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Top 5 Reasons Your Program Design Needs to Include Networked Lighting Controls

Networked Lighting Controls (NLC) are being called the second lighting revolution, transforming the luminary industry with internet-connected smart devices that have features and benefits we haven’t yet seen. They can be compared to smart thermostats, offering users more hands-on control and allowing them to leverage new savings. Incorporating NLC into your utility-program offerings is definitely a bright idea, and here are the top five reasons why:

  1. Major Program-Design Hurdles Tackled

A common objection to NLC is that there are still uncertainties about how to incorporate an offering. DesignLights Consortium’s™ NLC Program takes that challenge head-on with an out-of-the-box model: Utilities’ stakeholders are given a Qualified Products List, a savings-estimator tool, a proposed incentive structure, and technology training materials. They have recently published a report showing the NLC projects’ savings for future Technical Reference Manuals.

  1. Here’s What You Can Save on Energy

According to a General Services Administration Green Proving Ground study in 2015, you can save as much as 78% when paired with an LED upgrade. Yes, 78%. Mic drop, anyone?

  1. Data Is an Amazing Tool

We all know there is no better energy savings than being turned off altogether, and simple controls have always helped us take full advantage—but what if they could do more? What if that simple control could report that it’s turned off and then track energy trends? From that data, customers and utilities could better understand usage, know where those high-energy-usage spots are, change behavior, and maybe even create pay-for-performance incentive models.     

  1. Non-Energy Benefits (NEBs) Are Key

NEBs are what make NLC unique; in fact, projects are being sold based on the NEBs more than the energy savings. What if a lighting system could tell a commercial customer more about a building’s space and assets and how they’re being used? For example, the system could track a healthcare facility and guide a nurse to the nearest ventilator. Or the system could set up an emergency-lighting testing schedule that can automatically be performed off-hours, saving on disruptions and maintenance labor. What if the lighting system could adjust automatically to enhance growing operations or better suit livestock production? Or how about a system that hones in on customers walking through a clothing store, helps them find shirts and pushes complementary merchandise such as ties or jewelry to their smart devices for a potential upsell. Is your large commercial and industrial program, agricultural program or small business program capturing these NEBs?

  1. Maximize the Investment

Customers are making the decision to upgrade to LEDs daily—but are they taking full advantage of the technology? Upgrading to LED could keep the equipment in place for a decade or longer, and the energy/information opportunity cost of not having NLC could be significant. Help them maximize their LED investment and encourage NLC.

From energy savings to data provision to non-energy benefits, networked lighting controls are being seen as an all-around win. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be left in the dark when it comes to lighting; let Franklin Energy make your commercial and industrial programs, agricultural programs and small business programs shine with NLC options.


Kyle Kichura
Written by Kyle Kichura

Lighting Channel Manager, LC
Kyle Kichura is our team’s subject matter expert when it comes to lighting. From design to implementation, he has acquired over a decade of experience with lighting efficiency. Kyle manages the lighting aspects of Franklin Energy’s programs, including upstream product engagement and lighting product qualification. Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is lighting certified (LC) through the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP). He serves as a member of the Illumination Engineering Society of North America, board member for the Milwaukee Chapter, and represents Focus on Energy within DesignLights Consortium’s™ (DLC) technical committee.


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