Networked control and connected luminaire manufacturers are now promoting their products as “IoT enabled.” This means when the IoT does arrive, the lighting system will stand ready to play a part in it without significant additional cost. The converse may also be regarded as true, which is without connected lighting, any new LED lighting may instantly become obsolete after installation.
Software plays a central role in commissioning, operating, and analyzing data collected by networked lighting control systems. As connected lighting becomes more popular, manufacturers continue to make their software simpler, more robust, more portable, and require less training. Software is a major touch point regarding the lighting control system serving either as a platform or an integral part of implementing the Internet of Things in commercial buildings.
On July 26, 2018 the International Code Council published the 2018 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which has been updated every three years since 2000. This 2018 version reduces lighting power allowances, broadens mandatory controls requirements, and issues clarifications.
The most popular lighting control rebates continue to be occupancy sensors, light sensors, and daylight dimming systems. The average rebate for controls is fairly high when one considers their cost, positioning them as an attractive add-on to a retrofit. In some cases, such as high-bay lighting, the rebate can almost completely cover the cost of adding a luminaire-mounted occupancy sensor.
For input devices and luminaire controllers to interact in many applications, a signal pathway is needed. This may be wiring or, more recently, wireless, with control signals sent through the air. This approach eliminates the need for control wiring, resulting in significant benefits, particularly in existing buildings. Using wireless communication, control devices can communicate as discrete devices or as part of networked systems. Click to read this article by Steve Mesh, LC and Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP.
A new application for voice-control personal assistants is control of home systems such as lighting, shades, thermostats, A/V, security, and other smart devices. A typical solution includes a virtual assistant device (phone or speaker), Wi-Fi connection, downloadable smart device app, and a compatible lighting or home automation system. This article by Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP describes typical solutions, how they work, and their benefits.
Controlling plug loads is a natural fit for the lighting controls industry, as the same devices and strategies are used for automatic shutoff of plug loads such as task lighting as for general lighting. This feature article by LCA Education Director Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP looks at energy code requirements, compliance options, and control types.
The DesignLights Consortium’s (DLC) new report, Energy Savings from Networked Lighting Control (NLC) Systems, estimates average lighting energy savings of 47% resulting from installation of networked lighting control systems. The report indicates high potential energy savings for networked controls, supports layered control strategies as a means to maximize savings, and may be used to justify new and larger utility rebates. Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP breaks it down in this month’s featured article.
Most commercial building energy codes require automatic lighting shutoff. This common-sense strategy also adds value to lighting upgrades in existing buildings. Remote switching is one method, with an option being switches residing in a metal cabinet-type enclosure called a panel. This panel can serve as the backbone for a complete energy code-compliant control system that responds to a wide range of control inputs for indoor and outdoor lighting control. It is typically sold as a new complete unit, though panelboard retrofit assemblies are available.
This article describes common panel-based lighting control systems.
In May 2016, the DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) released V.1.0 of its Networked Lighting Control Systems Specification, which formed the basis of a new Qualified Lighting Products List (QPL). The intent was to provide utilities and energy efficiency programs a resource to qualify networked lighting control systems so they could be covered in commercial sector lighting […]