Understand the basics of the lighting control system
A lighting control system is a networked collection of both small and big parts that enables users to enjoy distinctive lighting control features. Various components make up an automated lighting control system, depending on the features it provides. These often consist of touchscreens, light switches, occupancy sensors, and photocells. The ability to easily incorporate smarter components is the best feature of lighting control systems.
Systems for controlling lighting are used for the purposeful application of light to produce a desired aesthetic or functional impact. It consists of general lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. The systems are frequently utilized in commercial, industrial, and residential areas for both indoor and outdoor lighting. They are also used to maximize the lighting system’s energy savings, adhere to building codes, or participate in energy-saving and green building initiatives. Lighting technology created for convenience, security, and energy efficiency may be included in lighting control systems. This could incorporate energy-efficient lighting fixtures and automated controls that adjust according to factors like occupancy or daylight availability.
Types of lighting control systems
There are several lighting control options available, and understanding how they differ will aid in selecting the one that best suits your requirements.
Basic lighting controls
– The manual on/off switch found in the majority of households is the most fundamental type of lighting control. To prevent electricity from being wasted, residents must manually turn them on as they enter a room and off when they depart.
Integrated lighting controls
– Integrated lighting controls take this one step further if you thought aided lighting controls were clever. A wired or wireless connection is frequently used to centralize these systems within a house or place of business.
Assisted lighting controls
– Your lighting plan can incorporate voice-activated assistive technology like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. This enables voice commands to turn on your lights, making it safer to wander around your house at night.
Motion sensor controls
– Motion sensors are utilised for both security and utility illumination, and they are frequently confused with occupancy sensors. When motion is detected, they communicate with your lights to turn on, and then they quickly switch off.
– Occupancy sensors are very helpful for businesses since they automatically turn lights on when little movements are detected and turn them off after a predetermined amount of time. They use exceptionally high resolution and precision technology.
– You have a tonne of freedom with dimmer switches. Instead of having pre-determined lighting configurations, you have complete control over how much light you want in the space, ranging from 0% to 100%. To make it easier to find the controls in the dark, some have a digital touch switch or a little light.
Pre-set lighting controls
– Using a slider by the flip switch, pre-set lighting controls let you adjust brightness levels. The switch allows you to turn the lights on and off, just as the basic controls discussed earlier, while the slider lets you adjust the light’s intensity using preset brightness settings.
Why use lighting control systems?
By enabling users to customize the light level in a space to their tastes and the task at hand, lighting control systems enhance comfort. Glare and hot spots can be reduced and a space’s overall lighting can be kept at a level that is suitable for its occupants by adjusting the light level.
To create a high-quality, energy-efficient lighting system, lighting controls are employed in lighting design projects. In addition to providing the optimum lighting levels, reducing glare, balancing surface brightness, and improving the surrounding architecture, identifying a layered, daylight-integrated lighting and control system provides the occupants control over the lighting.
Benefits of owning a lighting control system
The repetitive task of adjusting lights is greatly simplified by a lighting control system. Automated lighting switches on their own, and practical keypads allow for quick and easy lighting adjustments around the house. Any home’s convenience and lighting are improved by combining these elements in a lighting control system. A lighting control system also offers the convenience of ownership. Home security systems can be improved by turning on all of the lights when there is an alarm, flashing outside to alert authorities, and turning on all of the lights within the house
In houses, hotels, and workplaces, usage of lighting control systems can increase efficiency, cut costs, reduce carbon emissions, respond to occupants, complement architecture, and improve a building’s use. A commercial lighting control system could appear to need an excessive amount of organization, depending on the size of your company. A lighting control system is still worthwhile to investigate due to its many advantages. That includes:
Ecological and cost
According to reports, non-domestic lighting contributes over 24 million tons of CO2 annually. Better lighting control can cut expenses by 30 to 50 percent while also dramatically reducing carbon emissions. In the same way, new lighting technology can cut energy expenditures by up to 80 percent. All of this provides a strong case for better output management of lights. Lighting control systems make it possible to monitor electricity output more effectively.
Using simple-to-use apps on your device, lighting control solutions let you manage every light fixture. You can more easily keep track of which lights are on and off in your house using both traditional remote controls and smartphone apps. When there is no motion detected in a room, you can program some lighting control systems with motion sensor technology to switch off the lights automatically.
For specific occasions or settings, such as a bedtime routine, a lighting control system can be pre-programmed. It would entail dimming the lights, switching off speakers and televisions, changing the thermostat for a comfortable resting environment, and turning on the house alarm. A full house automation system and a lighting control system can be linked for added convenience. To automate certain procedures, the system can interface with other gadgets like smart door locks and thermostats.
By enabling users to customize light levels to their specific needs, lighting control systems increase worker productivity. Task lighting that is appropriate can help increase attention and concentration while lowering eye strain and fatigue. Additionally, using the lighting control system to make the workplace more comfortable can boost motivation and employee satisfaction.
Personal preferences are met
Systems for controlling lighting provide simple flexibility. Adapt the lighting according to the time of day. You can choose to relax with dim or bright lighting. The ability to program anything you want at the touch of a button is even greater. With color-changing smart light bulbs, you can create whatever mood you want. Consider ambient yellow glow for movie night, bright purple for dance events, or the color of your favorite team on game day.
The era of huge technology and clumsy design is passed. These days, lighting control system panels are made to match a building’s layout and design. These advancements give users even more alternatives when combined with a persistent dedication to workmanship. Lighting control systems can improve the design of a room in more ways than just lighting, such as with antique brass, sleek modern finishes, and even transparent panels.
Lighting control systems can set ‘vacation scenes,’ or ‘holiday modes’ turning lights on and off throughout the day or night to make it seem like someone is home. It enables lighting management systems to simulate how lights are typically used in a home or workplace when it’s empty. It can also automatically turn on outdoor lighting at night so there are never any dark areas, and can use motion sensor technology to show when people are near your home. This results in improved security as well as increased peace of mind.
The improved utilization of light across a house, place of work, or place of leisure is likely the most common benefit of lighting control systems. The time of day, the season, the social event, or even just the needs of the tenant can all be taken into account when setting the mood-appropriate lighting. Systems can be set to turn on at specific times in residential settings, making it possible for someone who works late to wander through the house without disturbing the other occupants. Lighting control systems can also be used to focus on particular places, such as dining tables, or even signal if some sections are off-limits, so households or companies wishing to organize an event or social occasion may want to plan appropriately.
Integrate technology into your house seamlessly. Audio, video, security, and HVAC systems can all be integrated with lighting control systems. Controls can function trustworthily and logically with other systems in your house, from straightforward integration with a single system to sophisticated high-level integration. Enjoy the innovative wireless lighting control’s safety and security. Make a clear trail of light leading into, around, and through your house. For an additional layer of assurance, connect your security system to your lighting system. To create solitude or safeguard priceless furnishings, use automated blinds. You may further automate your house by adding audio and video controls to your lighting keypads for more control.
Based on the time, the sun rises or sets, the right lighting management system will know when to switch on and off your landscape lighting. To ensure that your external lights can be controlled just as easily as your interior ones.
One of the most frequently forgotten areas during a lighting overhaul, according to experts, is outside lighting, which includes parking garage illumination. Because it can result in energy savings and operating cost savings, it’s a huge potential loss. At least 12 hours a day, both indoor and outside lighting is on. Security is increased by exterior illumination. People feel safe because of it. It will save energy when the lights are on and also allow savings when the lighting may be adjusted or shut off based on a schedule, occupancy sensors, or available daylight. Exterior and outdoor lighting can be converted to a controlled, energy-efficient source.
Users of lighting management systems can remotely control their lighting devices using the responsive control features of the system. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers can all simply be connected to lighting management software. Thus, it only takes a few seconds to remotely do operations like monitoring, modifying, and scheduling lighting changes. It is also feasible to make significant changes to the lighting control system from mobile devices thanks to lighting management software, which provides administrators with direct enterprise-level access to their lighting systems.
Techniques and Actions
An efficient and affordable lighting management system can be created by integrating manual, scheduled, and occupancy control methods with the on/off and dimming activities they carry out. Let’s analyze each strategy and action utilized to offer a variety of choices that are tailored to your needs.
Although it might appear straightforward, many designers make problematic lighting arrangements when it comes to on/off operation. Take the metal-halide lighting setup shown in the photo on page 40 as an illustration. For this kind of system, it’s important to consider the restrike time, which is the amount of time it takes for a lamp to start emitting light after being turned on. When turned back on after being turned off, metal halides take several minutes to start emitting light once more. You will need to wait 15 minutes for a sufficient level of light when you turn on your metal-halide lamps the next morning if you turn them all out at night. You can lessen the impact of the restrike time by including additional forms of lighting and setting up a few fixtures to be ‘always on.’ Make it clear which lights shouldn’t be turned off when considering the architecture of your lighting controls, and pay close attention to the escape path lighting.
Consider how long it takes for light to transition from its floor dimming level to 80 per cent output when you’re planning to dim. There are no energy savings below the effective ‘floor’ of dimming for fluorescent lighting, which is 20 per cent. For metal-halide lights, the effective floor of dimming is roughly 50% since below that point, the lamp is effectively restricken. Take caution when positioning and aiming your sensors. Although you don’t want nearby traffic to make the lights fluctuate in brightness throughout the day, you do want them
to turn on whether a human or a lift truck enters the area. A time delay on the dim-down will get rid of bothersome lighting when you dim the lights based on ambient lighting.
Manual lighting controls
Manual lighting controls can be operated by toggles, rotary knobs, push buttons, remote controllers, and other mechanisms. They can range from a single switch to a bank of switches and dimmers. The most economical options for small-scale settings are manual controls. However, manual controls become less efficient as the lighting system gets bigger. On the other hand, they can still play a significant role in a bigger strategy, as shown by the success of task lighting with manual controls.
The zone idea is the most crucial factor to take into account when using occupancy limits. When used properly, occupancy restrictions enhance a building’s use, security, and effectiveness. However, if used incorrectly, they force the owner to evade or delete them entirely.
Scheduled lighting controls
Scheduled lighting controls are frequently the best choice when there is a regular pattern of occupancy. When the location requires lighting outside of regular business hours, you can add unique manual overrides to make this work. The scheduled controls are often used in conjunction with manual controls to temporarily override them. Regardless of the occupancy schedule, you should always leave a lit evacuation route. If you are unclear, check your lighting conditions, local, state, and federal fire rules, as well as state and federal restrictions.
Good electrical design
It’s crucial to keep in mind that lighting control systems are electrical switching systems with lighting loads, regardless of the solution you select. You must adhere to the same Code regulations and design standards for overload, short-circuit protection, and grounding as you would with any other electrical system. The incorrect use of lighting control devices with low short-circuit current ratings, however, happens frequently. These underappreciated technologies could operate safely for many years.
It has been demonstrated that a lighting control system can elicit feelings, influence happiness, and alter stress levels. They are created to offer the appropriate level of light where and when it is required. Lighting your home or place of business properly improves user experience, boosts safety, and uses less energy. Controlling specific lights or groups of lights from a single user interface device is one of the main advantages of a lighting control system over standalone lighting controls or traditional manual switching.
It is now possible to build specialized lighting scenarios for various activities in a room thanks to the ability to manage several light sources from a single device. Lighting control systems also assist in adjusting light intensity, temperature, color, and other factors to fulfill human biological demands by utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning models. An expert can advise you on the ideal configurations for your living space and how to install these very practical gadgets to save time and money.