With automated lighting on the rise, Nelo Neves, Head of Trade Sales UK and Ireland at LEDVANCE, discusses lighting the way to a smarter life.
Even before lockdown, LEDVANCE have gradually seen an increasing number of workspaces moving to automated lighting systems, with an amazing range of technologies to choose from. Whether controlled using Bluetooth, Zigbee or an app solution, IoT lighting solutions are a welcome alternative to touching shared surfaces after the pandemic, as well as a reliable means of reducing costs and saving energy. A light left on by accident overnight can now be a thing of the past.
When considering the benefits of automated lighting systems convenience and cost benefits are most generally noted. However, these systems can have an additional positive impact on wellbeing and productivity, as automated systems provide the valuable opportunity to adapt lighting to our circadian rhythms.
The circadian rhythm is our 24-hour body clock that governs natural cycles of activity and rest by managing hormone levels. Humans are known to be heavily influenced by variations in natural light throughout the course of the day. A human oriented lighting concept uses smart controllable LED lighting systems to simulate the characteristics of natural daylight, combining the visual and non-visual biological effects of light through changing colour temperatures and illuminance levels. Artificial light that synchronises with our circadian rhythms is proven to make us happier, healthier and more productive. It has been scientifically proven that workspaces which use human centric lighting systems increase employee wellbeing, concentration and performance during the day, improves the quality of sleep at night, and helps reduce sickness.
Light is one of the most important sources for our health, performance and satisfaction. To take full advantage of its benefits, installers need to use IoT-controlled lighting systems that adapt to circadian rhythms. One such system is the LEDVANCE VIVARES Zigbee and BIOLUX HCL that combine the benefits of a wireless light management system with the health- and performance-enhancing effects of human centric lighting.
The system consists of two components: the BIOLUX HCL control unit and the luminaires, BIOLUX HCL Downlight and BIOLUX HCL Panel, to always provide the right light at the right time of day. To adapt the system even more to individual needs, there is also a choice of different lighting mood profiles. For example, the use of BIOLUX HCL luminaires together with BIOLUX HCL control is ideal for single offices and conference rooms with up to 40 lighting components. Whereas VIVARES Zigbee HCL is the perfect solution for open-plan offices with up to 200 lighting components. In addition to the light curve, which automatically simulates the changes in natural daylight, five pre-programmed light profiles can be selected using the control unit: NATURAL mode simulates the natural course of daylight, the BOOST and FOCUS modes support concentration and productivity. RELAX provides comforting light during breaks and with CREATE mode, brainstorming sessions are encouraged.
VIVARES Zigbee Control communicates wirelessly with up to 200 Zigbee-ready devices via Zigbee 3.0. These include luminaires, sensors, pushbutton couplers and a Zigbee DALI converter for the additional integration of DALI-2 luminaires. The system and its components are very easy to configure and commission via the VIVARES portal and can also be maintained remotely using this feature. New software is continually integrated into the system through online updates, but it doesn’t need an internet connection for commissioning and operation. As an option, the system can be connected to a cloud application to generate maintenance and energy consumption reports.
Not only is installation simple to achieve, but monitoring the health of the system is just as easy thanks to cloud services. The VIVARES Cloud provides access to the data of the lighting system from anywhere, allowing facilities managers to make its operation even more efficient, reliable, energy-saving and cost-effective. An intuitive dashboard provides updates on energy consumption, the operating hours of the drivers and the relevant lighting data, among other things. Various filter functions give the option of analysing the data according to requirements.
Commissioning is done through the VIVARES portal with the support of QR codes. The system is configured and commissioned on site after installation of the components, using the VIVARES DALI commissioning app. The free tool is browser-based, so it doesn’t have to be downloaded, and is available for smartphones, tablets (iOS and Android) and PCs. The self-explanatory user guide makes commissioning extremely quick and easy – thanks to predefined rooms and situations via drag and drop. The system is ideal for modernising existing buildings where rewiring is often not an option, for example when a building is listed or has no suspended ceilings. LEDVANCE offers the necessary components and a well-assorted selection of compatible LED luminaires which allow the system to provide energy-saving lighting in existing buildings, ranging from small lighting projects to complete floor solutions. Even after commission, expanding the system with additional components is a simple task.
The benefits of VIVARES have been experienced first-hand when the system was recently installed as part of a renovation at the LEDVANCE premises in Molsheim, France. The upgrade aimed to achieve energy savings and a high level of illumination, modernising with simplicity the existing traditional system with state-of-the-art technology. The VIVARES Zigbee wireless light management system allowed direct and easy replacement of the luminaires without any structural modification of the building or complex rewiring throughout the installation, causing minimal disruption to employees. All traditional luminaires were replaced with LED lighting in combination with the VIVARES Zigbee. Thanks to the easy to use online configuration tool and the commissioning done intuitively using the product QR codes, a swift installation took place.
This system, coupled with presence and light sensors, ensures a significant reduction in energy consumption and offers the creation of maintenance and energy consumption reports via the VIVARES cloud. To allow full automation of the lighting system, 38 VIVARES Zigbee L/O sensors were installed in the offices, corridors and stairs. The lighting automatically turns on when the first employee arrives and turns off when the premises are unoccupied. Each employee can also select predefined scenes according to the current activity taking place, for example a presentation scene during a meeting.
In addition to LEDVANCE’s own needs, the project also meets the requirements of 2019´s tertiary decree and the lighting pollution decree, introduced by the French government to reduce energy consumption and automatically turn off lights in unoccupied buildings. The monitoring function of the VIVARES Cloud enables detailed reports on energy consumption and an overview of the status of all devices. LEDVANCE employees benefit from the system’s automatic adjustment of the light level, regardless of how much natural light is available, ensuring a constant brightness at all times.
Technology and lifestyle are becoming increasingly interwoven, as shown by the popularity of smart home devices, fitness and health trackers, for example. IoT lighting is another arm of this trend in, not only driving business and energy efficiencies, but creating solutions that contribute to smarter living.
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