Xicato's Intelligent LED Platform Designed to Support New Energy Efficiency Standards in California

New Title 24 lighting efficiency regulations that take effect in California today are likely to fuel demand for hardware and software solutions that Silicon Valley companies are poised to fulfill. Changes to California’s Title 24 are designed to reduce energy consumption as much as 30% in commercial and public spaces. Most of the changes rely on electronic components and software controls that are becoming more common with the adoption of LED based lighting solutions. Advances have already been made for street lighting and parking lots and further efficiency gains will be realized. But the real energy savings ahead will be the result of more stringent regulations for indoor spaces, specifically retail, hospitality and office environments, where lighting is used for a significant part of the day.

While there are many changes, of the new standards, the following will have significant impact on efficiency and create new opportunities for hardware and software integration and simplification.

Occupant sensing lighting controls 

Occupancy sensing for most spaces will be a requirement going forward. Silicon Valley brings experience with sensors and software integration that allows the familiar wall-based sensor to be incorporated directly into the light source which means fewer switches and sensors on walls and ceilings and more importantly, simpler implementation which lowers costs.

Automatic Daylighting Controls 

The new requirements for daylighting controls apply to buildings over 5,000 square feet and require that the floor plan specify daylighting controls for 75% of the space. Previously spaces that were over 2,500 square feet only considered daylight from sky-lights in the lighting calculation. Now, controls must automatically adjust the light and must also consider light from the side, windows, when the installed general lighting uses 120 Watts or more. Additional sensing of the ambient light and control management software will make this possible.

Demand Response Controls 

Demand response is initiated in times of extremely high demand. The lighting must be able to respond to a demand response signal and lower power levels used by lighting by at least 15% compared to the buildings usage with all lighting at 100%. In the previous code this applied to retail buildings with sales floor areas of at least 50,000 square feet. This has now been lowered to all no residential buildings with at least 10,000 square feet.

Dimming of LED and other light sources 

Installed LED lighting in non-residential spaces of at least 100 square feet must now include dimming controls that can adjust light output levels from 100% down to just 10%. Light sources other than LED must also be dimmable but the standards for LED lighting are the most demanding.

Individually, any of these factors can lead to substantial energy reductions in lighting. As a group and with the other elements in Title 24, energy savings will be substantial. California has long led the nation in energy saving regulations and it’s likely that other states and countries around the world will adopt many of the standards being set in California. Companies in the hardware and software space are already developing solutions that will fundamentally change how people think of lighting, transitioning it from an energy consuming commodity to a business asset. Xicato, for example, has developed an integrated LED module —XIM—that incorporates communications, controls and sensors allowing businesses to save energy and add value to the ubiquitous light-in-the-ceiling.

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