Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Ken Sinclair
& Russ Sharer
Mike Welch, Managing Director of Control Network Solutions
and Russ Sharer, VP Global Marketing and Business Development of Fulham Inc.
When considering smart lighting controls, why should lighting no longer be considered a stand-alone system?
Welch: Considering lighting controls as a stand alone system, not only severely limits its capabilities and functionality, but also locks clients into a vendor dependant package. This therefore means that a client is solely reliant on a specific manufacturer for on-going maintenance, system additions or changes as well as replacement parts. Consequently, this service can be offered at a premium or withdrawn with little notice.
By combining control solutions into a single building management system, thousands of engineers can service and maintain it, reducing on-going costs as well as the initial investment and installed hardware.
Sharer: Globally, successful lighting control implementation requires involvement and effective collaboration with the building’s IT network. Allowing the lighting network to be connected and controlled via the Internet gives it subsequent access to the Internet of Things (IoT).
This enables the lighting control system to become the building’s IoT skeletal system to provide the infrastructure for all building services data. If considered a stand-alone system, this important infrastructure cannot be built, creating several stand-alone building control systems.
Sinclair: What are the real benefits of convergent lighting controls?
Welch: Technological convergence provides a multitude of benefits from the building owner to the facilities management team to the building user. Reducing the initial investment for the controls system, energy consumption and required maintenance staff are only three of the benefits for the building owner. These benefits then pass on to the facilities management team by providing a unified management system and real time data access. This consequently provides the building users with the ideal indoor environment and less building ‘down-time’.
Sharer: Alongside the clear cost saving benefits outlined by Mike, there is also additional hidden value in lighting controls. For example, by obtaining lighting data, such as which lights are on and when, the location and movement of employees within a building can be identified. This in turn can be used to inform the HVAC system to reduce heating and air conditioning requirements to areas of a building that are only used for specific periods throughout the day. This consequently means that the lighting control system has not only reduced lighting energy costs but also HVAC running costs!
Sinclair: What does real time data access mean for a business?
Sharer: Companies often dismiss the collection of data for ‘data’s sake’ for several reasons. One of the primary issues, for example, is being unsure of what to do with the data captured. However, by capturing the data now and beginning to interpret it means the understanding of its value will continually grow. Furthermore, building a resource of data will also provide vital context and history for future calculations and space optimisation decision-making.
Welch: Access to all value data, down to the individual light fixture in real time, means that a business can more effectively manage their indoor environment. The information gained can provide insight into the actual use of the space and present opportunities for optimisation, that save energy, enable load shedding, address health and wellness as well as productivity issues.
Sinclair: Following the recent announcement of the Control Network Solutions (CNS) and Fulham INC partnership, how will this benefit those considering smart IoT lighting controls?
Welch: The CNS elitedaliTM control solution is based on Tridium’s NiagaraŽ software framework for building IoT, smart, and web-enabled software applications. The elitedali lighting control solution enables any suitable Niagara building management system (BMS) to address, commission, and directly control networks of intelligent light fixtures that conform to the DALI (IEC 62386) open standard.
This allows for value intelligent light fixture data such as the operating status of the drivers, including hours of operation, average or peak temperature, power consumption, as well as emergency light readiness to be seamlessly accessed in real time, via Niagara BMS, for local or remote monitoring, management, and analytics.
For facilities managers and building operators, this means dramatically reducing the down time of the building and number of site support visits required. In addition, real time data access also allows for the true continuous optimization of space and energy consumption based on data analysis.
Sharer: By combining Fulham’s programmable WorkHorse DALI (Digital Addressable Light Interface - IEC 62386) LED drivers with CNS’s elitedali management system an Internet of Things (IoT) approach can be taken with regards to lighting control.
The unique partnership of Fulham’s drivers and CNS’s DALI software provides total control over LED fixtures, including reducing input current to adjust the lumen display, managing lights to optimize useful life and adjusting power output to accommodate different light sources.
The new CNS and Fulham partnership therefore provides end users with the ultimate in control over their building’s lighting, enabling the true optimization of space to create the ultimate working environment for building users’ health, well being and productivity.
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