The Next Generation Lighting Systems (NGLS) program uses “Living Labs” to conduct observational research on the installation and operation of advanced connected lighting systems in real-world settings.

Observational Research

NGLS teams consist of a broad range of industry experts, including lighting designers, engineers, and utility professionals. These teams use detailed protocols to observe, document, and measure how systems are installed and configured, how well they perform, and how users operate them. NGLS seeks to learn from manufacturers’ varied approaches—identifying what works and what does not, revealing needed improvements, and articulating effective principles and practices. Learn more.  


Advanced lighting systems and connected controls are under evaluation in three Living Labs.

Two people in a classroom.
An open office area with desktops and windows.
Two people outside at night in a parking lot.
Working classrooms at Parsons School of Design in New York, New York. Learn more. Offices of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in Portland, Oregon. Learn more. Parking lots at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia. Learn more.


Selecting Lighting Control Systems (Guide, November 2022)
This guide provides a systematic approach to determining controls objectives, system capability considerations, networking and communication options, and documentation needs – helping decision makers select lighting control systems to satisfy project objectives.

An Observational Understanding of Connected Lighting Systems (Report, May 2021)

The Impact of Wall Control Performance on Connected Lighting Systems (Report, March 2021)

The Influence of Communication on the Complexity of Connected Lighting Systems (Report, July 2021)

Characterizing Connected Lighting Systems (Report, January 2022)

Presence Detection in Connected Lighting Systems (Report, February 2022)

Five thumbnail cover images from NGLS "Inside the Living Lab" reports.