The benefits of lighting controls have certainly become more apparent in recent years. Offering improved safety, incredible energy-efficiency savings, and an easy-to-install commissioning process, it’s no wonder more operators are adopting these systems. Companies are being scrutinised more than ever on reducing their carbon footprint, and the easiest way to do this is to utilise the greatest natural source of light we have, the sun!
Whilst many people are familiar with basic lighting controls, few are aware of the extent to which a new generation of lighting controls is transforming the market, saving operators thousands of pounds in the process.
Daylight dimming is an often-overlooked aspect of a control system due to conventionally being awkward to implement with hardwiring and commissioning being very awkward to get it working properly. The simple process involves automatically dimming your luminaires down due to sufficient natural lighting from the environment to maintain the required light level but also allows the user to save energy. This type of control is nothing new, but it has been made far easier to implement. The real major benefit of wireless is not in its features but in the ease at which it can be installed, set up, and maintained by the user without the need for specialist contractors or commissioning engineers. Customers can take control of their lighting via the iPad commissioning app, allowing them to add additional luminaires, adjust settings and tailor the system to their requirements as time goes by and needs may change.
Each luminaire integrates a DALI wireless node that forms a mesh network throughout the application. This gives the owner freedom to customise their building to maximise efficiency and tailor parameters to the user’s preference. Unlike other control systems, the solution's back-end is cloud-based and does not require a physical building monitoring system or head end PC to operate. Due to the cloud-based nature of the back end, we can work and integrate other types of smart sensors as well, allowing different building services to collaborate, such as motion sensors detecting how many people are present and telling the HVAC to operate at a lower output to reduce overall energy consumption
We can offer wireless battery-powered presence/absence detectors that incorporate daylight dimming function and last up to 15 years. This means for an installer; no extra wiring is required, and the installation will take less time making the transition to a wireless solution seamless and cost-efficient. This also allows the placing of sensors in all locations possible and is not limited by current wiring or access to power.
If you have the smart node integral to a light fitting and a DALI self-test emergency the system can also monitor and report back on all emergency lighting, including the scheduling of function and duration tests, with all results fed back to the web-based platform. An email can be triggered upon a failure which is checked once an hour so that immediate action can be taken to rectify. This eliminates the requirement for manual on-site testing, which is another cost-saving but also guarantees compliance that a full testing schedule has been conducted, giving the user peace of mind that they are fully compliant.
Each node is personalised with a unique ID and keys, enabling it to participate in the network and allowing it to obtain authenticated software updates. For personalisation and general key management, Hardware Security Modules (HSM) are used in the banking industry. When the mesh network is running autonomous, this architecture provides optimal protection of the communication with a 128-bit AES encryption standard.
From a safety perspective, lighting controls can be easily integrated with your fire monitoring system, so that when an alarm is raised all lighting increases to 100% enabling a safe exit. This is important when lighting controls are being used as to not be reliant on presence detection technology in instances where they could be impaired such as heavy smoke or fire.
With a broad range of benefits, it’s no surprise that the industry is turning to smart lighting controls.