The market for lighting controls in commercial buildings has expanded dramatically in recent years driven by falling LED prices among other factors, according to Navigant Research.
Falling LED prices are causing an upswing in adoption of LED lamps, which will in turn drive up the adoption of lighting controls, says Navigant’s report Intelligent Lighting Controls for Commercial Buildings.
The semiconductor nature of LEDs makes them inherently controllable, with better dimmability, easy integration of controls with drivers, and instantaneous startup. In fact, many LED lamps are being sold with build-in controllability, whether or not there are plans to make use of the control.
Demand for local controls, such as occupancy sensors and photosensors, as well as networked controls, is on the rise as adoption rates of LED lighting begins to climb and controls technology improves and becomes less expensive. Building owners and managers, many of whom have become accustomed to the idea of centrally monitoring and managing their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, are beginning to expect the same level of control from their lighting systems.
Other factors will affect the speed at which commercial buildings adopt local and networked lighting controls, including:
- ￼￼￼Building codes have begun requiring controls for more and more applications. In the United States, the 2010 version of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1 will soon become a required minimum for all state building codes. Once this code is adopted, occupancy sensors and photosensors will be required in many space types and a high bar will be set for overall lighting energy reduction.
- European 2020 energy targets will drive the adoption of lighting controls among European Union (EU) member states. All new public buildings are targeted for net-zero energy consumption by 2019, and private buildings must follow suit two years later. Intelligent lighting controls will be necessary in order to meet this strict target.
- China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) sets strong targets for energy efficiency. Projects involving the citywide control of street lighting are already ramping up. A similar expansion in the adoption of building lighting controls is expected.
- Wireless controls have become less expensive and more broadly accepted. This trend will especially affect existing buildings, which represent a massive pool of untapped opportunity. Retrofitting with wireless communications can often save a great deal of money compared to running new wires through existing walls and ceilings.
Navigant Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2 percent between 2013 and 2020 for revenue from networked lighting control equipment within commercial buildings. Although retrofit projects make up just more than 60 percent of the total in 2013, that segment will grow at a slightly slower rate than new construction due to the large expected increase in new buildings in the Asia Pacific region. By 2020, the total global market for networked lighting controls will be $5.3 billion, with 57 percent of that total from retrofit projects and 43 percent from new construction.