The National Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO) has always had a mutually beneficial relationship with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for over 20 years. The two organizations have worked together as part of the IES Lighting Maintenance Committee, coming up with valuable guidelines that touch on lighting maintenance.
Following advancements in lighting control technology, NALMCO has launched a new certification that recognizes expertise in this sector. Previously, professionals in lighting control technology did not have certification specific to their trade, hence the Certified Lighting Controls Professional (CLCP) is a fresh break from the past. The knowledge gained from this certification equips lighting experts with the skills they require to engage with controls in various code compliant lighting projects and ongoing maintenance.
In addition to the LED revolution, networked intelligent lighting controls are the new technological revolution in the energy industry. A large number of new commercial buildings have already embraced these advancements. These networked lighting controls are paired with LED lighting to guarantee lower energy costs, flexibility and data harvesting opportunities.
Moreover, the advances in wireless communication allow for the adoption of highly sophisticated lighting control schemes in new and old buildings. As a result, the US Department of Energy projects lighting controls to contribute to 30% of energy savings by 2030.
In recognition of the importance of networked lighting controls, the Design Lights Consortium has designed a transformation program revolving around lighting control systems. This program aims to support the adoption of these systems in existing buildings.
In 2016, the DLC launched the Qualified Product List, which many organizations use to determine LED products that qualify for lighting rebate programs. Since then, the DLC has been maintaining the list, with energy efficiency companies using it to qualify various products. The ripple effect is that rebate managers are expected to include lighting control systems in their programs as a result spurring adoption of these systems.
Role of Skilled Labor in Navigating Lighting Controls
The growing demand for networked controls calls for a workforce that is capable of choosing, designing, applying and maintaining these lighting control systems. Many of the new lighting control systems are easier to commission, but remain vulnerable to installation and application errors. This could lead to dissatisfaction, with building owners or managers disabling the controls in case it doesn’t seem to work for them.
Then again, knowledgeable lighting experts must work around the clock to maintain the system and make sure it operates seamlessly and provides the much desired savings.
The following are key areas of interest:
Each individual application has its own needs and requirements. Before setting up any new technology, building owners need proper advice on selecting the right technologies for their premises.
Proper installation is crucial to prevent performance issues and ensure seamless operation. Installation errors will not only result in user dissatisfaction, but also increase the chances of facility managers disabling the systems installed in their buildings.
After installing a new lighting control system, the technicians must test the functionality of the system and ensure it complies with manufacturer instructions and the specifications of the owner.
As with any other piece of equipment, lighting control systems require regular maintenance. Testing the functionality of the system is an ongoing process that goes a long way to prevent performance issues in the long term. The owner should engage lighting professionals to perform periodic inspections and reprogram the system as required in line with any application changes.
In order to create a competent workforce, organizations such as the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and the DLC have developed several training programs to certify state-licensed electricians. The California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (CALCTP) and the CALCTP Acceptance Testing Technician AT Certification are examples of national programs designed for lighting control systems experts.
The Lighting Controls Association also offers online courses via the Education Express program, and the completion of these five courses is compulsory for CALCTP and NALCTP certification.
For lighting control system owners, the CLCP certification offers peace of mind. In essence, it provides extra assurance that whoever the owner is doing business with is a certified professional with vast knowledge of lighting control schemes and systems.
On the other hand, the CLCP certification demonstrates to electrical industry professionals a high degree of knowledge in lighting control systems. This reduces any chance of error from consultation and installation to commissioning and maintenance.
Reference: Lighting Design + Application Magazine | Vol. 47 No. 2