Mesh networking turns on the Energy Dept.

The Energy Department has chosen Dust Networks of Berkeley, Calif., to participate in an initiative aimed at making commercial and residential buildings more energy efficient, company officials said.

Dust Networks, which provides enterprise-class, low-power, wireless mesh networking systems, will work with SVA Lighting USA Inc. and the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to create an advanced lighting system that will let organizations implement wireless lighting control without high wiring costs.

Dust Networks mesh-networking technology will be tied to sensors that automatically adjust lights, for instance in a sunny room with lots of windows.

Using a mesh network reduces costs by eliminating the expense of hardwiring the system, a Dust spokesman said.

"Lighting needs in America's commercial and residential buildings account for 600 billion kilowatt-hours or approximately 30 percent of total building electricity use," said Francis Rubinstein, staff scientist for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Advanced lighting control systems can dramatically reduce the amount of energy used for lighting while increasing occupant comfort."

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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