Sunday, November 29, 2009

Conserve energy -- consume more energy?

Following (somewhat) the twists and turns of the so-called "Climategate" fiasco this holiday weekend (being home ill, I had time), which has embroiled climate research facilities in the UK and New Zealand, I'd been trying to decide what this means for our business. After all, one important aspect of building automation systems is to reduce energy usage.

After having concluded it won't affect our business much, I was surprised to read this report on Slashdot. The concluding sentence of the item: "Perhaps the most provocative implication of Garrett's theory is that conserving energy doesn't reduce energy use, but spurs economic growth and more energy use." Hm.


  1. Not really a comment on your post, but I can't find any actual BACNet products other than routers and such. Are there actual light fixtures involved with BACNet? Any tips on getting more info for practical design from a wiring standpoint?


  2. Mike, you can find a pretty comprehensive listing of BACnet products at and you will find some lighting controls companies' offerings there.

    HVAC controls are also used for simple lighting controls. Lighting in many areas in my building are controlled by relays operated off our standard programmable controllers.

    As far as additional listings, you can find devices that have passed the BACnet Testing Lab's conformance testing here:

  3. Hi Bill, thanks for the response. I think maybe I've misunderstood BAC. I thought it would allow direct control of individual lighting fixtures, a la DALI. For a small project like ours I'd probably use a simpler control strategy if I had to use relays for the final interface.

  4. Mike,

    All I can suggest is looking at the lighting companies' offerings -- for all I know they have something like that.

    There is a group developing DALI-like/-based lighting-control-specific extensions for BACnet. These could be used in BACnet systems directly or to support BACnet/DALI gateways, but the extensions need to clear public review and then be published. The picture a year from now could look very different.

  5. I'll keep my eyes peeled. Thanks for your help!