Seventhwave is conducting a field study to measure light levels in commercial building spaces in Wisconsin. We’re recruiting Wisconsin businesses to participate in the study. If you qualify for our study and agree to participate, we’ll spend about four hours in your space looking at your lighting system and measuring light levels. At the end of the site visit, our field researcher will tell you of any notable findings. We will follow up with a short summary of suggestions for improving your lighting performance.

How it works
Someone from Seventhwave will call you to schedule a site visit. We will contact you to confirm the appointment the day before the scheduled visit. On the day of the visit, the technician will first ask you a few questions about your lighting system and perception of light levels. The technician will then walk through your building and identify multiple spaces in which to measure light levels. For each of these spaces, the technician will record information about the lighting characteristics. This will include measuring light levels using a handheld light meter, during which the lights may need to be turned off and on several times. Every effort will be made to minimize the disruption to building occupants.

Frequently asked questions

How long will the visit take?
Most of the time, we can complete the visit in four hours, but it could take an hour or so more if your business is large or has complicated geometry.

Does someone need to follow the technician during the site visit?
It’s up to you. We are requesting that someone initially answer the technician’s questions and give them a walk-through in order to orient them to the business. After that, the technician can be as autonomous as you are comfortable with.

What information will you collect?
We will look at lighting fixture types, quantities, spacing, and controls. We will additionally capture the various space’s geometry and other architectural aspects that influence light levels.

Will I get a report?
Our technician will inform you of any noteworthy findings at the completion of the visit. We will follow up with a short summary of suggestions as to how to improve your lighting performance.

Will my information be kept confidential?
Yes, any personal information that could be used to identify you or your business will be removed before we share data files with others or the results of the study are made public.

How did you get my name and number?
Focus on Energy provided us with a list of contacts of previous participants. We also asked the IES chapter of Milwaukee and several Wisconsin utilities to send our survey to interested parties. We sent out an email invitation to a screening survey to this contact set. In addition, we asked Wisconsin utilities and professional lighting organizations to send out a similar email invitation to contacts within their databases. We’re following up with a random sample of people who completed the screening survey.

How will this information be used?
The study will be used to assess current light levels for businesses in Wisconsin, and to improve lighting programs designed to encourage energy-efficient lighting practices.

How many businesses are you visiting?
We are visiting approximately 40 businesses across Wisconsin.

Who is paying for the study?
The study is funded by Focus on Energy’s Environmental and Economic Research and Development Program. Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program. You can learn more about Focus on Energy at

How can I be sure the study is legitimate?
You may contact Joe Fontaine at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin at 608.266.0910 or if you have any questions about why the study is being conducted and how it will be used.

Who do I call if I need to reschedule or have more detailed questions?
Please contact Melanie Lord at 608.210.7134 or

More about the project

Lighting technology has changed dramatically over the last 20 years and lighting layouts in commercial building spaces are often not optimal for the new technologies. Because lighting retrofits are most often approached as one-for-one replacements, commercial building spaces may be overlit or underlit despite employing the latest technologies. We will be measuring light levels in a sample of commercial building spaces to see how they compare to the Illuminating Engineering Society’s suggested light levels. We will also look at the effects of overlit or underlit spaces on energy use and building occupants.

This research project is funded by Focus on Energy’s Environmental and Economic Research and Development Program. The information from this study will help Focus on Energy improve its lighting efficiency programs.

Focus on Energy