A line-voltage, step-dimming ballast could be considered one of the most economical dimming control options, while also being a low-cost solution for satisfying demand response (DR) control. A DR program automatically reduces a building’s electric power consumption by shedding some lighting loads (through dimming or switching) during times of peak electric utility demand.

Doug Avery, a project manager with Southern California Edison, an Edison International Co., believes this procedure is the most cost-effective way to shed electrical load. Avery helped to establish the California Advanced Lighting Control Training Program (CALCTP) at Southern California Edison with help from manufacturers, labor unions, the California Lighting Technology Center, and regional community colleges. The CALCTP trains electrical contractors on bidding, installing, commissioning, and maintaining lighting control systems. This program includes a business development seminar for owners/managers of the contracting firm and a course for mid-level managers of the same firm. All three are required for a project to be CALCTP recognized. The program is open to both union and non-union contractors. As of April 2012, 1,885 electricians have been trained and certified.