Frequently Asked Questions

What is Smart Lighting?

UC Davis established Smart Lighting in 2010 as an initiative to renovate existing indoor and outdoor campus lighting. The project aims to reduce overall campus electrical use by 30 million kilowatt hours – to 60 percent of 2007 levels – by 2015. Installing energy efficient lighting can lead to significant energy, maintenance, carbon, and economic savings. Since 2007, UC Davis has reduced lighting energy consumption by about 10 percent.

Why do we need this program?
Lighting accounts for nearly 25 percent of California's electricity use. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has called for a 60 to 80 percent reduction in electrical lighting consumption statewide by 2020. Answering the call, UC Davis was the first large institution in the state to begin implementing lighting changes that will help meet this challenge.
How is the project funded?
The program is being funded through a combination of fund sources. The majority of the costs will be paid by debt-financing to be paid back through cost savings realized from reduced energy consumption. Incentives of up to 24 cents per kilowatt hour have and will continue to be achieved through the public utilities commission. Portions of the work have been funded through the Statewide Energy Partnership Program.  This program is expected to be extended to 2014 and will benefit additional projects.
Who benefits from Smart Lighting?
Students, faculty and staff that live, study and work on campus all benefit. Most will notice improved lighting conditions both indoors and outdoors when compared to the existing lighting that is being replaced. In addition, these improvements will further reduce the UC Davis’ overall energy usage and carbon footprint.
Have any projects been completed?
Yes. About 80 percent of the planned outdoor lighting projects are complete. These projects have already reduced outdoor campus lighting energy use by 58 percent from five years ago; saving UC Davis approximately $100,000 a year in electricity costs. UC Davis expects to save $3 million a year in electricity costs once all the outdoor and indoor lighting projects are completed.
What additional outdoor lighting renovations are planned?

In addition to Smart Lighting projects already completed, several others are in the design or construction phase, including upgrades to:

Incandescent Lamp Replacements
Building Retrofits, Phase 2

What types of Smart Lighting renovations are being made?
UC Davis will install energy-saving lighting in hundreds of buildings and thousands of spaces by 2015. The program is focusing on older buildings with interior lighting that is dim and inefficient. Indoor lighting renovations will include stairwells, restrooms elevators, incandescent lamp replacements, and a number of phase 2 building retrofits. Most renovation work will take place during evening hours to ensure minimal disruption or displacement for students, faculty and staff. Throughout the project every effort will be made to minimize the impacts of installing the new lighting.
How do you operate the new Control Switches?

There are Type A, B, C, D & E Control Switch instructions in the document below:

Smart Control Switch Instructions (.pdf)

Where can I find more information?

More information about Smart Lighting can be found:

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