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Be your own light boss

Nov 2018 Lighting, Smart Homes | Comments Off on Be your own light boss
Be your own light boss

Control your lighting, without the disruption, cost and maintenance of hard-wired installation, says LED Eco Lights sales and marketing director Saima Shafi

While the advantages of converting from outdated fluorescent lighting to LED technology are substantial, they become far greater when they are integrated with an intelligent lighting control system, which delivers the correct amount of light where and when it is needed.

When dimmed, LED lighting becomes more energy efficient and automated systems such as daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors can turn on or dim lights according to changes in light, need or the time of day.

Wireless lighting control systems, however, are designed to control lighting without the need for complex wiring systems and provide increased flexibility in the way an area of a building can be used. Instead of positioning switches and sensors where wiring permits, building operators can place controls where they are needed with ease to optimise lighting performance.

Save money and improve performance

Automated lighting networks can radically reduce energy consumption whilst delivering optimal lighting performance, where it is needed. Typical savings, when combined with LED luminaires are between 60-95%, depending on its application – ranging from commercial to industrial, education to healthcare and even hospitality.

In addition to the obvious energy savings, an intelligent lighting system allows activation of an individual light or groups of lights from one device, sets lights to turn on and off or dim at precise times and creates customised lighting for a specific task.

A wirelessly connected system eliminates the disruption, cost and maintenance burden associated with hard-wired installations while still allowing full control of the lighting system. The resulting system is at heart simple – yet infinitely scalable to the needs of the installation. From a single light fixture to thousands, within the same system, there is no upper limit.

New solutions such as Light Boss make lighting networks a breeze to design as well as install and maintain. Software enables users to upload their floorplan – existing or proposed – for quick lighting layout creation, via easy-to-use ‘drag and drop’ tools. Once installed, the connected system creates a digital network, where luminaires communicate wirelessly, controlled by Android app or web interface, with simple software.

Setting or adjusting the lighting can be achieved without any wiring changes. Luminaires can be added or replaced, and reconfigured at the touch of a button – ideal when refurbishing or adapting internal layouts – and without any expensive re-commissioning.

Status monitoring and maintenance

An extensive status monitoring dashboard provides on-demand reports of the ‘health’ of LED sources and drivers, highlighting any critical failure points that need attention.

For those involved in providing lighting support to sites, such as facility managers, the solution caters for ‘active’ maintenance support as well as delivering ‘reactive’ lighting maintenance solutions fast and effectively. Neither of these functions require maintenance teams to carry out surveys or make visits to the relevant site.

In addition, an intelligent lighting control system provides automation of routine emergency light testing and maintenance requirements, for example, with self-test features for emergency lighting.

Without the need to attend site and test individual light fittings, users are alerted to faults as and when they occur. With logging and fault recording functionality, it eliminates the need for manual recording.

Measuring success and progress

Reporting on the energy consumption of all connected lighting fixtures allows analysis and measurement of a single or multiple sites that are being managed. This makes a wirelessly connected system ideal for reviewing the energy performance of multi-site portfolios. Energy and facility managers can log in to review data from any site location as often as needed.

A major advance of this integrated solution is that it can be applied to new builds, retrofits, old and new lighting. Light Boss modules are connected during the LED lighting upgrade, saving the time and costs of an additional lighting control installation. Because the technology is retrofittable – any luminaire and even individual lamps can be replaced with new LED and wireless-enabled luminaires. You can integrate with non-LED luminaires, to make them smart too! All data can be monitored via the Android app (or remotely via web interface) or downloaded for analysis.

The savings can be substantial. Operating your lighting where it is needed – rather than at 100% brightness constantly – not only minimises energy consumption, but also extends lighting lifecycles and reduces maintenance costs. Example cost savings for a distribution centre fitted with LED lighting and Light Boss are around 87% with a payback of less than two years.

What is more, a wirelessly connected system qualifies for government schemes such as the Carbon Trust Green Business Fund. By claiming 100% first year capital allowance, through the Enhanced Capital Allowances Scheme (ECA), installers can offset the cost of a wireless LED lighting control, LED luminaires and their installation.

Lighting control systems are an effective way to reduce energy and operating costs. However, hard-wired systems can be expensive and time consuming to install, particularly in existing buildings, so it’s no wonder that wireless technology continues to gain popularity for building operators.