Integrated lighting campaign encourages sustainable building initiatives

Recently, LED magazine conducted an email interview with Axel Pearson, who some of our listeners may know for his past affiliation with the DesignLights Consortium and his industry interventions on energy efficiency and market transformation programs designed to increase the adoption of efficient technologies. Pearson transitioned to the position of Energy Efficiency Project Manager, with responsibilities for economics, policy, and institutional support at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Now, I know that sometimes DOE organizations and programs can be a bit of a maze to follow. So here is my understanding: The DOE funds PNNL as an agency-led research institution. The DOE runs programs such as the Better Buildings Initiative with support from the public and private sectors (including PNNL). The Better Buildings Initiative, in collaboration with several organizations and associations, organizes the Integrated Lighting Campaign to recognize the use of advanced lighting controls and the adoption of energy efficient lighting systems. Part of Pearson’s job is to increase awareness and participation in the ILC by industry stakeholders to submit lighting orders and lighting/building system integration projects. Read on for more details on ILC – who should attend, why and how they can raise the profile of energy efficiency technologies for the built environment.

LED magazine: When and why was the ILC launched? What are the main objectives of the ILC?

Axel Pearson: The Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative launched the Integrated Lighting Campaign (ILC) in 2020 to encourage facility owners, operators and managers to adopt advanced lighting systems or the integration of systems to save energy and contribute to occupant comfort. More efficient lighting benefits everyone…the occupants, the planet and the bottom line. Thus, the ultimate goal is to help building owners and facility managers (i.e. ILC attendees) realize the benefits of lighting, controls and l ‘integration.

LEDs: How does the campaign help drive adoption of advanced lighting systems and controls?

Person: That’s an excellent question. Well, first of all, ILC serves as a resource for sharing the latest research on advanced lighting controls and systems integration. The campaign is managed by a team of advanced lighting experts from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory who are passionate about energy efficiency, design and functionality. They are available to provide third-party expert advice to ILC participants to help them choose, deploy, integrate and manage their lighting system. We’ll consult with you on best practices, from commissioning to installation and maintenance.

This initiative also offers technical resources and support to participants. It also highlights how participants integrate lighting with other building systems to achieve energy and non-energy benefits. We create a series of case studies in collaboration with recognized participants describing their specific projects, the strategies they used, and the results and lessons learned. We hope they will serve as an inspiration to other building owners undertaking similar projects.

LEDs: What must participants and supporters do to become part of the ILC?

Person: To participate, simply join the campaign as a Participant or Supporter. You’ll join a dedicated cohort of building owners and industry leaders like you who champion innovation and set a standard of excellence in lighting. Your participation could also help shape future lighting projects.

We also encourage participants to submit their projects for our recognition program by completing a short application form (the deadline for submission is March 30). We only ask you to provide the location and size of the building with a brief description of the building, lighting system and reported benefits and results.

Visit our website to learn more about our recognition categories. We have included two new categories this year, “Integrated Lighting and Horticulture Controls” and “Innovative Maintenance, Operations and Financing Service Models”. We are excited to see the projects submitted in our second year…and to recognize those that are exemplary!

LEDs: Briefly tell us how you see ILC contributing to improving lighting and accessibility in various sectors.

Person: At the very heart of what we do, we try to make lighting, lighting controls and the integration of lighting with other building systems accessible for buildings of all sizes and in all sectors. We recognized participants from higher education, healthcare, municipalities, retail and office. Lighting technology today isn’t just for lighting anymore. By integrating lighting with other building and business systems, you can improve energy efficiency, reduce energy/operating costs, and create comfortable spaces for occupants. The benefits of efficient lighting should be available to everyone. This year we have also introduced a special new category of supporter recognition. Through the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion” category, we seek to recognize organizations or individuals who use advanced lighting, incentives or grants to support diversity and results. equitable for underserved communities and underrepresented groups.

Visit for more information.

Meet our expert

AXEL PEARSON joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2022 as an Energy Efficiency Project Manager, supporting the Energy Efficiency Technology team with a focus on energy efficient lighting and controls. Prior to PNNL, he worked for the DesignLights Consortium, leading the solid state lighting program and developing DLC ​​technical requirements. Pearson also has experience in developing codes and standards, lighting verification, utility incentive programs, and energy education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Colorado, a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of San Francisco, and is certified in lighting by the NCQLP.

CARRIE MEADOWS is editor-in-chief of LEDs Magazine, with 20 years of B2B publishing experience in technology markets including semiconductor technology manufacturing, fiber optic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, as well as than LEDs and lighting.

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