Energy management is an emerging industry that helps you take full advantage of your solar or solar-plus-storage system. With an energy management system, you're able to both monitor and control your energy consumption, allowing you to maximize the energy generated by your system and lower your electric bills. Lumin was one of the initial leaders in this industry with their Smart Panel, which allows you to turn the ordinary circuits on your electrical panel into smart circuits. Building on that initial success, Lumin recently launched their newest energy management product that provides a unique opportunity and flexibility for those who don't want to rewire their entire electrical panel: the Lumin Edge.
The Lumin Edge is an energy management system offering both energy monitoring and control capabilities.
There are three main components of the Lumin Edge: the Edge Hub, the Edge modules, and the smartphone application.
Compared to the Lumin Smart Panel, the Lumin Edge is significantly more affordable, more flexible, and easier to install.
Whether you have solar-plus-storage, solar, or live in an area with surge (i.e., time-varying) electricity rates, the Lumin Edge might be worth the investment.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace for custom solar or solar-plus-storage quotes.
Many energy management systems come in the form of smart electrical panels, requiring either an electrical panel replacement – like Span or Schneider Electric – or an add-on sub-panel – like the Lumin Smart Panel or Generac. The Lumin Edge is a new type of energy management system that's modular, meaning you can easily customize your system depending on how much monitoring and control you actually need. In some ways, it's similar to the flexibility in control that smart plugs offer, but at the circuit level as opposed to the outlet level (meaning you control all appliances on that circuit instead of just the appliance plugged into a wall outlet).
There are three main components that make up the Lumin Edge: the Edge Hub, the Edge modules, and the smartphone application.
The Edge Hub serves as the brain of this energy management system; it connects directly to your router, serving as the gateway to your Internet. This device creates its own network inside your house and allows the Edge modules to connect to the Internet and to other connected appliances in your home, enabling you to monitor and control your energy usage.
The Edge modules are essentially miniature smart panels without the brain. Each module connects to an individual load wire and controls one circuit. Because the Lumin Edge is modular, you can add as many Edge modules as you want, depending on how many circuits you want to monitor and control.
Using the Lumin Edge smartphone application, you can remotely turn circuits on and off. Think you may have left your electric oven on? As long as the circuit is connected to an Edge module, you can turn the circuit off remotely, providing some peace of mind. You can also set schedules to automatically control circuits – a particularly attractive feature if you live in an area with demand charges or time-of-use (TOU) rates and want to reduce electricity usage when it costs more.
Your Lumin Edge smartphone app also provides monitoring capabilities, meaning the app will show you insights and recommendations for how to save energy and reduce your electric bill. Finally, the data collected by the Lumin Edge allows you to calculate your carbon dioxide impact in close to real-time by understanding the energy sources providing electricity in your area and disaggregating your grid fuel mix in real-time.
Lumin created the Edge system primarily to create a more flexible and cost-effective option for home energy management. The Lumin Smart Panel offers 12 controllable circuits per panel, but many people don't need that much control – while some need more control! With the Lumin Edge, you only need to purchase as many Edge modules as you have circuits that need monitoring and control, lowering the cost of your system.
Many circuit breaker (aka electrical) panels are in inconvenient locations with limited wall space available nearby, which can make it difficult to install a Lumin Smart Panel because it has to sit adjacent to your main panel. However, the Lumin Edge modules can be installed anywhere along the load wire, whether at your circuit breaker panel, at the load, or hidden behind drywall. Additionally, if you're the type of person who likes DIY projects, you can also install the Lumin Edge quickly by yourself (if this is allowed by your local electrical code), saving you time and money by avoiding hiring an electrician for an installation.
Here's a breakdown of how the two Lumin energy management systems compare:
Lumin Smart Panel
|1 per module (can connect as many modules as you need)||12 per panel (can stack multiple panels)|
|About 10 minutes per module||About 90-120 minutes per Smart Panel|
|Very flexible – anywhere along a load wire from circuit breaker panel to load||Adjacent to circuit breaker panel|
|You can install yourself (but you have the option to use an installer)||Requires a certified installer|
|• You live in an area with demand charges or TOU rates • You have solar only You have solar-plus-storage • Your home is already built • You’re looking for low cost home efficiency improvements||• You have solar-plus-storage • You’re building a new home|
|$200 for the Edge Hub $30 to $60 per Edge module||$2,000|
If you're building a new home and want to control your electrical panel, it might be worth it to invest in a Lumin Smart Panel as long as you have a solar-plus-storage system and most of your largest energy-consuming circuits are located in a single, easily accessible electrical panel. In most cases, however, the Lumin Edge provides the best investment for homeowners. We'll explain some of the best use cases for the Lumin Edge:
You have a solar-plus-storage system.
You'll get the most out of a Lumin Edge if you have a solar-plus-storage system: you can set schedules so certain loads pull power from your storage system instead of the grid when your solar panels aren't generating enough electricity – like at night – or when electricity costs more.
In the case of an outage, you'll receive a notification, and you can set your storage system to only power essential loads, preserving your battery. You'll also be able to see the status of your battery's charge and dynamically shift loads remotely if you need it to last longer. You can also set Lumin to manage your loads dynamically based on your preset preferences, allowing you to extend your battery's life, prioritize the amount of remaining lower, and direct power only to loads you want to use – all without any immediate interaction with the system.
You have a solar system.
With the Lumin Smart Panel, your return on investment isn't ideal if you only have solar; however, due to the affordability and flexibility of the Lumin Edge, if you have a solar system without storage, installing Lumin Edge modules is still worth it in many cases. Let's say your solar system is generating more power than you're consuming at the moment: instead of sending that electricity back to the grid, your Lumin Edge system will first see if there's any place in your house to use that excess energy, like charging your electric vehicle, pre-cooling your house, or running your pool pump. This feature is becoming increasingly important due to the rising threat of asymmetrical net metering in some states, which reduces the value of net metering credits.
You have surge electricity rates.
Even if you don't have a solar or solar-plus-storage system, the Lumin Edge might be worth it if you live in an area with surge electricity rates. For example, if you have TOU rates, you can enter your TOU details and create a schedule to conserve energy when electricity costs the most and consume energy when it costs the least. The Lumin Edge also makes it easy to earn money by participating in demand response programs – it helps you enroll loads that you're willing to sacrifice when demand for electricity spikes in your area.
Looking to install a Lumin Edge with a solar-plus-storage system? Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to receive custom quotes from pre-vetted installers for solar or solar-plus-storage systems. By comparing multiple quotes, you'll be able to maximize your solar savings and install a system that's customized to meet your needs. Want to see what your savings could be? Check out our Solar Calculator for a quick estimate.