Remote-Source Lighting

In a remote-source lighting (RSL) system, light from a single source is carried over a distance to one or more light outlets, or is emitted evenly along the way. Several benefits result from this type of light delivery system, including:

  • A reduction in the amount of infrared and ultraviolet energy introduced into a space.
  • Improved safety in wet or explosive environments.
  • Improved targeting of light.

Remote-source lighting also provides an aesthetic appeal that often can’t be achieved by other means.

Losses in the light distribution system generally make remote-source lighting less energy efficient than conventional systems, but in some cases the precision targeting of light can make up for those losses. In addition, RSL systems may eventually lead to higher system efficiencies since they enable the use of intense, efficient light sources that are difficult to use in conventional fixtures without producing too much glare.

Remote-source lighting is more expensive than conventional lighting for most applications, but it has appeal in certain markets, such as sidewalk and building outline lighting; underwater lighting in pools, fountains, and aquariums; and special effects lighting, accent lighting, wall washing, and downlighting. Some types of remote-source lighting have also found a home in tunnels, warehouses, and industrial facilities. Prototype testing has shown RSL to be an energy-efficient alternative for providing illumination in refrigerated display cases. In that application, the light source is kept outside the display case so that light can be provided without adding to the cooling load on the case compressors. In addition, RSL can be used to bring daylight into a space and reduce the need for electric lighting.

What are the options?
How to make the best choice
What’s on the horizon?
Who are the manufacturers?