skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting

Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy for Sustainable Development
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-10-04 16:43:20; Journal ID: ISSN 0973-0826
Country of Publication:

Citation Formats

Mills, Evan. Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting. India: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.esd.2016.06.001.
Mills, Evan. Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting. India. doi:10.1016/j.esd.2016.06.001.
Mills, Evan. 2016. "Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting". India. doi:10.1016/j.esd.2016.06.001.
title = {Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting},
author = {Mills, Evan},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.esd.2016.06.001},
journal = {Energy for Sustainable Development},
number = C,
volume = 33,
place = {India},
year = 2016,
month = 8

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.esd.2016.06.001

Save / Share:
  • The Lumina Project and Lighting Africa conducted a full-scale field test involving a switch from kerosene to solar-LED lighting for commercial broiler chicken production at an off-grid farm in Kenya. The test achieved lower operating costs, produced substantially more light, improved the working environment, and had no adverse effect on yields. A strategy using conventional solar-fluorescent lighting also achieved comparable yields, but entailed a six-fold higher capital cost and significantly higher recurring battery replacement costs. Thanks to higher energy and optical efficiencies, the LED system provided approximately twice the illumination to the chicken-production area and yet drew less than halfmore » the power.At the study farm, 3000 chickens were grown in each of three identical houses under kerosene, fluorescent, and LED lighting configurations. Under baseline conditions, a yearly expenditure of 1,200 USD is required to illuminate the three houses with kerosene. The LED system eliminates this fuel use and expense with a corresponding simple payback time of 1.5 years, while the solar-fluorescent system has a payback time of 9.3 years. The corresponding reduction in fuel expenditure in both cases represents a 15percent increase in after-tax net income (revenues minus expenses) across the entire business operation. The differential cost-effectiveness between the LED and fluorescent systems would be substantially greater if the fluorescent system were upsized to provide the same light as the LED system. Providing light with the fluorescent or LED systems is also far more economical than connecting to the grid in this case. The estimated grid-connection cost at this facility is 1.7 million Kenya Schillings (approximately 21,250 USD), which is nearly six-times the cost of the fluorescent system and 35-times the cost of the LED system.The LED system also confers various non-energy benefits. The relative uniformity of LED lighting, compared to the fluorescent or kerosene lighting, reduced crowding which in turn created a less stressful environment for the chickens. The far higher levels of illumination also created a better environment for the workers, while eliminating the time required for obtaining fuel and maintaining kerosene lanterns. An additional advantage of the LED system relative to the solar fluorescent system was that the former does not require a skilled technician to carry out the installation. The portable LED system lighting layout is also more easily adjusted than that of the hardwired fluorescent systems. Furthermore, switching to the LED system avoids over one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions per house on an annual basis compared to kerosene. There is high potential for replication of this particular LED lighting strategy in the developing world. In order to estimate the scale of kerosene use and the potential for savings, more information is needed on the numbers of chickens produced off-grid, as well as lighting uses for other categories of poultry production (egg layers, indigenous broilers ). Our discovery that weight gain did not slow in the solar-fluorescent house after it experienced extended lighting outages beginning on day 14 of the 35-day study suggests that conventional farming practices in Kenyan broiler operations may call for more hours of lighting than is needed to achieve least-cost production.« less
  • The experience of the JC Penney Co. in lighting warehouses across the country is discussed. Aimed at reducing the initial and operating costs of lighting systems, this experience showed that high pressure sodium lamps are more economical and energy-conserving than mercury lamps. (LCL)
  • This article describes a new automatic energy control system called the Programmable Lighting Control (PLC) system which can be used to control any type of electrical load. The system differs from conventional low-voltage control systems in that all control logic functions are soft-wired within the microprocessor-based central controller. The basic system was installed with only a nominal ''up front'' expenditure, and expanded as funds became available. Stored programs are protected against loss by a rechargeable battery that retains the program in case of loss of power. Plans are being developed for integrating the PLC into the 3-phase load-shedding program ofmore » Southern California Edison.« less
  • At C-E Power Systems, an operating group of Combustion Engineering, Inc., Windsor, CT, the lighting and HVAC in six of 24 buildings are now under microprocessor control, and the necessary equipment to convert two additional buildings before the year end has been ordered. The initial analysis of the economic benefits of a /100,000 investment for the first six buildings showed the system will pay for itself in electricity savings in 30 months or less. In the programmable lighting system, a microprocessor-based central controller is /left double quote/softwired/right double quote/ to a single-chip microcomputer-based local transceiver. The data line provides amore » high integrity communications channel carrying multiplex commands from the central controllers as well as status and switch override message from the remote transceivers. The controller has the capacity to direct as many as 500 transceivers controlling 8,000 relays.« less