The science of electrical engineering has many facets that have created additional specialties that are merging again. The lighting design specialist, electrical engineer, low-voltage (aka telecommunications specialist) and energy system management (EMS) specialists are applying their areas of expertise to plan, design and program systems responsive to stricter energy codes, aesthetic values and functional requirements. Compound these challenges with multipurpose/ multi-zone environments, technical skill required to commission and administer the system, and occupant influence, the result is a constant balance of simplifying the sophisticated technology behind the solution.
SYSTEMS CONVERGING IN THE EMS
Daylight Responsive Controls
Motorized Window Shades
SELECTING A LIGHTING CONTROL PLATFORM
Automation continues to have a significant influence on driving down energy consumption. Controlled through the EMS, and leveraging the backbone infrastructure for that system, connections are provided to the lighting control devices and are allowed to reside on the EMS system . This enables a single point of programming based upon space use and functionality that blends with a point-of-use interface for lighting controls. Fully leveraging the benefits of this system relies on a qualified consulting team committed to following the project through to being fully commissioned and intuitive point-of-use labeling.
While the benefits of a fully integrated system are attractive, the organizational culture may be more conducive to a stand-alone system that places more control in the user’s hands. This approach is code-compliant with the implementation of occupancy sensors while utilizing switch technology more universally known by contractors, commissioning agents and end-users alike.
INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS TO SET THE MOOD
The influence of light on the human condition is well documented, especially in healing and learning spaces. The effects of ample daylight have long been attributed to creating environments conducive to the task at hand. The design community has embraced and promoted this as part of the lighting design and energy management approach. However, the influence of technology and our increased exposure to ‘blue light’ is igniting another topic: circadian rhythm – the body’s natural response to sunlight as the radiant tones vary from dawn (warm) to mid-afternoon (cool) and to dusk (warm).
BODY'S NATURAL CHEMICAL RHYTHM TO DAYLIGHT
Technology is embracing this knowledge and blending it with the capabilities of a lighting control system to mimic the sun’s natural effects. In the learning environment, this technology aids in program spaces where a calming effect is desirable or, in contrast, a higher level of alertness could be advantages.