Following various advancements in technology, smart buildings are rapidly becoming the standard, particularly in the commercial sector. One notable IoT solution that is seemingly becoming a mainstay in most commercial buildings is lighting control systems. These systems offer flexibility, increased energy efficiency, improved safety, and enhanced convenience.
Nevertheless, these systems cannot work effectively without appropriate software programs. Fundamentally, software plays a crucial role in commissioning, operating, and analyzing lighting control systems. Therefore, it is important for manufacturers to make software that is robust, portable, and easy to work with.
Operational intent and commissioning
Software comes in handy in designating control zones, assigning network nodes to these zones, establishing schedules and creating control and energy code-compliant profiles. Control profiles are time slots in a schedule that allows for various adjustments such as daylight response set points, vacancy sensor time delays, and manual overrides, among others.
Commissioning entirely depends on the specific system, considering that most lighting control solutions are highly tailored to fit individual needs. While some control solutions may require manual input, other support auto-discovery. Moreover, some commissioning software are available in the form of mobile apps that do not need comprehensive training. This makes it possible for generally trained professionals to access these programs with relative ease.
Ordinarily, most lighting control systems do not require much adjustment. The systems are tailored to operate seamlessly with little to no fine-tuning. Conversely, in case any changes are necessary, the property owner has to enlist a professional to adjust the system. For a decentralized network, the contractor will make adjustments easily using a mobile app. However, for centralized systems, the professional has to use the operating software located in an on-premise server or a cloud server.
Evidently, the operator can adjust control profiles to make local lighting responsive to any changes and accommodate environmental conditions. What’s more, is that one can zone and schedule functions that go beyond energy codes.
Software plays a central role in analyzing data gathered from networked lighting control systems. Essentially, you can measure and monitor energy usage and savings such as kilowatt-hours in time increments by individual lighting control strategies. The information obtained goes a long way to help establish tuning control strategies, verify billing and energy savings. Lighting control software also allows for monitoring, which enables an alert if a component in the system requires your attention.
Another point worth mentioning is that you can incorporate location data for internal way-finding and use raw sensor data to improve business processes. You may also general more information by integrating your lighting control system with additional sensors and luminaires. This makes lighting control systems an easy road to implementing IoT strategies.
As the popularity of lighting control systems begins to gain traction, it is imperative for professionals in the industry to familiarize themselves with how these systems work. The DesignLights Consortium offers a comprehensive list of networked lighting control systems that come with various features and capabilities. Be sure to check them out!