Even the most efficient lighting system loses its purpose when it is left on in an unoccupied place or in a place where there is enough day light coming in. However, when integrated with proper lighting controls it can maximize energy saving.
Most of us are familiar with age old manual lighting controls like switches and manual dimmers. They are meant to control light levels by either dimming the lights or turning them on and off. In essence providing the right amount of light level as and when needed. Today this concept is further evolved to automate the process by using variety of high tech devices like relays, occupancy sensor, photo cells, time clocks, touch screens etc.
The occupancy or vacancy sensor ensures that lights operate only when there is movement in the room. It is inexpensive and easy to install. The perfect application is in the areas that do not have constant occupancy, such as restrooms, conference rooms and private offices.
Individual workstations can offer personal controls that allow individuals in a space to control the level of lighting. This can increase productivity as it ensures that individuals can select the amount of light that best enables them to perform a task.
It is an electronic control unit that automatically adjusts the output level of electric lights based on the amount of light detected in a place.
Advance lighting control system also known as smart lighting systems is an intelligent network based lighting control solution. It incorporates communication between various system inputs and outputs related to lighting control with the use of one or more central computing device. It is an integrated function of various devices sensing occupancy, daylight harvesting and individual occupant controls. Smart systems come with varying levels of automation.
Depending on the space type and activity performed, it can produce up to 50% percent energy saving and higher user satisfaction. Proper specification, installation and setting user expectations are some of key factors to achieve the desired results. Other wise it can actually complicate operation. and increase energy usage. Each facility has unique light needs and usage patterns. Facility maintenance team Should be actively involved in determining control strategy.
The major advantage of a lighting control system over stand-alone lighting controls or conventional manual switching is the ability to control individual lights or groups of lights from a single user interface device. This ability to control multiple light sources from a user device allows complex lighting scenes to be created. A room may have multiple scenes pre-set, each one created for different activities in the room. A major benefit of lighting control systems is reduced energy consumption. Longer lamp life is also gained when dimming and switching off lights when not in use. Wireless lighting control systems provide additional benefits including reduced installation costs and increased flexibility over where switches and sensors may be placed
Think of underground parking garages, interior corridors, enclosed stairways, where the lights are burning 24-7, every single day irrespective of the level of traffic. Such places can potentially render substantial energy savings if lighting controls are applied strategically to provide required light levels as and when needed.