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FEATURE


THE FUTURE OF LIGHTING CONTROLS


Lighting controls have become common place in many commercial environments over the last few years as businesses have switched on to the cost and eco benefits of energy efficiency. Prime Light sat down to chat with Richard Whitbread, UK Co-Director at Mymesh, to gain some expert insight into this burgeoning smart technology.


Q:


Can you explain what a ‘wireless infrastructure’ is and tell us a bit more about Mymesh?


RW: Mymesh started in the 1980’s as an industrial internet of things. It’s a robust radio-agnostic protocol that’s provides a wireless infrastructure. What this means in real terms is that it enables machines to talk to each other on any wireless frequency including Bluetooth (2.4GHZ) and 868 MHz so they can work together as a centrally controlled network.


To date this protocol has been primarily used for lighting controls as it’s the obvious place to utilise it; you’ll always have lights, they’re tucked away in a ceiling and have a constant source of power – so they make the perfect network. But the protocol has much broader uses and can in fact transform your building into a smart building.


Q:


What insight can you give us into the future of lighting controls?


34 | TOMORROW’S FM


RW: To be honest it’s much more about smart buildings these days, but with lighting controls as the backbone. Lighting controls are always going to be important as around 90% of buildings need one. But if you put a lighting control system in, then you can improve the intelligence of your building in so many other ways.


You’ll not only have this efficient lighting network, but you can then add in things like air quality sensors, leak detection, daylight harvesting, automatic blinds and much more. There are so many devices being brought to market to work on these networks, the future opportunities are limitless. Essentially if you’ve got a sensor and you can give us a signal, we can put it on our network.


Q: So, there’s a real benefit for building owners?


RW: It’s a real sweet spot for building owners. They often don’t realise that by putting a lighting control system in,


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