Lighting Controls: Biggest Specification Challenges
From occupancy sensors and control panels to daylight harvesting and dimming strategies, specifying controls can be a significant challenge for managers. The range of issues managers must consider include:
- the hours of the day occupants are in the space
- whether the space remains occupied or if occupants come and go
- the activities taking place in the space
- the individuals to whom managers grant access to controls.
Manufacturers also stress the importance of sorting through the different technologies and resulting performance claims, collecting as much information as possible to make the most informed decision.
"There's a lot of misinformation in the market," says Terry Mocherniak, CEO of Encelium Technologies. "A lot of people get turned off from technology like occupancy sensors because they've had them installed in their building, and they weren't properly commissioned or installed. It's not a function of the technology not working. It's a function of poor integrators or installers misapplying them."
When deciding which controls to specify, managers need to think beyond one or two applications, considering the way one decision will affect expanding lighting-control needs for the facility down the road.
"You want to make sure you use controls that are scalable, so a facility manager can start with a single room and install controls like occupancy sensing and daylight harvesting," says Michael Jouaneh, marketing manager with Lutron Electronics Co. Inc. "But if they want to expand that to a floor, are these controls able to talk with each other?"