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Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool Improves Energy Efficiency

New interactive tool serves as decision-helper

September 2016
Air Conditioning That’s Out of This World
The Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool provides an interactive illustration of decisions that will typically be encountered when upgrading a public outdoor lighting system.
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It would be hard to find a city, state, or federal organization that doesn’t want to decrease spending, improve safety, and protect the environment.

Advanced high-performance outdoor lighting technologies can make headway toward these goals, often offering 50 percent savings and numerous operational advantages compared to previous outdoor lighting systems. But municipalities and organizations must first get past common obstacles—such as financing and utility tariff rates—when transitioning to new lighting technologies.

PNNL research engineer Bruce Kinzey created an interactive solution to help organizations overcome these barriers—in just a few mouse clicks. Fittingly named the Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool, the responsive decision-helper features successful case studies for outdoor lighting enhancements, as well as a step-by-step illustration of typical decisions encountered when upgrading a lighting system. The tool was featured in a White House press release in January 2016, which described how making businesses and homes more energy efficient benefits the economy and the fight against climate change.

“Despite its rather simple design, people are finding the Decision Tree Tool useful. It has continued to be among the top ten pages visited at the Better Buildings Solution Center since its introduction a year ago,” said Kinzey.

Since the launch of the Outdoor Lighting Accelerator in May, 2014, 23 cities, states, and regional organizations have committed to install energy-efficient outdoor lighting, and are working with the DOE to convert over 1.5 million streetlight poles with high-efficiency street lighting technologies through the Better Buildings Program.

Better Buildings is a DOE initiative that promotes leadership in energy innovation. The initiative is helping organizations develop best practice approaches to system-wide lighting upgrades, addressing issues such as financing. Successful strategies are being documented in resources such as the Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool.

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