United Stationers: The Network in Action

09/03/2014 |

Profile: This wholesale distributor of business products owns 60 facilities and is headquartered in Sacramento, CA. The company actively pursues sustainability initiatives and has taken on several energy-slashing projects with their local utility, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

Project: SMUD proposed a research project to United Stationers that would examine the savings potential of combining LEDs with advanced wireless controls, eventually choosing a system that incorporated a mesh network.


  • The new design accounts for differing tasks and requirements in each work area, including scheduled hours of occupancy, natural light availability, and needs for task lighting.
  • Hundreds of fluorescent light fixtures across the Sacramento facility were replaced with LED fixtures. The team was also able to reduce the total number of fixtures and lower the maximum wattage.
  • Automated on/off switching in all zones can be scheduled and controlled from a web-based console.
  • Zones with large window banks now have daylight sensing.
  • Motion sensors monitor areas where traffic changes throughout the day, such as the break room.
  • Nearly all areas have wall switches so users can temporarily override the automated system.


  • Wattage has been reduced from 21,672W to 3,930 in the office area, while the break area has seen its wattage drop from 2,376W to just 720.
  • Each individual fixture is wirelessly enabled for maximum flexibility. United Stationers can fine-tune lighting one fixture at a time and readjust for changes in space usage from a central control site.
  • Employees have personal remote controls that allow each user to set the light level of the fixture above his or her desk. Light levels now vary from 6-33 footcandles, with the office averaging 19-21 footcandles overall.
  • United Stationers saved 94% in monthly lighting costs thanks to the combination of the lighting control system, ultra-efficient lamps, and reducing fixtures and wattage.

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