Philips Lighting to handle major LED project for Washington, DC transit authority

Nov. 21, 2013
The Washington, DC Metro system will get new energy-efficient lighting beginning in March 2014, and Philips Lighting has worked with the transit authority to deliver the intelligent system using a lighting-as-a-service model.

Philips Lighting has announced a ten-year contract with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, DC to upgrade lighting in 25 parking garages using energy-efficient LEDs and adaptive controls. The project will commence in March 2014, and is unique in that Philips will supply the solid-state lighting (SSL) system using a lighting-as-a-service model.

Ultimately, Philips will convert more than 13,000 legacy fixtures using a combination of G3 and EcoForm LED-based luminaires. The project will also utilize daylight harvesting and adaptive controls to maximize energy savings while maintaining a safe and secure environment.

The adaptive controls will include sensors for occupancy and ambient light that allow the lights to dim or turn off as appropriate, and maximize the impact of available daylight. Philips will also configure the fixtures into groups and install programmatic controls with wireless links to the fixtures, which can adjust light levels based on time of day, day of the week, or other input.

The network connectivity will also automate maintenance and repair services and allow for quick repairs when failures occur. Philips worked with WMATA to analyze the usage models for each garage and will customize the settings for the benefit of users.

Still, it's the financing and services model that may be of most interest in the project. "With digital lighting systems we really need to break with conventional thinking and look to the services and delivery models of the software industry to understand the future of lighting and how we can remove one of the greatest barriers to adoption — the up-front costs," said Bruno Biasiotta, president and CEO of Philips Lighting Americas.

Indeed, Philips will install and manage the system for the term of the contract. The service element will include constant monitoring and evaluation of the installation, and making adjustments to best serve the users of the garages.

"As a forward-thinking organization, WMATA has taken a holistic view of their parking garage solution and worked with us to finance the system through energy-savings costs, while ensuring they could deliver on their priorities," said Biasiotta. "One of the benefits of this system is that real-time access to actionable data future-proofs the system, allowing Metro to continually adapt to their needs through real-time monitoring and measurement."

Ultimately, the WMATA projects that the system will deliver 68% energy savings, totaling 15 million kWh annually. Philips said the savings equates to removing 11,000 metric tons of CO2, or removing 2300 cars from the road. In aggregate, the project will encompass 66,000 parking spaces.