LBNL Report Number
The role of technology in the development of lighting control systems is examined. Prior to 1973, control systems were primarily functional. They were used to switch lamps on and off, or to create a mood. Nearly all dimming was done with incandescent lamps.
Since 1973, the rising cost of electrical energy has made the operational cost of systems a design factor. Lighting controls are used to decrease power, reduce the time of use, and lower peak power demands. New lighting control equipment is based on existing technologies that have been modified to meet the needs of lighting systems. The technologies came primarily from the field of electronics.
These developments have made it technically feasible to automatically control the intensity and distribution of lighting in an area illuminated by a single fixture. These technologies form the basis for meeting future goals of lighting designs to alter illumination levels over time.