If you aren’t including advanced lighting controls in your client offerings, it’s becoming a big missed opportunity. Not only is the global energy efficient lighting market projected to reach $93.3 billion by 2030 from $46.2 billion in 2021, the global lighting controls market—for occupancy sensors, photosensors, and more—is expected to grow to $10.8 billion in 2032 from $7.4 billion in 2023. Plus, NAHB cites energy efficiency as the most important green building features among clients with nearly 4 out of 5 homeowners reporting that the ability to adjust lighting is one of the most important ways to create ambiance at home, and 2 out of 5 saying they just aren’t happy with their current lighting.

For commercial buildings, lighting is a significant operating expense and can be up to 50 percent of a commercial building’s energy bill. However, it’s also relatively easy to start reducing this expense and delivering the energy efficiency that owners desire by changing out light bulbs, and then further reducing energy consumption by including advanced lighting controls.

By partnering with a local utility provider like National Grid, it’s easier to identify ways to reduce a property’s energy consumption. For example, National Grid provides rebates and discounts for exterior and interior fixtures, and other assistance to its clients, saving on installation costs for contractors and reducing property’s overall energy consumption in the future. For example, RISE Engineering was able to reduce the total cost of $3,100 to update the lighting for convenience store Sunny Mart to just $800 by using $2,300 in National Grid incentives.

“We don’t have a big staff to take on projects like upgrading our lighting, so we were happy to have the support of National Grid and the contractor,” says Karuna Mehta, owner of Sunny Mart in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. “The new lighting is bright and attractive and saves us money every month.”

As lighting is responsible for about 15 percent of the world’s electric energy consumption and 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and more than half of people worldwide believe it’s important that their homes become net zero, it’s no surprise that lighting controls have become a more popular topic among contractors. And, some of the more popular controls on the market are networked lighting, task tuning, and occupancy sensors.

Networked lighting: Capability of individual lighting fixtures and controls to exchange data digitally, typically wirelessly to other controls, fixtures, and interfaces. This can be done at the building level or space level through controls integrated into the fixture. Control capabilities with a networked system include occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, task tuning, scheduling, and may include additional features such as demand reduction, personal control, and integration with a building management system which can provide additional energy savings. A networked lighting control system decreases energy use by an average of 49%, according to DLC and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Task Tuning: Also called “institutional tuning” or “high-end trim”, involves reducing light levels in an space to a lower light output that meets occupants needs to perform their tasks, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) found a 36% average lighting energy savings generated from task tuning.

Occupancy sensors: An effortless way to turn lighting on and off for the occupants of a building.Occupancy sensors can save as much as 24%, according to LBNL.

Daylight harvesting: Automatically adjusts lighting near windows or skylights reducing the amount of electric lighting needed based on daylight sensors, and is required in most energy codes. LBNL estimates daylight harvesting generates 28% average lighting savings

By including lighting controls as part of the menu of client options, contractors are tapping into the current groundswell of interest in net zero and sustainability among building owners and carving out a competitive advantage among their peers.

Learn more about lighting controls and opportunities to save energy at NationalGridUS.com