A typical commercial building dedicates about one-fourth of its electrical usage to lighting. LED retrofit lights are more efficient than fluorescent tubes, but the LED driver circuits that convert AC line voltage to LED-friendly DC are only 85% – 90% efficient. Since LEDs are native DC devices, it makes more sense to run them directly off of a DC bus. Several companies, including Cisco, Cree, and Eaton, are developing standards for smart LED lighting using low voltage DC wires to carry both power and data.
Power management company Eaton recently unveiled several of its new lighting technologies at the LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) 2016 trade show. Among these innovations is the Distributed Low Voltage Power (DLVP) system, which combines intelligent lighting controls with efficient DC power distribution. I contacted Ken Walma, vice president and general manager of Eaton’s Lighting Division, who gave me a technical overview of DLVP.