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UC Davis Adds California Lighting Technology Center

July 1, 2004

Photo: lamp

The Berkeley Lamp, which uses a quarter the energy of a 150-watt incandescent lamp, was developed by center director Michael Siminovitch. (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory/photo)

The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) has been created at the University of California, Davis, to develop energy-efficient lighting with market-friendly design.

Since lighting accounts for nearly a fourth of the nation's electrical energy consumption, more efficient fixtures have a tremendous potential for reducing consumption. In California alone, lighting comprises almost 30 percent of commercial and 18 percent of residential electricity usage during peak demand.

The new UC Davis center is already introducing energy-efficient lighting into offices and homes through a partnership with utilities and manufacturers. The products include easy-to-install compact fluorescent downlights, hotel guestroom lighting and outdoor lighting systems.

CLTC was established as a collaborative effort between the California Energy Commission and UC Davis, with support by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. The Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program and the UC Davis campus provided the initial funding.

Lighting specialists Michael Siminovitch and Konstantinos Papamichael, both formerly with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, head the new facility.

High-level national and state representatives from industry, utilities, government and the university will attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center July 21.

CLTC's mission is to foster the application of energy-efficient lighting by facilitating technology demonstrations, development, outreach and educational activities, in partnership with the lighting industry, lighting professionals, and the electric utility community.

According to Energy Commissioner Art Rosenfeld, the center was created because his organization and the other industry stakeholders recognize the importance lighting holds in cutting down on energy use.

"By partnering with the Energy Commission, industry and public utilities, the center ensures a hands-on practical approach to the creation of energy-efficient lighting that is also appealing to consumers," Rosenfeld said. "The center holds great promise in sharply reducing the power consumed by lighting during crunch electricity periods."

The CLTC conducts both cooperative and independent activities with lighting manufacturers, electric utilities and the design/engineering professional community. These partnerships are facilitated and supported through state-of-the-art lighting and daylighting applications and development/testing facilities, coupled with lighting-efficiency training and educational programs.

The research facility includes full-scale lighting and daylighting application laboratories for the development and demonstration of next-generation, emerging lighting and daylighting technologies. Comprehensive in-house and outreach training programs are being developed in cooperation with industry and utility groups to complement demonstration and application labs.

Siminovitch has developed many successful lighting products, such as the Berkeley Lamp, which saves three-quarters of the wattage used by traditional lamps, and an innovative fluorescent downlighting system. Papamichael's research has led to daylighting simulation methods and computer-based design tools for lighting and daylighting design.

The center is part of the Design Program, which UC Davis officials say is a good fit for both the campus and the mission of the program.

"Your 'better light bulb' must be designed for widespread use and acceptance, otherwise it is merely a theoretical better light bulb," said Vice Chancellor for Research Barry Klein.

As a demonstration and education facility, the CLTC is establishing key market connections by providing practitioners the hands-on opportunity to learn about lighting-efficiency technologies and lighting design approaches.

Furthermore, CLTC coordinates outreach and support efforts with existing utility-based energy centers, offering touring exhibits, demonstration materials and technical assistance in the adoption of emerging technologies.

Current CLTC projects include:

  • CFL Downlights -- Development of easy-to-install compact fluorescent downlight systems for use in existing commercial and residential applications.
  • Hotel Guestroom Lighting -- Development of a bathroom lighting fixture that includes night light and occupancy-based controls, targeted at hotels, dormitories and similar types of applications.
  • Exterior LED Fixtures -- Design, prototyping and evaluation of a series of exterior lighting systems that integrate high-efficiency optics with solid-state technology and lighting controls into one system.
  • Portable Luminaires -- Development of a floor-standing task/ambient luminaire with user and space management controls for ambient and task lighting, for use in single and open office environments.
  • Berkeley Lamp Demonstration -- A large number of Berkeley Lamps are installed in state office buildings with the objective of gaining understanding about performance in terms of energy savings under different operating conditions and in varied end-use applications, as well as understanding about operation and acceptance by building occupants.

For more information, go to the center's new Web site at http://cltc.ucdavis.edu/cltc/index.html.

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