Lighting controls from Lutron Electronics Co., Coopersburg, Pa., were featured in the Virginia Tech Lumenhaus home, winner of the Solar Decathlon Europe.
The Lutron Quantum Total Light Management System controls electric light and daylight in the Virginia Tech Lumenhaus home through an iPhone application developed by the Virginia Tech team. The system makes use of switching and dimming loads, draperies to control daylight and occupancy/vacancy sensors to turn the lights off when rooms are not occupied. The home is equipped with fluorescent and LED lighting, including a special installation that illuminates the ceiling.
The Virginia Tech Lumenhaus home is a self-sufficient, zero-energy home. The home is equipped with solar panels that allow the generation of excess power during the day, more than the house needs, and the sale of the excess power to the utility provider at the high daytime price. At night, the house uses electricity from the grid at a much lower cost. The home also has energy efficient appliances that support its low energy consumption.
Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 took place in Madrid, Spain, and consisted of 17 research-focused universities from seven countries that converged to demonstrate their solar-powered houses to the public. The award-winning Virginia Tech zero-energy home was the university's largest project ever and consisted of about 100 students from a variety of disciplines, including architecture, marketing, communications and engineering.