A London university has had a smartphone-accessible DALI control system installed, allowing operators to independently manage the building’s lighting using an App. We learn more about the benefits of this approach.
The University of Roehampton, in the Borough of Wandsworth, planned to redevelop the Sir David Bell Building on the Digby Stuart Campus with a target of remodelling and extending two adjacent buildings to consolidate and improve facilities for the Department of Media Culture & Languages.
This included the creation of specialist teaching areas including film, television and sound studios, a 90+ seat cinema, photographic studios, cutting/editing suites and a flexible creative project space for the University’s new digital media course.
The scheme was also designed to provide accommodation for university-wide students facing support facilities such as Academic Services, Audio Visual Resources, Digital Learning and IT Services. Seminar rooms were created to promote collaborative learning through a variety of flexible layouts; supported by extensive social learning and ‘commons’ spaces, including the creation of a glazed courtyard.
As part of the project, the university appointed mechanical and electrical building services engineering company, Michael Jones & Associates, based in Reigate, to design a new lighting control system, specifically for the Sir David Bell Building development. The brief was that the university required a system which would enable staff to control lighting themselves with the added benefit of reducing energy usage.
Typically, lighting can account for around 25% of a university’s energy costs. Nationwide lighting controls specialist, BEG Lighting Controls, was approached by Michael Jones to provide a user-friendly and flexible lighting control system to meet the university’s control criteria. BEG proposed the BEG DALI-LINK system which offers flexible, scalable DALI lighting control and, because it’s Bluetooth-enabled, it’s easy to configure and change as room uses evolve – from changing scenes to adjusting the lights’ brightness.
The DALI addressable system can be programmed simply and quickly using a smartphone and using the free-to-download BEG App. BEG Lighting Controls Specification Director, Tom Greenrod, said: “The controls system was mapped out and approved for use by the university in the majority of areas, such as teaching rooms, open plan and cellular offices, seminar rooms, studios, computer labs and in the cinema/lecture theatre where occupancy detection and/or scene control was required.
“In the teaching rooms, the university required constant light level control with absence detection and a scene for presenting. This was achieved using a mains power supply and a DALI bus linking all of the luminaires, the DALI-LINK multi-sensor and a push button module. This module was located behind a two-gang switch plate with two push to make retractive switches.”
He continued: “One switch was used for absence and daylight linking and the second for a pre-set scene. The multi-sensor in this situation was used in absence mode but can also be used in presence mode or even work as a photocell. These changes are made to the settings via the BEG App. There’s even an option for de-activating the multi-sensor, multi-sensor, if required.
“The lecture theatre required six scenes and this was achieved using the Bluetooth push button module and a second non-Bluetooth module. Using a second push button module, the number of scenes available is increased to eight. A maximum of 16 scenes can be obtained using four modules.
“As the BEG DALI-LINK is an App-based system it’s very easy to make changes to settings and store them. To protect these settings from sabotage, a pin code can be set up to limit access to designated users.”
The DALI-LINK system can also provide orientation lighting to give some illumination to an area when it is unoccupied, avoiding unlit areas and providing a safe and secure environment. There’s also another option – the ‘Follow Me’ feature – where lighting will ramp up and down in relation to the movement of a person. This is beneficial in corridors and in stairwells to minimise the energy usage.
In the remaining areas where a less flexible lighting control solution was required, BEG Lighting Controls used DALI broadcast sensors. At the end of the project, a handover was carried out and training given to university staff by BEG specialists to ensure operators were fully aware of how to use the system and and how changes could be made if required.
View the BEG Lighting Controls catalogue by clicking here