Smart Science Gives the Salk Institute More Lighting Control


The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research institute located in La Jolla, California. It was founded in 1960 by Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine whose mission was to dare to make dreams into reality. 

The institute consistently ranks among the top institutions in the U.S. in terms of research output and quality in the life sciences arena. In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Salk as the world’s top biomedicine research institute, and in 2009, it was ranked number one globally by ScienceWatch for neuroscience and behavior. 


Based on recommendations from FSG (Facility Solutions Group), the institute’s vendor for lighting and HVAC systems, Salk’s facilities group recommended Daintree™ solutions from Current. After going through a thorough analysis based on trials of alternative solutions, Daintree proved to have the lowest installation cost, offered the most comprehensive control, and had an intuitive user interface. The fact that it is based on open standards was a critical factor for the Salk team since it delivers a future-proof solution. Current was the only company to offer multi-application control of lighting and other building control systems, hence it was selected to be deployed at the 600,000-square-foot facility.  


Deploying a commercial lighting controls system often involves elaborate wiring that takes days to install, causing operational disruption and customer inconvenience—which is not acceptable in a research environment. Daintree’s wireless solution eliminates complex wiring, installs quickly, and delivers about 50% cost savings over a hard-wired solution. The lighting control ensures the quality of light is consistent and ensures comfort without impacting research in the facility. 

Prior to its Daintree system, the Salk facilities group relied on monthly utility bills to track energy consumption. This reactive approach was causing unnecessary waste and was leading to an excessive energy bill. With Daintree, facility managers can monitor the site remotely with granular detail down to the individual device and can act immediately based on real-time information and reports.  

Current has helped the Salk Institute achieve its goal of deploying a future-proof building energy management solution. Daintree has delivered over 14,576 KWh in energy savings per week. The solution helped the pioneering research institute to achieve efficient lighting and has exceeded cost saving goals. The Salk Institute plans to use Daintree to manage all lighting at their La Jolla site in California as well as include additional applications such as plug load and fan control moving forward. 

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