Open Office

Scheduled Zone Control: General illumination for open office areas is controlled by the Synergy system on a zone basis. Lighting automatically comes on in the morning to greet arriving employees. After a warning blink at the end of the workday, lighting is automatically switched off. The potentially harmful effects of inrush generated by switching large fluorescent loads is nullified by the Synergy control system's zero-cross switching technology.

Touch-Tone Phone Override: Employees working after hours conveniently respond to the warning blink of the lighting by pressing a few keys on their phone and extending the lighted period.
Manual Zone Control: Manually switching on lighting in the morning maximizes energy savings and eliminates the need to program holidays into the schedule. To prevent tampering , the switch is disabled during normal work hours. Later in the evening, the cleaning crew uses the same switch to turn on lighting for a programmed period of time.

Occupancy-Based Override: Occupancy sensors provide automatic override of lighting during after-hours periods, eliminating the need for manual override by employees or the cleaning crew. Sensor operation is automatically limited to after-hours operation by Synergy controls. Adjacent sensor zones are logically linked for simultaneous operation to eliminate the discomfort of a lone employee working in a small pool of light.

Private Office

Distributed Personal Control: Office occupants enjoy personal on/off and dimming control of their fluorescent lighting from convenient Digital EquinoxTM wall stations. All stations for an entire floor share a single network wire. Since the signals for the dimming ballasts and the local relay packs are provided directly by the station, no additional home run wiring is required.

Daylight Harvesting: Employees working after hours conveniently respond to the warning blink of the lighting by pressing a few keys on their phone and extending the lighted period.

Occupancy Reporting: Energy savings in small areas like offices is maximized through the use of occupancy sensors. Lighting is automatically turned off when the occupant leaves the office for an extended length of time. Since the Synergy control system has "visibility" of the occupancy status, it can be passed on to the HVAC controls via the BACnet protocol.

Lobby and Foyer

Automatic Contrast Control: Lobby lighting is often a compromise between aesthetics and saving energy. In this case, the photocell is set to increase the level of feature lighting in the lobby during the day to maintain a pleasant balance with the level of sunlight. This photocell operation is automatically disabled during weekends.

Programmed Visual Interest: A time schedule automatically sets the lobby lighting to appropriate levels to enhance the exterior visual appeal of the building during early evening hours. Later in the evening, the schedule turns off all lighting in the lobby except for security lighting.

Manual Remote Control: Time schedules or occupancy sensors may not be appropriate for controlling randomly used spaces such as the loading dock. A set of switches with LED status lights are conveniently located near the reception desk to control and monitor the lighting in these areas. For security reasons, the lighting on the loading dock cannot be switched off unless the loading doors are locked.


Preset Scene Convenience: Dimming control stations with preset scenes provide the appropriate light levels for all activities held in the auditorium. Projected presentations require low light levels, while meetings call for bright lighting. Smooth transitions between preset scenes are made simply by touching a button on the control station.

Integration with A/V: A touch screen control unit and infrared remote transmitter allow the presenter complete access to all audio/visual functions as well as integrated lighting control. The A/V system and the lighting system are interfaced through a standard RS232 serial data connection.

Theatrical Flair: Corporate presentations often call for theatrical lighting effects for impact or to add a festive mood to the occasion. A small theatrical control desk provides more than enough flexibility for these occasions. The lighting system responds to the DMX control signal from the console when required, then automatically reverts to the preset controls when the console is switched off.

Exterior and Site

Dusk to Time Operation: The exterior and site lighting is automatically turned on in the evening by the schedule. An astronomic feature in the logic allows the system to calculate sunrise and sunset times for the local area. All exterior lighting is utilized during early evening hours. Later, most of the exterior lighting is turned off by the schedule to conserve energy and reduce sky glow.  

Adjusts to Environmental Conditions: Stormy or overcast conditions may call for exterior lighting and signage to turn on earlier than scheduled. A building-mounted photocell monitors these conditions and passes light-level information to the Synergy control system. On weekends and holidays, photocell overrides are ignored.

Because the site lighting is spread out over a large area, multi-pole lighting circuits are required to efficiently distribute power to the lighting poles. The Synergy relay panel provides integral control of multi-pole circuits without external contactors.

Operations Office

Building-Wide Integration: An occupancy sensor turns on lighting in an area in response to someone entering. The change in lighting status causes the HVAC system to open a damper and adjust other parameters necessary to provide conditioned air to the space. A lighting icon on the BMS workstation screen changes color to show the change in status.

The operation manager controls and monitors the HVAC, fire protection, access and lighting controls throughout the building on a single workstation from his desk. The Synergy system performs sophisticated lighting control functions on its own, while seamlessly sharing data and inter-operating with the other building systems.

All this is made possible because the controls in the building, including the lighting, are interconnected using the ANSI standard BACnet communication protocol.


Dimming: Dimming is an effective tool used in lighting-system designs to reduce energy consumption, provide appropriate light levels for tasks, increase visual comfort, and provide aesthetic appeal. The Synergy lighting control system provides dimming functions to meet these requirements through a variety of user interfaces and programmed functions such as simple manual control, user-saved preset lighting scenes, automatic daylight harvesting, and load shedding. Today it is possible to dim most popular fluorescent lamp types and Synergy controls are compatible with virtually all available solid-state dimming ballast choices.
Applications: Auditorium, Private Office

Switching: Lighting in a commercial office building often accounts for at least 40% of the total electricity used. Simply switching off lighting when it is not required results in substantial energy savings. Regardless of the amount of automation used for lighting control in a given application, the ability to manually override lighting is often an important element in the overall design. Synergy controls offer a variety of choices for manual override of lighting in systems including simple low voltage wall switches, networked button stations, touch-tone telephone interface, and personal PC workstation access.

Network: The Synergy system allows all lighting controls for a project to be integrated into one system. This offers the owner a better value than using uncoordinated lighting control strategies. All the Synergy controls share a common data bus and utilize the ANSI standard BACnet® protocol for inter-panel communications. This also allows effective inter-operation between Synergy and the Building Automation System. Synergy networks can utilize inexpensive, dedicated twisted pair wiring, or share LAN resources with other building systems via Ethernet.
Applications: Operations Office

Scheduling: Time-based lighting control provides substantial energy savings by automatically turning off lighting after normal working hours. Synergy lighting controls meet the requirements of modern energy codes and standards including California Title 24 and ASHRAE 90.1 as an “automatic means to turn off the lighting.” Central systems like Synergy are ideal for meeting these requirements for larger public areas in buildings, industrial applications, exteriors, or anywhere occupancy sensors are not appropriate.

Occupancy Sensing: Occupancy sensors provide effective lighting control for smaller areas within the building that are occasionally utilized. They can also be used to provide automatic override of schedules for after-hours usage by occupants or cleaning crews. Using occupancy sensors as part of a Synergy system allows independent sensing zones to be functionally linked or separated as appropriate based on the time of day. The occupancy sensors may also simply be deactivated during normal business hours and reserved for after-hours override operation. Further, when sensors are used as part of the BACnet®-native Synergy system, occupancy status can be easily shared with the Building Automation System to direct HVAC and other non-lighting functions.

Photo Sensing: Adjusting artificial light levels in response to changing levels of natural light is an important strategy used in modern lighting control systems. The Synergy system supports both exterior and interior photocell inputs for implementation of both open- and closed-loop lighting control strategies. Monitoring of exterior ambient light levels provides appropriate input for effective dusk-to-dawn or dusk-to-time control. Synergy controls also incorporate the sophisticated logic required for interior daylight harvesting control using fluorescent fixtures equipped with electronic dimming ballasts.

Telephone Override: With the Synergy lighting control system, occupants may use the telephone to conveniently override lighting schedules or to provide personal lighting control. The telephone override is not limited to ON/OFF operation. A few key presses can dim the lighting or adjust the temperature to suit personal preferences. The Synergy system uses the inherent distributed intelligence capabilities of the system to provide this functionality without requiring full-time operation of a PC or network server.
Applications: Open Office

Audio Visual: Many meeting and teleconferencing centers require the lighting controls to be fully integrated with the audio/visual controls. The de facto standard for this integration uses ASCII text commands exchanged over an RS-232 serial connection. Each Synergy controller incorporates a serial port suitable for interfacing the lighting controls with the audio/visual system. An extensive list of ASCII commands are available for Synergy controls, allowing access to most features of the system including ON/OFF, raise/lower, preset recall, and saving of preset scenes.
Applications: Auditorium

Theatrical: Occasionally, the functional requirements of an architectural lighting system overlap with those normally reserved for theatrical systems. Some occasions require the architectural system should operate in unison with an installed theatrical system, while other occasions may require it to operate independently. The Synergy system provides seamless integration with theatrical controls through the use of industry standard DMX512 protocol. Synergy outputs can be controlled by any DMX compatible theatrical control device. Further, Synergy controls can originate a DMX signal allowing control of theatrical dimmers, color changers, and moving light fixtures.
Applications: Auditorium 

Aquarium of the Americas

With more than a million gallons of water and more than 15,000 animals, the Aquarium of the Americas is ranked one of the top five aquariums in the nation.
Location: New Orleans, LA 
Architect: N/A 
Contractor: The Audubon Institute 
Engineer: The Audubon Institute 
Standard System Features: The project scope provided for a complete electrical renovation of the building wide lighting control system. Thirteen Synergy lighting control panels configured with relays were installed in two phases replacing two separate outdated control systems. An RS485 repeater was used to bridge the two long network buss runs allowing 3500 plus feet of wire to provide reliable communications between the panels and the owner furnished PC running Synergy Configuration software. 

Unique System Features: Two existing dimming systems serving the IMAX theatre and various exhibition areas, originally manufactured by Lithonia and Lutron, were retained in the renovation and interfaced with the new Synergy system.

Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall

The Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall, now commonly referred to as the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, was listed on the United State Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark on February 27, 1987. As a result, all work performed in the building must be executed in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Location: Atlantic City, New Jersey 
Architect: Ewing Cole Cherry Brott 
Contractor: Hall Construction Co.
Engineer: Ewing Cole Cherry Brott 
Standard System Features: This ongoing renovation of existing office and meeting space has thus far used a total of 42 Synergy relay and dimming panels supplied under two separate contracts. All lighting control panels, present and future, are networked with a PC which provides centralized control and monitoring of lighting, as well as, off line editing of lighting control programs.

Unique System Features: Twenty of the lighting control panels are also connected to a Leprecon LP-3000 theatrical control desk via a DMX512 link and provides automatic override of the the house lighting by the console for theatrical events.

Canadian Forces Base: Air Rescue Hanger

The home of the 19th Wing, Canadian Air Forces, Department of National Defense. The new air rescue hanger provides support for helicopter operations, crew services and training.
Location: Comox, BC
Electrical Contractor: Tradewinds Electric
Engineer: Base Construction Engineering
Standard System Features: The system consists of four networked Synergy relay panels operating at 347 volts and one Synergy 120 volt dimming panel. Fluorescent lighting in the crew training rooms is dimmed via simple wall switches, as well as, wireless remote control.

Unique System Features: Simple schedules and photocell provide normal day to day lighting control. However, because this is an air rescue operation on call 24/7, it was necessary to provide a means for the tower to activate the ramp lighting in front of the hanger to prepare for immediate rescue operations. This was achieved simply by using the Synergy telephone override option connected to the base phone system.

First American Financial

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is a provider of real estate-related financial and information services.
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Architect: LPA
Contractor: South Coast Electric
Engineer: Konsortum
Standard System Features: The system consists of ten Synergy lighting control panels distributed between the three floors of the three building campus-style complex. All are configured with relays and interconnected on a campus-wide network providing traditional commercial office lighting control functions as well as California Title 24 compliance. Synergy Configuration software is installed on a owner supplied PC for system set-up and monitoring functions. Designer styled switch stations are strategically placed throughout the facility for cleaning crew use and after hour override functions.

Unique System Features: Because this is a three building campus, it is necessary for the control network to extend underground between buildings. The designers chose to avoid the dangers of exposing data transmission cables to environmental conditions outside the buildings by specifying that inter-building data connections use fiber optic cable only. The Synergy system uses two pairs of fiber optic modems to seamlessly extend the RS485 lighting control network between the buildings.

Miller Park: Home of the Milwaukee Brewers

Miller Park not only serves as the home of the Milwaukee Brewers, it will become a centerpiece for a city. Manual scoreboards, intimate proximity to the players, natural grass, and a unique configuration to the playing field separates this ballpark from any in the world.
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Architect: NBBJ Sports
Contractor: Pieper Electric Inc.
Engineer: Ove Orpe Partners
Standard System Features: The system consists of twenty Synergy relay panels and four multi-pole contactor enclosures interconnected via network buss with three PC's which provide for set-up, real time control and monitoring of all lighting in the park and on the grounds.

Unique System Features: The primary user interface for the lighting controls are two touch screen monitors configured to provide simple access to all lighting functions through a combination of virtual button controls and screen graphics. A telephone interface provides additional on site control for cleaning and service crews and facilitates factory based programming and diagnostic support.

Saint Vincent Medical Center

Worcester Medical Center is a new, first class health care facility being built in Worcester, Massachusetts by Tenet Health System. It will replace the current Saint Vincent Hospital, which will move to the new complex, and revolutionize health care delivery in the region.
Location: Worchester, MA
Architect: Hoskins Scott & Partners
Contractor: Coghlin/Chapel Electric
Engineer: BR+A 
Standard System Features: The system consists of twenty one Synergy lighting control panels scattered about this sprawling medical complex. The system is configured as a general purpose switching system for lighting energy management, as well as, central control and monitoring. The Synergy panels are interconnected via an extensive RS485 network and managed by a central PC running the Synergy Configuration software application.

Unique System Features: This project is designed with a high number of lighting circuits required per electrical room and takes advantage of Synergy's ability to connect panels in a master/secondary configuration allowing them to share a singe system controller. This reduces system cost and simplifies programming and maintenance for the owner. A number of locations have as many as 96 relay points operating from a single network node. Several of the Synergy panels also control 480 volt, two pole exterior lighting circuits via Synergy's integral multi-pole contactor option.

Southtowne Exposition Center

The Southtowne Exposition Center will provide the people of the Salt Lake County region with a state-of-the-art facility, capable of accommodating a wide spectrum of consumer and trade shows, meetings, and community banquet events.

Location: Sandy, Utah
Architect: Association of LMN and GSBS
General Contractor: Layton Construction
Electrical Contractor: Rydalch Electric
Controls Contractor: System Controls Inc.
Engineer: Reaveley Engineering Assoc.0
Standard System Features: The system consists of nineteen Synergy panels that control all public area, exhibition, back of house and exterior lighting. Eight of the panels are connected to the emergency generator and provide automatic full-on bypass of the controlled circuits during power outages. The panels are interconnected via two independent LANs that are interconnected by an Ethernet link provided by the Alerton BACtalk system. Interior photocells are used in the extensive glass atrium areas to curtail lighting use during bright sun lit conditions. A single exterior photocell provides control of the site lighting.

Unique System Features: While all the local lighting override switches and photocells were provided by Lithonia and are connected to the Synergy panels, the input/output logic, zoning and schedules are programmed through the Alerton BACtalk workstation as BACnet object points. This provides the owner with total "single seat" operation of the building and eliminates the need to learn the operation of a separate lighting control system. 

Fresno Convention Center

The complex consists of four separate but contiguous structures. It is regarded as one of the most unique and versatile meeting and event centers in the western United States, averaging over 650 event days per year.
Location: Fresno, CA
Architect: S O M A M
Contractor: Howe Electric
Engineer: S O M A M 
Standard System Features: The system serves the new exhibition and conference building and consists of eleven Synergy panels containing a mix of relays and 277 volt dimmers. These are interconnected via the Synergy RS485 network and administered via a PC workstation running Synergy Configuration software complete with customized graphical user interface for setting up the controls to match the room partition configurations. The space can be configured for as many as eleven separate conference rooms with independent controls for each.

Unique System Features: Synergy lighting control panels were supplied for this project complete with integral circuit breaker protection for the relays and dimmers eliminating the need to install separate lighting control and circuit breaker panels. This economy saved space in the electrical rooms as well as reduced the installed cost of the system. The graphical user interface provides real time dimming and switching control as well as a visual means to configure the controls as the room partitions are extended or withdrawn.

Crazy Horse Steakhouse

The home of the 19th Wing, Canadian Air Forces, Department of National Defense. The new air rescue hanger provides support for helicopter operations, crew services and training.
Location: Spectrum Entertainment, Irvine, CA
Architect: WEB Design
Contractor: Briggs Electric
Engineer: Montross & Associates
Standard System Features: The system consists of four networked Synergy relay panels operating at 347 volts and one Synergy 120 volt dimming panel. Fluorescent lighting in the crew training rooms is dimmed via simple wall switches, as well as, wireless remote control.

Unique System Features: Simple schedules and photocell provide normal day to day lighting control. However, because this is an air rescue operation on call 24/7, it was necessary to provide a means for the tower to activate the ramp lighting in front of the hanger to prepare for immediate rescue operations. This was achieved simply by using the Synergy telephone override option connected to the base phone system.

Typical Wiring Diagrams

Power Modules

Occupancy sensors

Network Details

Control Stations


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1170 Peachtree Street, NE Suite 2300
Atlanta, GA 30309-7676

Acuity Brands Lighting
One Lithonia Way
Conyers, GA 30012

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