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Tech Talk: New Outdoor Lighting Control Study Released

With a strong interest from the lighting control manufacturing community and regional utilities and stakeholders, NEEA conducted and recently released a study that takes a snapshot of the current outdoor streetlight control market. The report illustrates impressive progress in features and available product options over the last couple of years. The report highlights these changes and provides recommendations for municipalities and utilities who are considering solid state streetlights with controls.

The study, available on Conduit, is timely since outdoor controls will play a role in the upcoming streetlight tests in Seattle in March.

Outdoor lighting controls, coupled with solid-state lighting, offer many advantages over traditional streetlights. The products enable municipalities and utilities to monitor and maintain individual lights, adaptively dim based on schedule or traffic volume, meter actual power consumption, and ensure that their investment in solid state lighting lasts as expected.

Traditional and current outdoor lighting options, many of which are installed across the region, consume more energy, are expensive to monitor, and are costly to replace – many times requiring arterial roadways to shut down when doing so.

For all of the interest and activity in the outdoor control market, however, some hurdles still remain before advanced controls can gain major penetration in the outdoor lighting market; thus far large commercial installations are still very limited.

Some of the findings from the study include:

    Installations of new networked streetlight controls continue to be mostly at the pilot scale rather than full commercial deployments.
    Cost continues to be a barrier to adoption. However some municipalities are finding that reduced maintenance costs are helping cost justify advanced controls.
    Rapid market and product change has slowed adoption. Many of the companies offering advanced control solutions are start-ups which have inherent risks of longevity.
    More established companies are starting to enter the market and should help alleviate concerns about the markets stability.

NEEA plans to update the report later in 2012 in order to see how the market has evolved toward stability and cost effectiveness. To read the current report on the outdoor lighting controls market, visit Conduit. To see outdoor controls in action and learn more about the upcoming streetlight test, please contact Mark Rehley.

NEEA's Emerging Technology efforts fill the Northwest's energy efficiency pipeline with new products, services and practices to meet our future energy needs. NEEA leverages the region's knowledge and resources to scan and assess new technologies, and to drive availability and acceptance of energy-efficient products appropriate for the unique needs of the Northwest. For more information, please visit NEEA.org.

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 2/24/2012

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