Specifying Lighting Connection and Control

Ben Byram, Hager's Klik Key Account Manager goes into detail and provides valuable insight and tips on how to prepare a specification from the point of view of a lighting connection and control supplier. 

Klik lighting connection

Insights and Tips on Specifying Lighting Connection and Control

Over the years, most of the project specifications we encounter are clear and concise,  however, in some cases, the types of language used can cause some confusion. This article will look into examples of those types of issues as well as provide some insight and tips on how to prepare a specification from the point of view of a lighting connection and control supplier.

1. Daylight linking

This has proven to be the number one source of confusion within specifications. While it is an important energy-saving feature within a project it’s the use of the wording that has caused issues in the past. It is important to appreciate is that there are in fact two different methods for daylight linking.

a) Daylight switching –
This method is typically utilised when standard HF lighting is used. This means that the lighting will switch On and Off in conjunction with the photocell controlling the lighting if the LUX level is reading a pre-set level. We would advise that when using this method you also use a method of delaying the daylight switching for 2 minutes as an example. By doing this, the photocell will only switch On or Off after the LUX reading is consistent for a set amount of time. This will prevent the lighting from switching on or off constantly, catching people’s attention. 

b) Daylight dimming –
Used where dimmable lighting is needed this acts similar to the daylight switching with the photocell however,  the lighting dims up and down accordingly. Unlike the daylight switching method, there would be no need to delay the dimming of the lighting as the lighting would dim gradually without the occupants really noticing, resulting in the maintenance of concentration levels. 

2. Scene setting
A topic that you will often see mentioned within a specification is scene-setting inside certain areas of a building. Within some areas, there’s a genuine need to control the lighting with scenes, for example in a meeting room inside an office building. In some cases, there will be a misjudgement in the specification, where there will be a call for scene-setting in a small meeting room that has just 2 luminaires. This is an example of where the lighting could be controlled differently with the option to manually dim the lighting up and down, allowing for a more sufficient solution given the area.

Another area where scene-setting is used is within classrooms. There is a common misconception in relation to scene-setting, where for example, many people assume this is applied within a typical classroom where the teacher's wall is switched independently along with the whole room at the entrance of the classroom. When in fact to achieve this lighting arrangement, multiple channel lighting control module (LCM) is used and the lighting is managed with channel control.

3. Lighting connection system
Do you ever think about the impact that the lighting connection system can really have on your building? Having a safe and robust connection system along with flexibility is imperative to the overall control of your lighting.

Taking into account the maintenance of the lighting we recommend using a system that is fully compliant to Onload connection and disconnection as well as having an electromechanical connection, which improves the safety of the system being used. Not only does it reduce the disruption being caused by having to isolate circuitry but it also saves time for the maintenance of the luminaires as and when required.

4. Timed profile switching

A key part of a project is to try to reduce the energy consumption where possible, and the different elements of control such as daylight dimming and controlling lighting through occupancy sensors goes a long way to helping this. However, you can take this concept a step further and implement additional reductions by using timed profile switching. 

For example,  you can have the lighting working at the same output throughout the day no matter what time of the day it is, but by implementing timed profile switching more options are available to you. Below area couple of scenarios that can be used:

a) 08:00 – 18:00 – You may have all areas on a 20-minute presence/absence detection along with the daylight dimming etc

b) 18:00 – 08:00 – This is where some energy could be saved should the building be occupied during these hours, and you could perhaps reduce the detection time down to only 5 minutes during these hours of the day. Quite often during these hours, you would only have cleaners or security within the building and therefore there wouldn’t be a call for the lighting to stay on for so long without detection.

18:00: 08:00 – As a second option, you could set the system up so that only 50% of the lighting is actually switched on during these hours of occupancy, which offers a further reduction in the energy consumption from the lighting.