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Two Farmington Hills Companies Named Finalists In Energy Challenge

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) -- Two companies based in Farmington Hills, Lumecon and Illuminating Concepts, have been selected as finalists for the second DTE Energy E-Challenge Competition in partnership with NextEnergy and The Engineering Society of Detroit.

The DTE E-Challenge competition is designed to showcase energy efficiency innovation through market-ready solutions. This year's competition requires demonstrations to showcase advanced lighting that integrates sensors, adaptive controls, and network controls to optimize energy savings; as well as utilizes exterior lighting applications and advanced lighting luminaires; creative lighting, and advanced optics designs.

Lumecon will demonstrate several of its fixtures throughout the Detroit Zoo, and will install 86 decorative LED post tops throughout pedestrian walkways, and LED flood lights for the water tower and Great Apes interior habitat. All of the lights will be equipped with cloud-based wireless dimming controls which can be controlled remotely using a PC or mobile device. In addition to the initial wattage reductions LED affords, the project will allow the Zoo to raise and dim the pedestrian light during peak and non-peak hours (an additional 20 to 30 percent in savings), and let the water tower lights perform flashing or sequencing for special events.

But most importantly, it will create a dawn-to-dusk effect inside the Great Apes interior habitat. Sleeping chimpanzees, gorillas and drills will awaken to a dim glow, romp through the day in bright light and ease into evening as the light slips gently away, creating extraordinary lighting for the Great Apes of Harambee.

According to the Detroit Zoo, recent research has shown that prolonged exposure to artificial lighting can have negative effects on animals, including sleep disruption, mating and migratory issues and behavioral anomalies, all of which may be improved by altering the artificial lighting immediately adjacent to the animal habitats.

Illuminating Concepts will demonstrate its project at the top level of the city of Royal Oak's South Lafayette parking deck. The project will involve installing LED lights and Intellistreets' Post Top Module, which controls up to four luminaires on a pole to provide an energy-efficiency payback model in less than three years -- all controlled wirelessly. The Intellistreets system contains patented technology with on/off and dimming features that can process historic data at each light fixture. That sensory intelligence can then be used to make decisions about appropriate light levels throughout the system, thus yielding additional savings of 25 percent to 35 percent to the savings from the simple LED conversion.

The Intellistreets system also has on-board audio capabilities for both entertainment and security purposes; video inputs for a digital banner and digital street signs; a two-way communication component to augment emergency call boxes; and on-board intelligence to provide numerous smart-grid management data points and analysis.

The demonstration sites will be evaluated to confirm that each project meets the proposed energy savings outcomes proposed by Lumecon and Illuminating Concepts. A team from Lawrence Technological University has been selected to measure and validate energy usage data from each demonstration site.

A total of $250,000 was made available to both companies to conduct the demonstrations for their innovation. If the companies can prove that their projects meet the energy savings proposed, then one or both will be selected as a winner during the DTE/ESD Energy Conference slated for May 6 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

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