Connected Lighting Systems and App-Based Controls


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Philips recently rolled out its latest in connected lighting systems, including Power over Ethernet (PoE) luminaires, app-based controls, and cloud-based technologies.

Those innovations include luminous carpets and ceilings, as well as HealWell lighting systems for hospital environments, and new applications that allow remote management of lighting technologies.

Philips Lighting CEO Eric Rondolat notes: “We live in an Internet age marked by 24/7 connectivity, and these trends are fundamentally transforming the way we use and interact with light.”

Value propositions focus on lighting that transcends illumination and energy efficiency, he adds. “For example, this includes streetlights that communicate their location and slash the cost of maintenance, office lighting to improve productivity, and supermarket lighting to enhance customer loyalty by enabling special offers to be pushed to shoppers’ smartphones,” says Rondolat.

Philips’ latest architectural application is the Philips OneSpace luminous ceiling, which integrates LED lights with textiles to create a white light ceiling surface that hides the source of light, offering architects a solution for uniform, glare-free functional white light for hospitality, public, and retail spaces. The system has an ultra-thin minimalistic design and is available in customized sizes and a variety of mounting options.

Philips eW Fuse Powercore luminaire has a design that shapes and directs light to produce optimal uniform illumination for either washing, where the beam from lights mounted on the ceiling fall at a wide angle, enhancing a wall’s smoothness and eliminating shadows, and also for grazing, a technique where lights are positioned closely to a wall, either from the floor or ceiling, to force the beam of light to hit the wall at a narrow angle; grazing draws the eye to the wall’s texture by creating a shadow. Combined with ActiveSite, the luminaire supports remote monitoring and management of individual light points.

Philips and Tandus Centiva have integrated luminous carpets into commercial interior design, using them as programmable messaging tools capable of informing, directing, welcoming, and inspiring people. For example, the carpets can direct people to building exits in case of an emergency, or point them to the coffee machine or restrooms.

The Philips HealWell lighting system uses spectrally tunable LED luminaires with integrated controls for a health care solution that supports circadian rhythms and improves sleep for patients, and provides a comfortable environment for staff and caregivers.

Southland Industries offers a variety of innovative lighting control technologies, including those that integrate occupancy control and logging, tying into building management systems and simultaneously controlling lighting and ventilation. “This is something we have been doing to decrease the number of sensors needed to reduce lighting levels and control ventilation levels at the same time,” says Bridgette Rodgers P.E., energy engineer.

Rich Paroby, P.E., project developer, adds that a similar innovation is using controls to integrate lighting and plug loads wirelessly at the individual workspace level.

Southland Industries has both radial, relay-based topologies to topology-free systems, both utilizing PC- and Web-based scheduling controls to offer both local and remote communications, says Michael Starego, P.E., associate principal electrical engineer. “Topology-free systems offer distributed, addressable, and intelligent devices that—wired or wireless—tie into a central network for local or Web-based control and data logging,” says Starego. “Our innovative use of wireless control technologies allows for greater opportunities with decreased cost, reducing both material and labor requirements, while also providing the same benefits and capabilities of traditional wired systems.”

Seth Pearce, P.E., director of engineering and development, quips that the company’s services are becoming more “tactical” in approach. “We’re performing innovative logging utilities with our advanced occupancy sensing designs that offer movement tracking and identify high-use areas,” he says.

The company’s use of dual technology sensors and controls (infrared and ultrasound) have eliminated false occupancy sensing and improved systems’ operation and function. “Coupling smart systems with sustainable innovations utilizing solar, skylighting, and daylight harvesting technologies to further decrease energy consumption really tops the cake,” says Pearce.

Facilities with windows or skylights benefit from natural lighting and supplement non-natural lit spaces using efficient technologies, says Warren Van Ryzin, P.E., project developer. “Daylighting control and automation innovations sense the amount of natural lighting and dim or shut off lighting equipment in a daylit space to provide the proper amount of work area foot-candles per the Illuminating Engineering Society [IES],” he adds.

Southland Industries offers the ability to enhance control scheduling with multiple data algorithms, analytics, and end-user adaptability. “We’re a bit naturally innovative, because we’re product-agnostic,” says Pearce. “This enables a lot of exposure to different solutions and allows us to optimize the solution for the purpose.”

To this end, Paroby adds, “we are really leveraging the increased availability of open protocol controls now available to maximize innovation without some of the limitations of proprietary control systems.”

Southland deals with environment-specific innovations that include automatic daylight controls integrated into either radial control or topology-free systems. This provides intelligent device systems to make buildings and energy use “very smart,” notes Pearce.

“Southland also is innovating with individual fixture control, offering end users the ability to control their individual area to their own lighting level preference for increased comfort and performance,” says Van Ryzin. “These innovations, coupled with others such as vacancy sensing, high-end tuning, and demand response capabilities are providing great energy savings.”

The company’s value-oriented solutions consider lifetime maintenance cost, best IES of North America practice, integrated HVAC, space usage, and appropriateness of the lighting system to exceed the project objectives,” says Starego.

“Our transparent and experienced development teams look at projects as partnerships that simplify need, safety, and satisfaction,” adds Pearce.

Southland performs turnkey service for its customers. “Numerous lighting technologies, controls options, and alternate lighting sources are engineered and developed to understand the overall cost of ownership of our customers’ systems,” says Van Ryzin. “A holistic approach to the available lighting solutions and noodling out the feasibility of each technology is how we determine if, where, and what products meet the project objective.”

Southland’s energy modeling capabilities and advanced simulations offer detailed analysis designed to determine baseline energy use, explore simulated scenarios, or computationally model the most sensitive environments such as an art exhibition, datacenter, or scientific research.

“Our lighting pros work closely with our comprehensive design/build engineering staff to be able to coordinate design with all other trades and designs. And our Building Information Modeling offers the ability of architects and owners to view what rooms look like with the future of lighting,” says Eddie Sladek, P.E., energy engineer. BE_bug_web


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