Lighting Controls: Understanding Wireless Controls for Lighting Retrofits

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Lighting Controls: Advances in LED TechnologyPt. 2: Lighting Controls: When to Use TLED LampsPt. 3: Lighting Controls: Specifying Control Systems Based on Facility NeedsPt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Lighting Controls: LED Lighting Controls Enable Task Tuning, Color ControlPt. 6: Lighting Controls: System Services for Lighting Controls Can Provide Peace of MindPt. 7: Lighting Controls: A Lightbulb Is No Longer Just a Vacuum Tube of Glass and Steel

By Bruce Bharat

Wireless lighting controls is the best choice for renovation because it minimizes the need for wiring throughout the space. However, many “wireless” solutions require wiring, such as dimming wires to each fixture. This can be challenging with hard ceilings or where you cannot break the ceiling barrier, such as in hospitals or older buildings where asbestos could be above the ceiling.

To solve these challenges, look for LED fixtures with embedded sensors. One wireless-capable occupancy and daylight sensor per fixture removes the guess work from renovation jobs and minimizes the risk of mis-wiring. Once on the job site, the fixture installation is as easy as disconnecting line voltage from the old fixture and connecting line voltage to the new LED fixtures with embedded sensors. If the focus is simply on a bill-of-materials and not the total cost and risks involved with wiring, maintenance and engineering managers can miss the real savings.

As for the future of lighting, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) will revolutionize the lighting and controls industry, providing an excellent medium for an integrated, multi-service IoT platform. Why? Where there are people, there are lights; where there are people, there will also be the need for connectivity.

IoT services will allow the building owners to create value for their space occupant beyond code compliance and energy savings alone. IoT via lighting controls also supports faster ROI for the building owner when considering applications like indoor positioning or asset tracking. IoT-enabled solutions can add value to any space and there not many, if any, situations where it would not make sense to implement IoT. The real challenge to delivering IoT is security. Establishing and maintaining security in a wireless network is key to delivering on the IoT promise, and facility managers should look for solutions that provide advanced security that can match the asset life of 10-20 years.

Bruce Bharat is director of product marketing – indoor networked controls for Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.

Advances in LED lighting and control technology can provide new solutions and significant benefits to institutional and commercial facilities. These developments lead to more choices regarding lighting retrofits, as described in Lighting Controls: Advances in LED Technology, which first appeared in the October 2017 issue of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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  posted on 10/27/2017   Article Use Policy

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