Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Integrated Classroom Lighting Design Demonstration Project(ST9422-1)

Finelite, Inc.


The demonstration builds upon a $600,000 multi-year research project co-sponsored by the California (CA) Energy Commission and the Contractor to develop and demonstrate an Integrated Classroom Lighting System (ICLS) that integrates energy-efficient fluorescent lighting systems with automated and manual dimming controls to decrease lighting energy use in classrooms and increase teachers' control over light levels. The CA study demonstrated a second generation ICLS System that was installed in 18 classrooms in six schools in CA. The installations were evaluated over an entire teaching year; monitoring how teachers used the system and the energy savings compared to control in classrooms. The Contractor then created a third generation ICLS system that was installed at Southern California Edison's CTAC Training Center in Irwindale, CA, and this system became commercially available in March 2005.

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Project Description

The project demonstrated that the Integrated Classroom Lighting System (ICLS) provides 30 to 50% energy savings from the current ASHRAE 90.1 levels. The project (1) installed ICLS in 28 classrooms at seven different schools and universities in New York State; (2) independently verified energy savings, lighting performance, and teacher and student acceptance by the Lighting Research Center (LRC); (3) confirmed the ICLS meets IESNA recommended lighting practices; (4) created a final DELTA Snapshot report documenting the demonstrations and associated energy savings; (5) developed an AIA-Continuing Education Unit training session to teach architects the findings of the project; and (6) developed a Contractor ICLS Estimating Guide to teach electrical contractors how to budget material and labor costs for this new system.


The ICLS system uses 0.73 watts/sf, 48% less energy for lighting than the 90.1 ASHRAE 2004 standards. The ICLS has the potential to reduce lighting loads in classrooms throughout New York State, and improve the learning environment for millions of students. ICLS systems can be integrated easily into daylight-controlled dimming or switching systems, as well as demand response systems.

Project Results

As a result of the demonstrations, many of the research findings were incorporated into the best practices developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools ( and LEED for Schools ( Major project findings include the following: (1) Lighting a high performance classroom requires a system approach to meet the needs of the updated classroom while meeting current sustainable energy codes. (2) The ICLS template is easy to grasp and implement in the field. (3) Teachers unanimously prefer the Integrated Classroom Lighting System and believe that the lighting quality of the indirect/direct luminaires is better than the conventional direct downlight luminaires. (4) The ICLS is sustainable because it uses less than half of the energy consumption allowed under ASHRAE 90.1 2004 levels, and it requires fewer luminaires, lamps, ballasts, packaging, and contractor supplied parts than traditional lighting systems.


Finelite, Inc.
30500 Whipple Road
Union City, CA 94587

Principle Investigator

Terry Clark

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Building Systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Marsha Walton


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST9422-1

Last Updated: 2/8/2011 1