A University of Oregon researcher makes an interesting case for how Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC) sensors can improve indoor air quality and human health. Over the last year, returning to offices and schools in a pandemic increased awareness of indoor disease transmission, energy consumption, and overall indoor environmental quality.

University of Oregon’s Energy Studies in Buildings Lab published a whitepaper in May that explored how LLLCs have the potential to revolutionize how we monitor and respond to indoor environmental factors that impact human health. LLLCs have a networked occupancy sensor and ambient light sensor installed for each luminaire kit. The wireless sensors are embedded at the fixture level, which can independently modulate light intensity, apparent color, and spectral distribution through onboard controllers and sensor packages. Since each fixture is capable of sensing and responding to ambient conditions, LLLC systems provide light only where it is needed, saving significant amounts of energy.

With LLCs, you have a new sort of data coming from your lighting system that is distributed occupancy awareness. The onboard occupancy sensor helps guide the fresh air delivery systems so that the building is providing fresh air where and when it is needed and doing it more quickly than other sensor technologies.

Another way LLLC can benefit human health is through circadian regulation, where the onboard daylight sensor can track what the likely dose is of each occupant in each space in terms of the daylight available and potentially supplement that with the electric light on board or guide users through a hot-desking system to the better-daylit locations.

Luminaire level lighting controls are already integrating occupancy sensing with plug strips so that you could turn off unnecessary plug loads. It’s connecting with daylight harvesting and therefore dimming the electric light according to the daylight available, and the study authors believe that in the future, LLLC sensors could also connect with building ventilation systems so that you provide the fresh air when and where it’s needed based upon the distributed occupancy signal from LLLC occupant sensors.

Read the full article here.