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Energy efficient lighting systems in the USANovember 2010

As North America takes a belated interest in energy efficient lighting systems, Sukant Rout heads across the Atlantic to see what the future holds.

In the US, energy efficient lighting has been rather neglected in favour of saving energy from HVAC systems. In the last five years the balance has been restored, largely due to studies published in 2004 concerning the consumption of energy by lighting systems in commercial buildings.

Research conducted by the US Department of Energy showed that lighting in a typical commercial building represents around 30 per cent of the total building energy costs. This raised level of awareness has led to a considerable investment in the market for lighting control systems. So where is the market headed?

The lighting controls market in North America is primarily a product market, where product accounts for 75 per cent of the total sales. Most manufacturers and suppliers just sell their components or connected systems into the market, with any added value provided by integrators of building automation systems. That said, some lighting controls companies do provide package solutions, with engineering and design services alongside their lighting products.

Most lighting controls installations are carried out by building automation contractors. These people sit in the middle of the contractual chain but take full ownership of the project. Lighting controls suppliers tend to work in close partnership with the main building automation companies (such as Johnson Controls, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Honeywell, and Automated Logic).

Market structure

The North American lighting controls market can be categorised as five different systems types (with market share in brackets):

  • energy management systems (36 per cent)
  • architectural lighting systems (22 per cent)
  • residential automation systems (16 per cent)
  • theatrical lighting systems (14 per cent)
  • building automation systems (11 per cent)

Some of the major players include Tridonic (the Zumtobel Group), Cooper Controls, Philips, Schneider Electric, Acuity Brands, Leviton, Legrand (Wattstopper), and Lutron. The lighting controls themselves comes in different forms: switches, time clocks, DMX controls, shades and remote controls.

In the States, motion/occupancy sensors account for the largest share of the overall lighting controls market, at 30 per cent. Wallbox dimmers account for 22 per cent of the market, relays and relay panels 21 per cent, and switches, DMX controls, shades, remote controls and time clock type products a further 21 per cent.

Figure 1: BSRIA's estimates of the size of global lighting controls market by different regions

Figure 1 shows BSRIA's best estimates of the regional sales of the global lighting controls market. This has been derived from interviews with the system integrators and suppliers, along with macro-economic data.

The global lighting controls market is estimated to be USD 2.5 billion in 2009. Europe and North America are the largest markets with a combined share of over 75 per cent. Of the Asian markets, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China are the most advanced markets in terms of the energy saving lighting controls. Other growing economies, such as India, have yet to realise the commercial benefits of lighting controls in their buildings.

Market forecast

BSRIA believes that the lighting controls market in North America and Europe will reach US$3.8 billion by 2015. The market is expected to be propelled by growing demand for ballasts, relays, controls, automatic systems, photo-sensors, and occupancy sensors in new build and retrofit applications.

The use of lighting controls and systems is expanding in the industrial market as well, particularly workshops, warehouses, and factories. In areas like airports, metro railway stations, hospitals, auditoriums, and educational institutions including universities, colleges, schools and libraries, the application of lighting controls and systems is growing at an even quicker pace.

BSRIA believes that Europe still represents the largest market for lighting controls, with the electronic ballasts market flourishing. In the US, controls represent the fastest growing segment as the US state and federal Governments are implementing energy efficiency programmes which promote the installation of energy saving lighting systems in existing older buildings.

Market trends

While there is a trend towards LED lighting, the market is still in its infancy. Controls companies believe that LED systems will need some form of controls to make them even more energy efficient.

BSRIA sees a rapid move towards open standards, mainly driven by integration of building services systems and that BACnet will be widely adopted in future.
The control of building services is likely to converge over the internet using protocols. This is a growing trend and more IT firms are playing a role of super integrators in the integrated building management projects.

Elsewhere, control of daylighting and multi-level switching is a growing market, as is occupancy control of lighting systems. Interest in wireless controls is growing. Some of the well known wireless standards are ENOCEAN, Zigbee and Z-Wave.

Sukant Rout PhD CEng LAPD is a senior market research consultant for BSRIA.  This article is based on material from the North American Integrated Building Management Systems study carried out by BSRIA's Worldwide Market Intelligence division.

For more information, contact Worldwide Market Intelligence at BSRIA:

T: 01344 465629