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LiTES: harnessing the power of advanced lighting controls for a more energy efficient future

By Posted on May 9, 2017

Gina Schrader
Director, Business Model Innovation

Confession time: how many of you forget to turn the lights off at work? Or, perhaps you keep the lights on when the sun is pouring in even though they provide no added benefit. Although you’re not alone, this behavior costs money and wastes energy — particularly for small and medium commercial buildings under 100,000 square feet. One way to remedy this behavior is by implementing networked lighting controls. Simply put, lighting control systems bring light to where you need it, when you need it. Some examples of the cool things lighting controls can do is adjust lighting levels to reflect occupants in a room or the amount of daylight in a given space to conserve energy for when it is really needed.

Sounds great right – so what’s the problem? Unfortunately, these systems are often dismissed as an option because they are perceived as too expensive, difficult to install and maintain and have a previously come with a misunderstood, or unclear set of benefits.

In an effort to break down these historical barriers to integrating advanced lighting control systems, NextEnergy, along with Consumers Energy, DTE Energy and the Michigan Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (MALCTP), is launching the Lighting Energy Technology Solutions program, or LiTES. The three-year Department of Energy supported program aims to reduce the energy footprint in small and medium commercial buildings by accelerating the adoption of advanced lighting controls solutions through training, technology deployment and access to additional resources to educate both the workforce, and consumers, about this beneficial technology.

LiTES training opportunities include an expansion of MALCTP’s current offerings and locations to educate contractors on networked lighting control technologies, installation methods, sales tools, benefits and new business models; while energy companies will launch new training opportunities for their trade allies.

To increase technology deployment, DTE and Consumers will pilot incentive programs to address the cost burden traditionally associated with installation.

Throughout the program, measurement and verification will capture the energy benefits, while participant surveys and interviews will capture overall benefits, challenges and opportunities. As these stories and best practices are shared, LiTES will develop the landscape that will create the market for this innovation to thrive.

Here’s where you come in. For this program to be successful, we need participation from all segments of the built environment. So whether you are a contractor, building owner or facility manager, or play some part in the lighting ecosystem, we invite you join us for the opportunity to advance your business by reducing the energy footprint of buildings in your portfolio – and share what you learn with us so we can all move toward a more energy efficient future. Learn more at


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