Updating a lighting system to improve energy efficiency seems like a no brainer. The facilities in the space will be improved, and it saves the owner money. What could be the problem with that?

If only everything were that simple. When Franklin & Marshall college located in Lancaster, Pa., was interested in upgrading some of its systems, many challenges had to be addressed before installation could begin.

First, the age of Franklin & Marshall College had to be considered. Established in 1787, the small, private liberal arts college has a long history and long-standing buildings to match.

The system had to be easily installed with minimal disturbance to the building’s rooms and their occupants. It also needed to be easy to program and energy efficient, and it had to have timeclock functionality and the ability to load shed.

The college agreed to be one of the first projects to install Lutron’s Vive wireless lighting control system, deciding to use it in an energy retrofit in the College Square administrative offices.

The system includes occupancy sensors that turn lights off when rooms are empty, and it includes wireless daylight sensors and dimming modules, which automatically reduce lighting levels according to the natural light in a room. In addition, the system’s Pico wireless remote controls give occupants personal dimming control of the space.

After the retrofit, the college saw an increase in energy savings; the new system uses about 60 kilowatt-hours (kWh), a drop from the 130 kWh used by the old fluorescent fixtures.

Because of the success of this project and previous experience with other Lutron wireless controls in Old Main (which dates back to 1856 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places), the Franklin & Marshall facilities team approved the Vive system for a whole-scale renovation of its Keiper Liberal Arts Building, dedicated in the 1930s.