Simple Lighting Controls
The finger is of course the simplest – and probably most effective lighting control of all. Can be difficult to use though – or at least it often seems that way.
Confucius he say “human nature mean easy to switch on – very hard to switch off“. Ok so he probably didn’t say those exact words but hopefully you get the drift.
PIR (Occupancy / Absence Control)
PIR lighting control has been around a while now and has come a long way from the days of being plunged into darkness whilst reading the paper in the toilet in the office.
These days we tend to favour Absence Detection in the form of Manual ON Auto OFF. Give employees the power to turn lighting on. Remove the hardship of turning it off.
PIRs come in a variety of shapes and forms – ceiling mounted like this – switch replacements – integrated into light fittings.
The key to effective lighting control is making it meaningful. What is the point of a 15-minute delay before lights go off in an office with a 20-minute coffee break?
Equally what is the point in turning lights OFF again so quickly that occupants are frantically waving their arms to get illuminated?
Sense checking is essential – speak to an expert.
Dimming and DALI
What is DALI I hear someone ask – so DALI = Digital Addressable Lighting Interface – simply a protocol that provides flexibility in control of fluorescent lighting.
With DALI dimming can be deployed throughout a property to achieve 30-60% energy savings and give flexible occupier control and servicing benefits.
Digital stuff often seems complex but most of the basic hardware is standard. Ballasts, lamps, controls, cabling etc.
The main feature is that light fittings (luminaires) are networked to a PC which enables 2-way communication.
The PC can instruct each fitting and get feedback information regarding performance.
Importantly DALI lighting networks are based on digital fluorescent electronic ballasts operating linear LED, T5, T8 and CFL’s.
Digital ballasts “soft start” fluorescent lamps extending tube life. They also cut the lamps out at end of life, systematically dim and can start the lamps at any point in their dimming range.
Control options include local wall-mounted controls, manual push-button switching, centralized lighting control, local PCs for individual occupant control and occupancy sensors (PIR’s, Microwave sensors etc), photocells and other controls.
The Facilities Manager can address each ballast in a building or gang them in groups and program dimming in response to, for example, daylight levels.