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Jon Theis, Managing Director at TheisCra, examines some of the latest lighng technology and advises on what to consider when specifying and installing lighng controls.

anaging energy consumption does not simply rely on installing low energy products and systems – it also requires them to be properly controlled. Therefore, in order to comply with existing and future energy reduction legislation, companies in all vertical sectors should be utilising lighting control technology to better manage when and where lighting is used. Lighting control covers a variety of technologies, from a manual dimmer switch to occupancy sensors, which are particularly useful in toilets, cupboards and meeting rooms and are relatively inexpensive to install.


Furthermore, photoelectric lighting sensors turn lighting on at dusk and off at dawn, by sensing the amount of natural light in the space and make the most of daylight harvesting, which uses daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to properly light an area. Their use can also enhance comfort conditions, by controlling the colour and intensity of white light to reflect changes in daylight levels. At the higher end of the spectrum, intelligent lighting control systems utilise the DALI protocol, as set out in IEC 62386. A DALI lighting control system assigns an address to each luminaire, allowing management of each individual device, and can be as simple as a single luminaire containing a driver and a sensor.

Making light work for you ‘

Intelligent systems can also create moods and simulate the natural daylight cycle to tune in with the circadian rhythms of occupants. This can also improve productivity and reduce eyestrain, migraines and headaches. The wiring infrastructure used with a lighting control system is also a major consideration. Although a hardwired solution, using either metal or soft skin cable, is ideal for those areas not usually associated with the main part of the lighting control system, modular wiring systems provide significant

improvements. Designed and produced off-site in a quality controlled environment, modular systems are supplied pre-assembled and fully tested, eliminating the need for on-site electrical connections and thereby reducing installation times by up to 70 per cent. It is wise not to make a lighting control purchase based on price alone. Buying from a reputable manufacturer helps avoid problems but in the event that a product does fail, knowing that a replacement can be sourced, delivered and installed quickly offers peace of mind. A product that is manufactured and sold under warranty in the UK will lead to a swifter resolution. That’s not the end of the story though, as not all warranties are the same. For instance, a return to base warranty means that should a fault develop within the warranty period, the end user will have to send the product back to a service centre, where it will be analysed

and repaired before being sent back. If it can’t be repaired, a new product will be delivered. The obvious issue here is that the entire process can take a matter of weeks to resolve. Under the terms of an advance replacement warranty, the manufacturer immediately delivers a replacement product in the event of a problem. The defective unit is then sent to the manufacturer within a specified timeframe, upon which it is tested and repaired if necessary. The upshot is that the time spent without a complete lighting control system is vastly reduced. A lighting control solution can only provide genuine value if it directly addresses the unique needs of the building and its occupants. Therefore, understanding usage and occupation patterns, and integrating lighting control with appropriate luminaires, is the best way to achieve the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) SKA ratings. Finally, working with a single company that can effectively fulfil as many lighting equipment needs as possible is also advisable in order to increase value, lower pricing due to consolidation of all requirements, ensure consistent quality and reduce purchasing workload. It is wise not

to make a lighng control purchase based on price alone. Buying from a reputable manufacturer helps avoid problems but in the event that a product does fail, knowing that a replacement can be sourced, delivered and installed quickly oers peace of mind.



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