BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Mike Welch and Ken Sinclair
Mike Welch, Managing Director of Control Network Solutions
What do end-clients want from their lighting control system?
Welch: The challenges and demands on end-clients are constantly changing – for example, as energy prices have decreased recently, the main driver for end-clients at present is the flexibility and longevity of a control system. In addition, the flexibility provided by using a vendor-independent solution, removing the need for expensive maintenance packages, means that energy and sustainability minded savings are passed onto the end-client. Also, with the rise and increasing pull of ‘big data’, end-clients are data hungry and want to be able to monitor and access energy information for each individual light fixture. And as the Internet of Things integrates more and more into every day life, the need to be able to control and access this information offsite in real-time is paramount.
Sinclair: What are the significant end-client gains post initial install of LED light fixtures with controls?
Welch: Assuming an addressable smart lighting solution based upon DALI (IEC62386) has been chosen, the additional gains for the end clients are – real-time flexibility to re-task lights, groups, zones to address changing needs of a given space, real-time monitoring of individual light fixtures for performance and fitness for use. These incremental gains along with others add up to significant savings and flexibility for end clients. Furthermore, ulitising the benefits of convergent technology removes the need for additional installed hardware and its consequent power consumption. Smart lighting controls also offer employees of a space health and wellness benefits, with recent research demonstrating that the quality of workplace lighting is linked to employee productivity.
Sinclair: Is there an interoperable lighting controls communications standard?
Welch: Yes there is, it is called DALI (Digital addressable Lighting Interface). It not only defines the communications but also the device functionality, properties and data types. Worldwide there are thousands of manufacturers who produce product and solutions based upon the standard. To date, more than 100 million DALI based devices have been installed across the globe, at a rate of 1 million per month.
Sinclair: Does the DALI standard include input devices?
Welch: No, this is to be addressed with DALI2, which is at an advanced stage, with the core DALI2 protocol readily available. It is now awaiting the input device standards to be agreed along with independent interoperability test house procedures. However, in the world of Niagara this new standard is somewhat behind the times as currently any open standard input device can be connected into Niagara and control the lights.
Sinclair: Are there any lighting control solutions that provide this offering?
Welch: Yes, Niagara-based innovators are providing interoperable, flexible smart lighting control solutions. For example, elitedaliTM encompasses all the desires of an end-client – flexibility, data access, interoperability and energy savings. A vendor-independent solution, elitedali offers the end-client the ultimate in choice, enabling the system to be installed and maintained by the building’s existing building management system (BMS) integrator or another suitably qualified BMS integrator. This in turn decreases the initial investment and ongoing costs, as the system utilises the building’s existing BMS and engineer.
To download Control Network Solutions’ latest white paper ‘The true cost of building control solutions’, please visit: http://www.control-network-solutions.co.uk/?post_type=document&p=4413
For more information on elitedali Niagara-based lighting control, please visit: www.elitedali.com or follow @elitedali on Twitter.
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