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Photo Friday: Daylight harvesting

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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In this photo, University of California – Davis graduate student Judy Xu is shown adjusting a lab prototype of a daylight harvesting device developed and tested at the university’s California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC). The self-calibrating photocontrol reduces electric lighting power based on the amount of daylight available through skylights. Subsequent field testing took place in a Walmart store in West Sacramento, California, where average energy savings measured about 37%. The device has since entered the market through WattStopper, a leading lighting controls manufacturer, and Walmart is preparing to install the technology in more of its stores.

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Kathreen Fontecha / California Lighting Teaching Center, UC Davis.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. sault 10:59 am 10/25/2013

    Great news. Although, if we stop buying cheap plastic goods from WalMart and they have to close their stores or not open as many new ones, the energy savings will be closer to 100%!

    Link to this

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