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The integration of connected lighting systems (CLS) with today’s electrical infrastructure raises both new risks and opportunities. More exploration is needed to understand if today’s CLS are compatible with various grid systems, and if they can aid in managing and maintaining them. Starting in 2019, DOE plans to evaluate the performance of CLS when integrated into electric grid systems with known issues (e.g., due to aging infrastructure, or outdoor infrastructure subject to environmental events) or when integrated with application-specific modifications to traditional electric grid systems.

In addition, the decrease in lighting loads resulting from LED efficacy is generating interest in re-thinking the traditional partitioning of building and outdoor electrical infrastructure, ranging from the electrical separation of emergency lighting from general lighting to reduce installation cost, to the complete electrical separation of lighting from other building electrical system to reduce or focus back-up generator needs on life-safety functions (e.g., elevators) or IT infrastructure (including HVAC).