GSA and the Green Proving Ground lead the way for emerging lighting technologies


GPGaEmerging lighting and control technology has been a focus for GSA’s Green Proving Ground (GPG) since the program launched in 2011. Two early GPG studies on integrated daylighting and occupant responsive lighting controls reported that interior lighting accounts for approximately 26 percent of the electricity used in GSA buildings at a cost of over $55 million a year, and found that advances in LED lighting and control technology can reduce this energy use by more than 50 percent. With an estimated 1.5 million conventional recessed fluorescent fixtures throughout federally owned buildings in GSA’s portfolio, GSA has a tremendous opportunity to lead the adoption of next-generation lighting and controls while realizing significant energy and cost reductions.

Recognizing this opportunity, GSA is proud to announce that it has joined for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) as an organizing partner.

The Interior Lighting Campaign: What and Why?

The Department of Energy established the ILC as part of its Better Buildings Program to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from significant technological advances in interior lighting solutions. The ILC is focused on building the market for high performance troffer lighting, with a goal of installing 100,000 high efficiency troffer solutions by May 2016. As an organizing partner, GSA plans to advocate for the specifications and standards that can drive this market.

GPG supports the ILC by continuing to make deployment recommendations for emerging lighting and control strategies, based on objective assessments of real-world performance. Due in part to the early GPG studies on lighting control strategies, GSA has prioritized the evaluation of Advanced Lighting Controls (ALC) that modulate light output based on real-time sensing of occupancy and daylight. Still, more than 75 percent of GSA’s building stock remains controlled only at the circuit level due to the cost and complexity of control wiring and commissioning. GPG recently evaluated two technologies that offer innovative solutions to the challenges of traditional control systems.

GPG Evaluation #022, Wireless Advanced Lighting Controls

Wireless Advanced Lighting Controls promise to overcome installation expense by replacing wires with an open-protocol wireless network that has the ability to be integrated with a building automation system (BAS). This technology offers a retrofit solution to control any lighting system with dimming capability, whether fluorescent or LED. GPG commissioned Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to evaluate Wireless ALC at the John E. Moss Federal Building in Sacramento and the Appraisers Building in San Francisco. Their assessment found Wireless ALC able to deliver 54% reduction in lighting energy use for GSA when retrofitting existing dimmable fluorescent lamps, and 78% when coupled with a full LED upgrade.

Conference table with LED fixturesGPG Evaluation #024, LED Fixtures with Integrated Controls

Recognizing that highly customizable solutions can complicate technology commissioning, maintenance, and reconfiguration, GPG also commissioned LBNL to assess a “plug and play” solution—LED Fixtures with Integrated Advanced Lighting Controls—at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago and the Peachtree Summit Federal Building in Atlanta. This technology offers an off-the-shelf, standalone LED and control solution for fluorescents at the end of their useful life. At both sites, commissioning was completed in less than an hour, without the need for electricians or system-trained professionals. The study found the LEDs with integrated controls able to achieve an average lighting energy reduction of 69 percent for GSA buildings.


About the Green Proving Ground

GSA’s Green Proving Ground (GPG) program leverages GSA’s building portfolio to evaluate innovative pre- and early-commercial technologies that have the potential to substantially improve the environmental performance of federal and commercial buildings. Working with the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories, GPG evaluates technologies in a real-world context and provides deployment recommendations for effective technologies throughout GSA’s portfolio.

Find all 24 published reports and more information about GSA’s Green Proving Ground program at

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