Chris Dawes from NET LED Lighting discusses the benefits LG Electronics’ LED lighting control system can have on commercial environments.
Lighting control systems have been around for decades. They range from basic dimming devices such as 0 – 10V, right through to more sophisticated controllers using International Standards such as the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) being used to control conventional ballasts, LED lighting and emergency lighting systems. There are many case studies demonstrating how these control systems have reduced energy consumption in commercial buildings, yet many organisations have resisted adopting control technology due to its cost, complexity and appropriateness for their applications. However, this may be about to change.
LG Electronics’ latest range of commercial LED lighting overcomes these concerns by using wireless lighting control technology. This offers a low cost, simple and ﬂexible solution which makes it viable for most lighting applications, while at the same time expanding the lighting control capabilities.
Being wireless eliminates the need for dedicated control wiring, thereby significantly reducing installation costs and removing many complexity concerns. Should the premises layout subsequently change and it becomes necessary to move luminaires into different lighting control groups, this can quickly and simply be done by reprogramming with user-friendly software. No rewiring would be required, reducing costs and increasing ﬂexibility and scalability for commercial lighting applications. The lighting is simply controlled using an app on a smart phone or tablet.
With conventional wired systems, the location of controls is often restricted to where wiring permits. The LG wireless system allows controls to be placed wherever they are needed to improve building usage and performance. The wireless network is easily scalable at a low additional cost. Additional sensors, switches and lights require minimal labour and disruption and are simply added to the existing wireless control system without the need to add new control infrastructure.
LG Electronics has adopted the open wireless protocol, ZigBee, allowing it to work seamlessly not only with devices which use the same protocol, but also to integrate with the control systems of other solution providers which are designed to work with ZigBee. The LG LED lighting driver has a compact communication dongle which simply plugs into the driver, thereby making it wirelessly controllable.
“The LG system manages and automates the light levels at set times or under set conditions and users can have control over their own lighting to provide optimal working conditions.”
In addition to the energy savings achievable through lighting control, there is also the convenience and comfort provided to the user; the correct amount of light can be delivered where you want it, when you want it.
The LG system manages and automates the light levels at set times or under set conditions and users can have control over their own lighting to provide optimal working conditions. Scheduling allows lights to be turned on/off and dimmed at specified times. Occupancy sensors detect when a room is being used to automatically turn lights on or off accordingly. Daylight harvesting uses photosensors to detect levels of natural light and automatically dims lights when they are not required, thereby providing consistent lighting levels as well as reducing energy usage. Companies can use these controls for Demand Response, allowing them to reduce energy consumed by lighting to pre-set levels at times of peak usage or when energy prices are high.
People spend about 90% of their lives inside buildings and most lighting used to date is the equivalent of biological darkness; it is used for vision but does nothing for our biological wellbeing. We are all aware of how the colour and brightness of lighting affects our feelings and moods and there is an increasing wealth of research being undertaken which indicates that lighting may also have a direct effect on health. In the same way as we are familiar with changing the temperature or humidity of our working environment using heating and air conditioning, now simplicity and ﬂexibility provided by LG Electronics’ wireless lighting control technology allows “human centric lighting” for improved comfort and wellbeing.
Initially the drive for LED technology was to save costs primarily through lower energy consumption, reduced maintenance and longer life expectancy. While these drivers are still relevant today, the controllability of LED technology is developing into more intelligent lighting systems using connectivity and control to enhance the function of people and their feeling of wellbeing. This can result in higher productivity and a better quality of life.