December 3, 2004

IRWINDALE, Calif., Dec. 3, 2004—The future looks brighter—and a lot less expensive—for architects and builders, thanks to Southern California Edison’s (SCE) new lighting center opening here Monday. 

The Southern California Lighting Technology Center tests the most advanced lighting systems to find those that perform best.  The new lighting center will offer customers the use of application test laboratories, training programs and technical assistance to help them select state-of-the-art energy-saving lights for their new building designs. 

“Since lighting uses about one-third of all electricity generated, it offers a great opportunity for energy efficiency,” says Gregg D. Ander, chief architect with SCE.  “Test data from the center will be used to help verify lighting product performance, push for more rapid adoption of energy-efficient lighting technologies and shape future building industry codes and standards.”

New lighting technology is just one of many ways SCE plans to boost energy efficiency and trim power usage during peak periods.  The utility plans to cut power consumption by approximately one billion kilowatt hours per year thru 2013 in order to comply with state mandates and avoid the need to build new power plants.
SCE’s Lighting Technology Center test modules and tools include: 

  • Architects can use the center’s Heliodon laboratory to determine how natural light and shadow from windows, skylights and doors impact their building designs.  The lab lets designers rotate a building model on a test stand while a spotlight simulates the sun.  Miniature cameras and optics inside the model measure light entry based on season, time of day and latitude.
  • A model kitchen’s downlight system offers easy plug and play installation and a 30% increase in photometric efficiency over traditional recessed cans. It requires just one ballast for every two downlights.  The kitchen showcases the most energy efficient downlighting, recessed, surface mounted and pendant lighting, LED and task lights available today. By changing the ceiling height, technicians can simulate different room geometries to determine the photometric performance of lighting systems. 
  • An exterior installation tests LED street lights against their standard high pressure sodium (HPS) counterparts using real world street conditions.  Results measure intensity, pattern, uniformity, energy efficiency and longevity.
  • Interior illuminated fluorescent signs populate many small and large business marquees. A large percentage of these signs use older T12 magnetic ballast technology. 
  • This test bed examines luminance, illumination, uniformity and energy to determine if new systems can replace traditional configurations. 
  • Different lamp characteristics and ballast combinations, lens and back plate relationships will be studied to see if comparable results can be achieved. 

SCE engineers will use the center to help customers design lighting schemes that reduce energy usage without compromising light quality.  “We are able to demonstrate lighting solutions which are aesthetically appealing, save our customers money, and reduce state-wide energy consumption,” Ander said.

For more information about SCE’s Lighting Technology Center, please contact Jack Melnyk by calling (626) 633-7182.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.