Electrical Contracting News (ECN) April 2017 - Page 62





Integrating controls into LED lamps multiplies the energy efficiencies , according to Saima Shafi , sales and marketing director at LED Eco Lights .

Since 2006 , we have

seen great shifts in LED technology , delivering huge improvements in light output , colour rendering , reliability of electronic control gear and of course , vast difference in purchase prices .
Whilst these improvements will doubtless continue , other exciting developments are taking place in parallel . Manufacturers are exploiting the inherent controllability of LED technology by integrating LED lamps and luminaires into smart buildings technology . An obvious first step is to link lighting with sensors – either built-in or connected .
Integrating motion sensors into lighting directly massively reduces the complexity compared with the traditional approach of using external occupancy sensors . Thermal sensors can also be added to improve detection of personnel in specific areas . Simplicity brings the rewards of enhanced reliability as well as performance – not to mention the savings in cost . Older solutions quickly earned notoriety amongst users , who frequently had to wave their arms or walk around the building in order to bring the lights back on . Siting position and thermal sensors with the lighting makes this a thing of the past .
Sensors that measure ambient light level similarly offer improvements over traditional timed switch-on / switch-off arrangements . Why turn the lights out at 7pm , just because it ’ s assumed that everyone has gone home by that time ? Why wait until 7am to turn them on ?
A further advantage of integrated sensors is that it removes the need for separate installation of PIR detectors and the like . Improvements in control and automation can be added step-by-step , instead of involving multiple contractors and projects . This expands the potential for including lighting into building-wide automation .
Smart technology starts learning for itself
This would allow lighting to be driven by users ’ habits . For example , lighting units can be grouped together and communicate with each other so that they perform functions in harmony . Lights can be programmed to dim up and down according , not only to current but also
62 | April 2017