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‘Lumens as a Service’ Cuts Building Energy Use, Boosts Lighting Quality

With the cost of LED lighting falling fast, and new digital controls opening the door to third-party monitoring, control, and ownership of lighting systems, the Rocky Mountain Institute is proposing Lumens as a Service (LaaS) as a way for building owners to cut energy use and boost lighting quality despite limited capital dollars.

“The LED market is burgeoning and beginning to generate economies of scale—offering promise that the LED market will ultimately achieve its full potential as an innovative and ubiquitous technology,” RMI reports. But “capacity and capital constraints limit the ability of building owners and property managers to assess different lighting system options and to pay for up-front investment in new lighting systems.”

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That disconnect has produced “an underinvestment in advanced lighting systems that could otherwise provide commercial building owners and property managers with measurable operating cost savings, as well as help them better meet the demands of tenants seeking high-performance workplaces.

RMI contrasts the “as a service” model with a more traditional arrangement, in which a building owner or operator purchases and runs the asset. “In a LaaS business model, a commercial building customer specifies its required lighting outcomes, and a service provider then delivers the contracted lighting service by designing, installing, and maintaining a system designed to meet these outcomes.”

The service provider might also choose to pay “rent” for the right to deploy a lighting system in the customer’s space. “In exchange, the customer pays 100% of the calculated lighting energy cost savings to the service provider, fully aligning the benefits of the upgrade with the roles that each party undertakes.

The global market for Lumens as a Service is expected to grow from US$35.2 million in 2016 to $1.6 billion in 2025—and RMI is no disinterested observer, making it clear through the blog post that it’s on the lookout for customers for its own new LaaS service.

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3 Comments To "‘Lumens as a Service’ Cuts Building Energy Use, Boosts Lighting Quality"

#1 Comment By Fred Richer On May 16, 2017 @ 2:27 AM

Careful with these lights! Cities that have installed high blue/white LEDS are finding they’re messing with the circadian rhythms of humans, birds and fish in a big way. Also, looking at them can do serious damage to your eyes.

#2 Comment By Fred Richer On May 16, 2017 @ 2:30 AM

Careful! High blue LED lights such as have been installed as city street lights can seriously disrupt the circadian rhythms of humans as well as those of birds and other animals. Also don’t look at them-they’ll damage your eyes.

#3 Comment By Mitchell Beer On May 17, 2017 @ 6:22 PM

Fred, we’ve looked into this briefly, and would be interested in any additional information or links you can provide. The bigger picture is that *any* artificial light can disrupt normal sleep patterns (http://www.livescience.com/53874-blue-light-sleep.html), but the blue light you refer to comes mainly from display screens on computers, phones, tablets, and the like. So the advice is to set down your devices a half-hour before you go to bed, so that melatonin can begin to build before you need to sleep. (Now I’m wondering whether that’s a tougher lifestyle change than anything we’ll have to do to decarbonize!)
But this is *not* an argument against LED lighting. One of the attractions of LED, apart from their low cost and overwhelming efficiency, is the colour range available, and that range keeps expanding. So if you don’t want blue light by your bedside…that’s probably not a bad plan, and you should pick another colour.
But I hope you’re not suggesting that anyone reject or slow down a technology solution that is fundamental to the energy efficiency goals at the heart of a low-carbon future. It isn’t as though circadian rhythms fare very well when people are stuck in the middle of a flood, hurricane, heat wave, famine, or other climate disaster.