Case Study: Miami Dade College


As part of its on-going 15-year relationship with Miami Dade College (MDC), South Florida Controls (SFC) was tasked with helping Florida’s largest higher education institution plan to design a lighting control system throughout its eight campuses that provides essential, sustainable lighting that can easily be expanded as the institution continues to grow.

Campus-wide solutions are focused on state-of-the-art advanced building systems that automate lighting control systems while maximizing energy efficiency.

About Miami Dade College

Founded in 1959, MDC is a state college headquartered in Miami, Florida. The school has eight campuses as well as The Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center, a major outreach center. There are 20 additional outreach centers situated throughout Miami-Dade County. It's the largest college in the state’s system and the second largest in the country, with nearly 70,000 students.


Like many university and college campuses, MDC is illuminated by various types of lighting fixtures that were installed during the development, building, and expansion of its campuses. The fixtures use many different light sources including induction and LED technologies.

Appropriate campus lighting is crucial to safety and reputation but is often costly to operate and maintain. Wireless lighting controls and a central management system can help campuses easily control lighting by conserving energy during off-peak hours, turning on lights when pedestrian traffic is detected and alerting management when lights have failed.

Uniformity and full integration of a lighting system allow for greater system usability, facilitates more effective and efficient training, and fosters relationship building between SFC and MDC staff.

Key Benefits

The aim was to train MDC field staff in the consistency of the lighting control systems throughout the institution’s multiple campuses.

As building usage increases over the years, college campuses have long been interested in the issue of energy efficiency as a cost-saving measure. Today, there is an added sense of urgency related to climate change and energy waste. Due to a large number of energy users, campuses are often viewed as small towns or communities, with offices, laboratories, computer rooms, and auditoriums requiring huge amounts of energy to operate.

Replacing existing building lighting technology with more uniform and energy-efficient solutions can result in:

  • Energy cost reductions of 30% or more through the use of things like adaptive dimming.

  • Reduced maintenance and repair costs.

  • Less light pollution.

  • Increased lamp life.

  • Improved control over light quality.

Improvements may include uniform lamp installation, conversion to higher energy performance lighting, more efficient task lighting design, and integration of daylight and artificial lighting systems.


SFC focused on designing and providing timely completion of a single integrated network that provides solutions that are reliable, responsive, and easier for multiple MDC campuses to manage. Networked, digital controls deliver customized energy-efficient results based on specific building purposes and needs of users.

Initial results have created a better sense of community through energy conservation and established MDC as a higher education institution passionately committed to energy efficiency measures. The system is also designed to allow for easy expansion as the college continues to grow.

Christopher Ramos