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Should you make the switch to wireless lighting controls?

Wireless integrated controls and advanced LED technology deliver a seamless package. This match made in heaven is simple to install, flexible, secure and highly cost-effective. The technology can benefit contractors, facility managers, specifiers and end users simultaneously. If you haven’t made the switch to a wireless lighting control system, here are three things to consider.

Benefits of wireless lighting control

Many in the commercial building industry cite cost, complexity and questions about application as reasons why they haven’t rushed to adopt a wireless lighting control system. But new wireless lighting technologies significantly reduce lighting energy consumption while expanding lighting control capabilities:

  • Removing the wires: A new generation of lighting control systems reduces cost and eliminates complexity concerns by removing the dedicated control wiring.
  • Flexibility: Instead of placing controls where wiring permits, building owners can place controls where they are needed to improve building performance. As the needs of a space change, changes can be made at any point, or new devices and control strategies added, simply by reprogramming.
  • Scalability: Once a wireless network is established, that network can grow to cover an ever-expanding area at a low additional cost. Additional sensors, switches and lights require minimal labor and disruption, and these elements utilize the same wireless control system without requiring a new control infrastructure.

Lighting control strategy

Lighting control manages and automates the delivery of the correct amount of light where and when it is needed. Lights can automatically turn on/off or dim at set times or under set conditions, and users gain control over their own lighting levels to provide optimal working conditions. A true wireless lighting control solution automates and simplifies cost- and energy-saving strategies.

  • Scheduling: Turn on/off and dim lights at specified times during the day—for example, automatically turn lights on at the start of business hours, and turn them off after employees leave at night.
  • Occupancy sensors: Detect when a room is occupied; automatically turn lights on when someone enters, and turn off or dim the lights shortly after they leave.
  • Daylight harvesting: Use photo sensors to detect levels of natural light, and automatically dim artificial lights when sunlight is streaming into windows. This reduces energy use and provides consistent lighting levels.
  • Demand response: Utility companies frequently offer their customers incentives to reduce energy consumption, especially at times of peak usage or when retail energy prices are high. Lighting control solutions can automatically respond to these events and reduce energy consumed by lighting to pre-set levels.

Common applications

Wireless connected lighting is inherently simple, making it a perfect solution for wireless applications that must meet energy code and allow for flexible space configurations. Offices, schools, hospitals and other public facilities require lighting and lighting controls that meet evolving energy codes. Gain new intelligence, better manage these spaces, and fully optimize them with wireless connected lighting.

  • Offices and work environments: The average annual operating cost for office buildings includes about $2 per square foot for energy, 75 percent of which stems from electrical expenses. Differentiated office space leases more quickly and at higher margins, and is in higher demand. Some wireless connected lighting solutions provide an easy mobile app to reconfigure spaces and view power usage quickly and efficiently.
  • Education: Each year, $8 billion in public and private funds is spent on school retrofits, yet lighting is upgraded only 28 percent of the time. Wireless connected lighting leverages the installed lighting for daylight sensing to provide improved light quality under each luminaire. It is an affordable solution to keep power, lighting and controls in schools on the cutting edge.
  • Healthcare: Lighting and controls solutions are crucial in medical facilities because of the potential impact of lighting on clinical outcomes and patient care. These solutions provide flexibility and support the healing process. They also reduce costs associated with lighting. Hospitals spend about 10 percent of the total electrical load on lighting; wireless connected lighting systems can lower lighting energy costs by as much as $2 per square foot, per year.

By combining power, lighting, connectivity and software into a simple yet powerful solution, wireless connected lighting systems deliver peace of mind for contractors, facility managers and end users.