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Switching to Smart Lighting: How to Convince Upper Management

Avoid these mistakes during the implementation process and showcase the benefits of the smart technology

By Howard Riell, Contributing Writer  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Smart Lighting Offers Major Benefits Pt. 2: This Page

Managers looking to convey essential smart-lighting information to building owners must address several key aspects.  

These include: 

  • Clear articulation of energy efficiency goals 
  • In-depth cost-benefit analyses 
  • Discussion of the latest available technologies and their advantages, emphasizing maintenance and code compliance and showcasing the benefits of smart lighting controls 
  • Personalization and scalability benefits 
  • Highlighting incentives and project timelines for a holistic understanding and decision-making process 

Effective communication on these points ensures that building owners have all the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding lighting projects. 

While implementing a smart-lighting system can offer a variety of benefits, managers and building owners should be aware of potential mistakes to avoid to ensure successful implementation. These pitfalls include rushed planning, lack of stakeholder involvement, scalability oversight, compatibility issues and underestimating maintenance and training needs.  

“By avoiding these mistakes and instead prioritizing holistic planning, user engagement and system adaptability, managers can maximize the benefits of smart lighting — promoting energy efficiency without compromising user comfort and experience,” Buerer says. 

Managers and building owners who research smart lighting systems can benefit from the input of lighting experts and manufacturers. By consulting with lighting experts, managers can ensure their lighting system is not only user-friendly but also prioritizes users' preferences and needs. 

Lighting experts can also help realize the value of sustainable practices such as incorporating adaptive lighting schedules and staying compliant with code requirements to ensure the system's success for years to come.  

Electrical to digital 

Smart lighting systems offer users a complete package of energy efficiencies, starting with environmentally friendly LED technology that should appeal to facility managers and building owners. 

“Lighting is no more just electrical, but has become digital,” says Gaurav Arora, brand manager for Barron Lighting Group. “The main benefits of smart lighting are ease of operation and maintenance, especially in larger facilities, as the number of fixtures and large area makes it complex.”  

Smart lighting’s integration with controls and building management systems, “has contributed towards energy saving,” Arora says. “It has and will help in maintaining the desired light levels in application areas and help in service and maintenance through two-way communications.”  

The integration of features like daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors can save substantial energy, money and labor on the operational side.     

Smart technologies are not only touching the general lighting segment but have also integrated into the emergency lighting segment through the introduction of the latest generation self-diagnostics, remote monitoring and reporting systems. 

Related Content: Lighting Choices Enhance the Workplace

“Smart and intelligent emergency lighting solutions are designed to be completely controlled from your tablet from anywhere within your building, or remotely via cloud-based technology,” Arora says. “No more going from fixture to fixture. Localized data storage enables you to access the light system with a high level of cybersecurity for enhanced safety and reliability.” 

Arora says that lighting plays a very important role in impacting comfort, fatigue and overall design aesthetics of a building. 

“Circadian lighting, also known as human-centric or tunable lighting, has gained popularity in recent years,” he says. “A properly lit area positively impacts the overall efficiency of a workforce, and also directly contributes towards better security and safety.”  

With LED technology and digital transformation, “slicker, smaller and flexible designs are now possible resulting in more design aesthetics,” Arora says. “While some might say that all lighting is a form of art in its own way, thanks to LED technology lighting fixtures are especially artful, designed to catch the eye and add visual interest even when they're not switched on.” 

With evolving technology and digitalization, facility managers and building owners should always consider:  

  • The efficiency and efficacy parameters of lighting devices  
  • That there has been no compromise on safety and certification parameters (UL certified)  
  • Drivers (electronic control gears) as being the heart of the light fixture  
  • The before and after sales service support  
  • The technical capability and reputation of the brand offering. 

To attain the maximum on their investment, managers need to avoid making their decisions based on dollars per square feet and look for better lumen per watt and lower watts per square feet and be careful to compare and evaluate products on an apples-to-apples basis when it comes to things like performance and reliability, Arora says. 

Howard Riell is a freelance writer from Henderson, Nevada. 

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  posted on 3/14/2024   Article Use Policy

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