Three spaces with tunable lighting systems: at left, a classroom; at center, a hospital room; and at right, a factory.

LED technology enables dynamic lighting solutions that allow for more control of light in the built environment than ever before, at a time when building owners and occupants seek more flexibility and healthier buildings. These systems give people the control they want over their environments and can adapt to the dynamic nature of occupancy, tasks, and daylight availability. Field studies evaluate the ability of advanced lighting systems to meet occupant needs, save energy, integrate with other building systems, and deliver increased value. Real-world evaluations offer insight on energy and lighting performance, control system operation, and occupant outcome data that helps to identify opportunities for lighting system optimization. This research takes a holistic approach, including occupant preference and the role of other environmental factors.

  • Classroom field studies document the growing interest in using tunable LED lighting systems in classrooms, particularly for special populations. These studies examine how teachers interact with the lighting controls, survey data, student outcome data, and energy use. Classroom studies focus on analyzing data collected by the lighting system to better understand the value of these systems and to identify opportunities for optimization with other building systems.
  • Healthcare field studies collect data from advanced lighting installations to understand lighting system performance and occupant outcomes in complex environments. The translation of light and health research to different healthcare applications is documented along with the effect of the lighting system on staff, patients, and energy use.
  • Workplace field studies seek to understand occupant light exposure throughout the day in varying working environments, including factory and office spaces. Surveys and other data are collected to evaluate occupant outcomes and satisfaction under different lighting conditions. The potential energy impacts of circadian lighting design recommendations are evaluated.

Observational Research

Conducting observational research studies on emerging building technologies in real environments with real installers and users can help researchers understand the why behind issues or failures. Critically, a trustworthy and honest feedback loop is established with manufacturers and practitioners alike to improve the technology and overcome deployment barriers.

At left, a man holds a phone near a sensor; at center, a woman presses a button on a wall control panel; at right, a man checks the wiring of a wall control panel.
  • Lighting controls research and real-world solutions. Extensive research on the problems affecting lighting controls – from analysis and evaluation of a wide range of installations to dozens of interviews with industry participants – identifies key challenges and potential solutions for more successful installations.