Market for lighting control devices in commercial buildings to double from 2010 to 2017

October 23, 2012 // By Julien Happich
IMS Research projects that the market for lighting control devices in commercial buildings will double from 2010 to 2017, with shipments of devices increasing from 29.6 million to 61.6 million.

Most of these components will be connected ballasts that contain a connectivity technology such as DALI or ZigBee. One of the biggest drivers for the uptake of lighting control systems in commercial buildings is to reduce energy usage, with building owners needing to adhere to energy legislation, although specific rules vary with the location of the building. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for 25.5 percent of a typical commercial building's energy usage, so by incorporating intelligent lighting control systems, a building owner can effectively monitor and reduce the amount of energy these systems use.

According to IMS Research analyst Phillip Maddocks, “Reducing energy consumption to adhere to energy legislation is one of the main factors pushing forward the adoption of lighting control systems in commercial buildings, particularly in the United States where legislation such as Title 24 and ASHRAE are in place. Another big driving factor in the United States is the availability of reimbursement and incentives for the installation of lighting control systems. In other regions, such as Europe, although the same level of legislation does not currently exist, there is still a rise in the uptake of these systems; with owners investing in highly intelligent lighting control systems to reduce their buildings’ energy usage.”

Currently, lighting control systems installed in commercial buildings use a range of both wired and wireless communication technologies. The most prominent standard currently is DALI; although currently several companies offer their own proprietary versions of the technology that are not interoperable. However, it is expected that a standard for both ballasts and sensors will be released in 2013; this will drive forward the adoption of DALI as possibly lighting controls from different manufacturers will be interoperable, which is not entirely the situation today. .

For wireless communication, 802.15.4 technology is widely used; however, in the majority of cases, because of the closed nature of the lighting control industry, systems are