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How To Retrofit the Most Efficient Lighting and LEED Approval

USGBC's headquarters recently underwent a major lighting upgrade and we're sharing it with you so you can see how easy it is.

USGBC HQ open plan office

USGBC HQ open plan office.

Our new lighting includes a Digital Lighting Management system, or DLM, and the product family includes a complete line of control devices, including:

  • room controllers
  • occupancy sensors
  • wall switches
  • daylighting sensors
  • handheld remotes
  • interfaces and more to fit virtually any application

In our office, we are constantly focused on energy savings, and there are several ways that the new DLM helps us achieve our energy goals:

  • Lights are manual-on/automatic-off in offices and cubical areas
  • Dimming switches are connected to automatic lighting controls which include occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting photocells
  • Photocells provide a great control strategy to optimize electrical lighting by adjusting the light level based on natural light contribution
  • Once office and cubical spaces are vacant, all lights and controlled plug loads turn off automatically, which means that when a plug load controller receives a signal of non-occupancy from the occupancy sensor, it turns off the connected receptacles and any devices plugged in to those outlets

Lighting in LEED v4

LEED v4 is the newest version of the world's premier benchmark for high-performance green buildings. This version is bolder, more specialized, and designed for an improved user experience. Here's how LEED v4 addresses lighting. (Bold credits are related to design.)

LEED BD+C 

  • SS Credit: Light Pollution Reduction
  • Energy use from lighting- EA Prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance/ EA Credit: Optimize Energy Performance
  • Commissioning of lighting systems-- EA Prerequisite: Fundamental Commissioning and Verification/ EA Credit: Enhanced Commissioning
  • Collection/storage/disposal of mercury-containing lamps-- MR Prerequisite: Storage and Collection of Recyclables
  • MR Prerequisite: PBT Source Reduction—Mercury / MR Credit: PBT Source Reduction—Mercury (Healthcare)
  • MR Credit: PBT Source Reduction—Lead, Cadmium, and Copper
  • EQ Credit: Interior Lighting 

LEED O+M

  • SS Credit: Light Pollution Reduction
  • EA Prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance/ EA Credit: Optimize Energy Performance
  • EQ Credit: Interior Lighting
  • EA Prerequisite: Energy Efficiency Best Management Practices
  • EA Credit: Existing Building Commissioning—Analysis/ EA Credit: Existing Building Commissioning—Implementation/ EA Credit: Ongoing Commissioning
  • MR Prerequisite: Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy
  • MR Credit: Purchasing—Lamps
  • MR Credit: Solid Waste Management—Ongoing

LEED ID+C

  • Energy use from lighting- EA Prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance/ EA Credit: Optimize Energy Performance
  • Commissioning of lighting systems-- EA Prerequisite: Fundamental Commissioning and Verification/ EA Credit: Enhanced Commissioning
  • Collection/storage/disposal of mercury-containing lamps-- MR Prerequisite: Storage and Collection of Recyclables
  • EQ Credit: Interior Lighting
  • MR Credit: Solid Waste Management—Ongoing 

LEED BD+C: Homes

  • EA Credit: Lighting

What lighting techniques have you implemented in your spaces? Let us know in the comments below.