In essence, smart grid technology takes a network of data from power plant production to regional and final end user consumption, and reports who is using how much energy, where and when. With this type of information power plant operations can distribute power accordingly without increasing peak production. From the end user's standpoint, our homes and offices, we can access this same information to determine when electricity will cost the most and respond accordingly.
But more effectively, companies have taken the initiative to develop automated demand response lighting controls that eliminate the need for human response. At the same time they enable the user to easily override the controls and set their own preferences. While demand response lighting controls can be used by residential consumers to dim lights in specific areas during peak demand, they are most effective in commercial office applications.
By taking advantage of this natural daily pattern and using demand response controls, offices can save tons of money, and the entire local grid will benefit from the coordination. The most energy efficient factor of demand response lighting controls is its ability to "plug in" to the smart grid and instantaneously react to the local areas energy demand, thus reducing peak energy production which lowers the plants carbon emissions and the risk of blackouts.