A man looks at a movable ceiling grid, left; three men converse in a lab, center; a woman adjusts a panel on a light fixture, right.

Connected lighting system (CLS) technology is at an early stage of development, and many ques­tions remain about how well it will work, whether it will actually save energy, and whether it will offer enough benefits and value-added features to justify the invest­ment.

Several DOE studies are under way to identify and address the technology development needs of CLS. Central to these studies is the connected lighting test bed (CLTB) designed and operated by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The results of technical feasibility inves­tigations in the CLTB increase visibility and transparency on what does and does not work, inform technology developers of needed improvements, and contribute to the develop­ment of industry standards and model specifications.

Learn more about the connected lighting test bed

Video Url
A video about the DOE Connected Lighting Test Bed, a laboratory facility for research and testing of connected lighting systems.
Video courtesy of the Department of Energy

The connected lighting test bed (CLTB) enables the efficient installation of indoor and outdoor lighting devices. Two ceiling grids are available for installing indoor lighting luminaires. The height of each is vertically adjustable, to enable easy installation and set varying luminaire heights. The grids have plug-and-socket interfaces to enable easy electrical connections, and circuit-level power and energy metering in the electrical panels that serve them. Power over Ethernet (PoE) luminaires can be powered from distributed PoE switches installed in the ceiling grids, or from centralized switches installed in the CLTB Information Technology room. Modular wall and flooring systems enable the creation of mock rooms that facilitate the evaluation of how obstacles affect wireless communication and sensor performance.

The CLTB also has dedicated infrastructure for streetlighting luminaires and wireless communication gateways required for remote monitoring and configuration; again, plug-and-socket interfaces enable easy electrical connections. Electrical switching infrastructure allows select circuits in the ceiling grids and outdoor lighting infrastructure to be connected to programmable power sources instead of the electrical panel, thereby facilitating the evaluation of lighting device immunity to electrical anomalies, and other aspects of their resiliency. 

Participate in CLS studies

A lengthy list of industry partners actively support DOE studies, including Cisco; Cree; GE Current, a Daintree Company; Digital Lumens, an Osram Business; enlighted, a Siemens company; Hubbell Lighting; Leviton; Molex; NuLEDs; Signify; Itron/Silver Spring Networks; Telematics Wireless; Xicato; and others. These partners donate lighting devices and systems, software, network communication infrastructure, and configuration expertise.

If you are interested in participating in DOE CLTB studies, send an email to DOE.SSL.UPDATES@ee.doe.gov with your contact information and area of interest.

DOE also engages with industry stakeholders through active participation in voluntary standards development committees (including ASHRAE and ANSI C137, C136, and C12) as well as key industry consortia (including the Open Connectivity Foundation, the Industrial Internet Consortium and the Bluetooth SIG).


CLS Energy Performance
Studies examine how data might be used to improve energy performance of lighting and other building systems.
CLS Maintenance
Studies explore how data might be used to detect, diagnose, and possibly predict failures in lighting and other building systems.
CLS Tools, Standards, and Specifications Support
Studies contribute to the development of voluntary industry standards, specifications, and tools.
CLS Potential Grid Services
Modeling, simulation, and laboratory testing to quantify the potential of CLS to provide substantial or unique grid services.


Connected Lighting Systems Stakeholders Research Study (Project presentation, September 2021)

Next Generation Lighting System Evaluations
Lessons learned from evaluations of CLS in real-world installations.

Lighting and Control: Opportunity and Incentives for Innovation (IES webinar presentation, July 2021)