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Commercial Applications

Case Study: Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Franklin & Marshall’s campus is peppered with a mix of historic and modern buildings. For the facilities team, those beautiful, historic brick buildings can add a layer of challenge when it comes to facility updates and maintenance.

This is just one of the reasons college electrician Pat Henry, is so pleased with Lutron’s new Vive wireless lighting control solutions, and why the college is working to include Vive as part of the master specification for campus improvements.

The Challenge

Lighting and lighting control has come a long way in the last 5 years, with LED technology largely replacing traditional fluorescent lighting fixtures. Renovations in any office, classroom, or dorm almost always include a compete lighting and control upgrade.

The Franklin & Marshall facilities team came to Lutron for a solution that was easy to install with minimal disruption to space occupants, easy to program, energy-efficient. The system they chose had to have timeclock functionality, the ability to load shed, and provide real-time energy savings, all within the college’s budget.


Vive is a new solution for Lutron addressing the need for scalable control that’s wireless, easy to install, and simple to program. The college agreed to try it out in an energy retrofit in the College Square administrative offices. Pat Henry was able to install and program the controls while the building was occupied and without outside help.

“We were able to complete the installation and setup in a total of 4 days, working from just 6-8 am. As one of the first Vive projects, Lutron even asked us for feedback on the Vive app, helping us make programming even more intuitive,” said Henry.

Occupancy sensors ensure that lights aren’t left on when the space is vacant, daylight sensors automatically reduce lighting levels in perimeter offices, and Pico controls provide personal dimming control to space occupants. With the existing fluorescent fixtures, the administrative offices were using 130 KwH during the measured time period. After the lighting and controls retrofit the space is using 60.86KwH in a comparable time period – a total electricity savings of 55%, which allows the college to redirect those dollars to benefit its students.


After the success of the College Square installation, and previous experience with stand-alone Lutron wireless controls in Old Main (a building that houses administrative offices, lecture halls, and recital rooms), the Franklin & Marshall facilities team approved Vive solutions for use in a whole-scale renovation of its Keiper Liberal Arts Building.

What else made the Vive wireless solutions stand out? “It just works.” said Pat Henry, “The system is versatile and offers tremendous functionality.” First, he explains, it’s wireless, and that’s an immediate win, “On a campus where some of the buildings date back to 1792, it’s just not always feasible to fish wires through the walls. With Lutron Pico wireless remotes, you can put the control wherever you need it, and that’s a huge time and materials saver.” Notably, Keiper was dedicated in the 1930s; Old Main dates back to 1856, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Henry pointed out that in the Keiper renovation, he was able to put wireless controls at every podium in every classroom, giving professors convenient control of the lights wherever they are. “We can use the right mix of products in every space from open offices, to classrooms, to meeting rooms – it makes product bids, installation, and programming easier and less time consuming.”

Vive is also completely scalable. A space can be programmed as a stand-alone system, and tied into a centralized Vive hub down the road, making it easy to adjust any area of lights from a smart phone or tablet.

Franklin & Marshall College prides itself on a 229-year tradition of unleashing the full potential in its students. Lutron is honored to be part of this tradition, and to deliver the full potential of lighting energy savings, personalized control and centralized lighting management throughout the campus.

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