Near Net-Zero Home


3700-sqft single story residence with a full basement was designed and built in just 5 months. Owners wanted a high-performance, yet ultra low operating cost home they can retire into, yet would fit into the covenants of an average Midwest neighborhood (harder that it sounds).
They focused on the most critical consumers of energy first so naturally installed Geothermal HVAC and invested in a balanced, high R-value insulation package.

The site and orientation of the home was selected to take advantage of the natural seasonal sun energy and gain some Passive House benefits. LumenCache roller shades are being added 3Q12 when released to fully take advantage of the solar resource through automation.

The next consumer is the lighting. The owners wanted a lot of light, but were not looking forward to high energy bills throughout their retirement so LEDs were the natural choice. Over 82 LumenCache LED lights fill the spaces with bright, beautiful, and perfectly dimmable light, and “changing a bulb” is a thing of the past with the drivers being located in three easy to access enclosures. With ALL the lights on FULL POWER they consume less than 800 Watts total.

The lighting enclosures contain the AC/DC battery charger power supply, a large sealed deep-cycle battery, and the LumenCache Power Distribution Modules. Simple Cat5 wires head in all directions to the light fixtures and switches and provide lighting power and data communications.

All the lights are LumenCache LEDs except the large chandelier in the foyer and the flood lights outside the house. This home was the very first LumenCache beta installation and at the time the options for “bulb” type fixtures using the LumenCache technology were limited (non-existent). Check out other project profiles to see how we totally solved that issue and now have many solutions for sconces, pendents, flood lights, and even large chandeliers.

A complete smart home structured wiring package was installed so there’s lots of TVs and entertainment electronics running that are big energy consumers. Even with all these loads on, the house electricity bills have averaged $55/mo.

How? There’s also a 4.88kW solar array on part of the roof. The large shed roof section was designed to support 3x this number of panels and can easily be added thanks to the micro-inverters under each panel.

When the new LumenCache occupancy detection sensors and ambient light detectors are installed, we can start activating the light-harvesting capabilities of LumenCache. Because the lights are all controlled by the single system, auto-configuration and switch-to-light connections are virtually assigned automatically. Further reducing the installation speed that Cat5 lighting is capable of delivering.





Parts Used

7 LumenCache Legacy Power Distribution Modules (L-PDM)
3 LumenCache Power Management Modules
3 12V Battery
3 AC/DC Battery Charger Power Supply
20 6″ recessed 650lm, 82CRI, 3000K fixtures w/Constant Current BoostPucks
50 4″ recessed 550lm, 82CRI, 3000K fixtures w/Constant Current BoostPucks
22 LumenCache SwitchPucks
5000′ Cat5e
2 40″ Enclosure
1 28″ Enclosure