NGLS is organized by DOE in partnership with the Illuminating Engineering Society and the International Association of Lighting Designers and is managed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). It is part of a broad DOE/PNNL effort to advance the effectiveness of connected lighting systems and controls.

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

NGLS evaluations primarily focus on the configuration complexity challenges faced by most connected lighting projects in the field. They use observational research in “living lab” environments to witness the interaction of products and people, and technology and technique.

Experienced industry professionals from a wide range of practices comprise NGLS evaluation teams. Using detailed protocols to collect and assess feedback, the teams observe, document, and measure how systems are installed and configured, how well they perform, and how users operate them.


Currently, NGLS conducts subjective evaluations at two “living labs”: an interior lab at Parsons, The New School, in New York City and an exterior lab at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Two photos side by side: One of the sign on the glass outside of Parsons School, and the other of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center sign.

At Parsons, The New School, 14 indoor connected lighting systems are installed in multiple working classrooms and are evaluated not only for installation and configuration, but also for ongoing performance. Feedback from installers, evaluators, and classroom users is widely shared.

At Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, six outdoor connected lighting systems are installed in parking lots and beginning an evaluation process that will continue for the next two years.

NGLS seeks to learn from industry’s varied approaches—identifying those that work, revealing needed improvements, articulating principles and practices that reduce configuration complexity, and sharing the results.