard has not evolved to cover various occupancy and motion sensors.

“It is, however, the standard in Europe,” according to Terry Mocherniak, COO of Encelium Technologies, Teaneck, N.J.

There are proprietary communication protocols based on DALI, Mocherniak continued, but in that kind of architecture, the end-user needs to purchase all the lighting control system components from a single company.

“There has recently been, however, a move away from a DALI-type system toward incorporating the addressable intelligence at the fixture level through an input/output (I/O) module,” he said.

In addition, some academic research into the technology has recently restarted, and the technology is being used to control lighting on some college and university campuses, according to Don Brooks, product manager, installation systems and control for Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill.

“This open protocol provides high levels of flexibility and customization for the end-user,” he said.

The biggest technological buzzword these days, and one of the latest technology trends in lighting controls, is wireless.

“Wireless lighting control is appropriate in any application, although it is currently more cost-effective in retrofit applications,” said Bob Freshman, marketing manager at Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc., Melville, N.Y.

Wireless lighting controls provide the end-user with the same energy savings as a wired system, but the value delivered in retrofit construction is in reduced installation costs.

Impact of standards and building codes
The integration of lighting controls with each other and with other systems in a building is being driven by energy-efficiency standards, green building codes and practices, and demands from end-users for reduced energy consumption.

“Energy codes and standards are mandating a first level of control on all new and renovation projects,” Matthews said.

Standards that are being adopted by states and other jurisdictions, including ASHRAE 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), mainly include some sort of automatic off for the lighting systems, such as occupancy/vacancy sensors or using time clocks to schedule when the lights go off.

“The latest revisions to these standards are starting to mandate the use of daylight controls and dimming,” Matthews said.

California’s Title 24 goes even farther by providing lighting power adjustment credits based on an extended daylight harvesting strategy, Meshberg said. And, Pete J. Horton, LEED AP, vice president of market development for WattStopper, said the latest energy-efficiency codes and standards are calling for the use of a manual-on sequence of operation instead of an automatic-off sequence because of the increased energy efficiency.

The green building certification program that is driving the new construction side of the integrated lighting control market is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

“Lighting is the greatest load in commercial facilities, making integrated lighting controls the driving focus for complying with and achieving LEED certification,” Mocherniak said.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and its subsequent extensions through 2013, as well as utility company rebates, are other drivers of the market. According to Freshman, the former offers very attractive tax rebates for energy-efficiency initiatives in buildings, including lighting controls.

“And most utilities,” he said, “offer rebates for buildings that use, among other systems, lighting controls in an effort to lower consumption and avoid having to build new plants.”

Building owners also want to see lighting controls integrated with the building automation system (BAS) to enable total control of all systems from a central location. This is accomplished through communication protocols, such as BACnet.

“Integrating lighting with the BAS helps building managers understand how separate systems interact with each other and enables them to easily converge systems for improved energy management,” said Brad Wills, Schneider Electric’s business director, installation systems and control.

But that’s not all, according to Mocherniak. “End-users are increasingly looking for a user-friendly graphic interface that allows them to easily control and program the lighting system,” he said.

The quick adoption of green energy codes and building certification programs and standards has resulted in significant innovation in available products and solutions.

“This trend is expected to accelerate as ASHRAE 189.1, the first green construction code, was launched this year and may soon be adopted by progressive jurisdictions as a standard for public, and possibly private, construction,” Meshberg said.

Promoting integration
In order to better serve building owners and help promote the integration of lighting with other building systems, the electrical contractor needs to understand the network architecture and how the system components communicate.

“The contractor also needs to know where its work ends and the system integrator’s work begins,” Horton said.

According to Freshman, the contractor also needs to understand how all of the different lighting control components, such as photocells, occupancy sensors and relay controls, interact.

“To be effective, contractors also need to understand daylight harvesting system design and where to place the sensors for optimal operation,” Freshman said.

For Mocherniak, working with lighting controls and integrating them with each other and with other building systems requires contractors to shift their thinking away from replacing lamps and blasts and toward low-voltage work.

“Contractors need to learn the necessary lighting control and integration technologies, as well as the IT component now required for sophisticated lighting control in commercial facilities,” Mocherniak said.
Wills agreed that contractors need to go beyond installation.

“Contractors need to be willing to also provide value and operate as a consultant in ensuring that the lighting, as well as other building systems, are optimally integrated for the specific application and to fulfill customer needs,” Wills said.

Future trends
In the future, Wills predicts that today’s interfaces with the lighting control system (switches, keypads, etc.) will be replaced with total occupancy sensor technologies or even virtual keypads that appear when someone is in the room.

“Perhaps even cell or office phones, PDAs, laptops, and desktop computers will interface with the building’s lighting control system,” he said.

According to Horton, attention will move beyond energy savings to return on investment (ROI), as that is the only way to evaluate multiple energy conservation measures compared to each other. Right now, manufacturers are not providing some reference to installation costs and lighting costs per square foot, making it more difficult to estimate the ROI of energy-reduction strategies.

Wireless will also play a big role in the future of lighting control systems and their integration into commercial facilities.

“We think the market will see the use of wireless controls grow dramatically over the next five years as the cost savings, reliability and security become apparent,” Freshman said. He also thinks the industry will see new smart grid technologies being integrated into buildings and lighting control systems over the next few years in both new construction and retrofit applications.

“Communication between electrical devices in the building and the power provider could maximize savings for building owners and minimize demand on the grid during peak periods,” he said.

By focusing their expertise on the quickly expanding market of lighting control, contractors can offer a great value to their customers by enhancing the visual environment and reducing energy at the same time.

BREMER, a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md., contributes frequently to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. She can be reached at 410.394.6966 and