Lighting : Lighting February 2015 - Vol 35 Issue 1
30 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | February/March 2015 at the top and bottom of a stairway, cabling needs to be run from switch to switch. If we want to have the convenience of having movement detectors, more cabling and switches are required. All of this has a real cost in terms of materials and labour but does not offer much in the way of convenience or legislated energy efficiencies. Many design professions such as architects, interior designers and to a lesser extent lighting designers and electrical engineers do not have a very good grasp of what lighting control systems are and can do. Due to the current economic climate and ruthless competition, the construction process makes its own judgement as to what is really needed and a “redesign” is done or it is “value engineered” down to a new budget that has no real bearing on what the end user, architect or even design engineer has proposed or is expecting. Because many projects do not contract the design engineers for the tender review or construction phase of the project, the original specification becomes only “a design intent” and the project becomes a design and construct project. There are no real checks and balances on whether the lighting control system delivers on the end client’s expectations. In some cases, the construction industry’s concern is really only with completing the defect liability period. Building operators are sometimes left with what they were not expecting causing them to become extremely disillusioned and to place less importance on lighting control next time around. What is the best way for owners to future proof their buildings to prepare for new technologies as they emerge? It all starts with the design professionals that are advising owners and educating themselves regarding trends in technology. They then need to determine their clients’ expectations are over the next 5, 10 and 20 years. designerQ&A Technology is moving at a frenetic rate and five years is a big ask. No one really knows what the next great development is but there is a fairly good chance that a wired power supply with the ability to expand and be distributed around a building will be around for a long time. Wireless is a good idea but as we all know the wireless network is getting more and more cluttered every second of every day and becoming less secure. So if you are able, the best option is to cable as much as you can from the outset and use wireless when you can’t. Over and above this we recommend that access to roof, wall and floor spaces and provision of spare conduits or cable trays is allowed for cabling to be added down the track. Risers in commercial buildings are still common but more and more these are being reduced in size to save floor space and these are generally full even before the construction is completed. Lastly, and a little tongue in cheek, a Faraday cage or similar is needed to stop unwanted radio waves (wireless from next door) from interfering with your own internal wireless. Yes people do use them, not just the military! Why are wireless lighting solutions important? With a wireless system we are able to use the existing base power infrastructure and add control where and when we need it without major expense if and when a tenant changes. As our usage fluctuates we can modify easily to accommodate any changes and this becomes an ongoing retuning process rather than a major upgrade. Rather like upgrading the software on our smartphone. Wireless is also becoming a way to track where we are within the work environment, making sure we have the correct amount of light needed in our current location. It is beginning to be adopted now and many manufacturers are well along the development path.
Lighting December 2014 - Vol 34 Issue 6
Lighting April 2015 - Vol 35 Issue 2