The Design Excellence in Networked Lighting Control Award was created in 2021 as part of LEDs Magazine’s Sapphire Awards. The Lighting Controls Association is proud to sponsor this award, which recognizes projects that push the boundaries of advanced lighting control.
This month, we explore a large-scale application of Bluetooth Mesh lighting control at a Class A office building in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, which earned a Design Excellence in Networked Lighting Control Award for LLLC. Lighting control design by Energy Management Collaborative (EMC). Lighting control system by McWong International/Sivair Inc.
With 17 stories and nearly a half million square feet of commercial real estate space, this project demonstrates the flexibility and scalability of SIG Bluetooth mesh technology and highlights the inevitable transition to an open interoperable standard as the future for networked lighting controls. Technology partners McWong International and Silvair Inc. teamed with lighting contractor Energy Management Collaborative (EMC) for design and deployment of a luminaire level lighting control (LLLC) solution that will serve the owners and tenants alike for years to come.
The scope and scale of the project was substantial: identify ways to optimize lighting throughout multiple tenant spaces, accelerate energy performance, provide a flexible control solution that could be easily changed as use cases shift, and future-proof the entire facility for emerging IoT possibilities. EMC, bringing more than 15 years and millions of square feet of successful installation experience, decided that an LED lighting upgrade coupled with an intelligent luminaire level lighting control (LLLC) approach, would achieve the client’s goals.
In order to provide the client and its tenants with the maximum flexibility, the project team created 3,685 control-integrated fixtures, installing McWong’s TruBlu low-voltage passive infrared occupancy sensor controller in each fixture and connecting it via a 0-10V output with the LED driver. This enabled the new fixtures to directly replace existing fixtures without the need for any additional control wiring, a significant savings in labor and materials costs.
To achieve the level of simplicity and convenience desired by the client, the project team designed a flexible, zone-based network to deploy occupancy- and time-based control scenarios. In total, the entire project was organized into 43 separate areas accommodating the use cases for both tenant spaces and common areas that required luminaires on the lighting control network. Within these areas, 708 discrete zones were created that allowed for different control scenarios to be implemented based on tenant needs and application requirements. The project design was developed prior to the physical installation of the lighting, via the TruBlu web portal designed by McWong’s technology partner Silvair, so that the project team could adjust zones and control scenarios. Once the physical installation began, EMC and the project team could make adjustments via the smartphone app, such as setting the high end trim to provide optimal light levels to extend LED lifetime and maximize energy efficiency.
The project team estimated that energy performance with the networked controls would generate as much as 75% beyond that anticipated from the lighting upgrade. Most of the control zones were configured with a 60% high end trim, along with either occupancy, vacancy, or scheduling to achieve the expected energy savings. What’s more, with the LLLC design in place, the spaces are highly flexible for future re-configuration with changing business needs or even changing tenants.
In addition, the control network can incorporate expanded IoT functionality, such as occupancy mapping or space utilization functions, if and when needed in the future.