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Living with smart lighting

Living with smart lighting

This article will give in-depth information about developments happening in lighting automation and its level where it has reached.

Lighting automation standard in India
In India, with the boom in the realty sector and economic initiatives such as smart cities, lighting automation has become the necessity of the life.  More and more people are opting to add lighting automation system in their homes and offices. On this note, V P Mahendru, Chairman & Managing Director, Eon Electric, observes that lighting automation has become part of life.  He says, “Lighting automation and energy efficient lighting systems has become a part of the common man’s wish list. The initial investment can turn into savings and an energy efficient home or office can recover the amount spent on automation within just 2 to 3 years from the reduced power consumption.”

A lighting control system is an intelligent network based lighting control solution that incorporates communication between various system inputs and outputs related to lights control with the use of one or more central computing devices.  Wireless lighting control system provide additional benefits including reduced installation costs and increased flexibility over where switches and sensors may be placed. Speaking on the lighting automation standard in India, Sandeep Agrawal, Director, iLux Electricals Pvt Ltd, says, “No idea about Indian standards but usually IEC 62386 is currently valid within this standard, the no of maximum possible luminaire is defined as 64.”

Manjul Trehan, Country Head & Director Sales, Lutron Electronics India & SAARC, has a different outlook on lighting automation standard in India. He points out, “Currently, lighting automation standards are still evolving. We have seen some good steps on rating of buildings and use of sensors in the building. This is just a start. Complete Lighting Management Standards are yet to be concluded. The market is moving at a much faster pace than the standards. Already 70 per cent of the corporate are looking at savings beyond the LED’s.  We are seeing strong acceptance beyond only sensors in this direction.”

Latest trends
Lighting technology is continually transforming itself. With evolving technology, automation and modern switches solutions will rapidly infiltrate the sector. The “second wave” of lighting, after LEDs, utilises the intelligence of software technology and sensors to make life simpler. The technology allows LEDs to sense where light is needed or not and accordingly set different colours and intensity of light. This way, one can make the light stronger and better according to ones need, changing the intensity, the colour and the mode. Speaking on the latest trends in lighting automation, Trehan shares, “Lutron continues to master this wave of lighting technology to providing digital control of LEDs and smooth dimming down to 1 per cent.  One can re-group LEDs anytime one want without the need for any rewiring. Just pressing a few buttons can re-configure the lighting according to ones new layout and changing needs.”

Lutron’s automated shades also provide digital control of curtains or blinds by using an ultra-quiet electronic drive with microprocessor built-in. This allows precise control of shade and perfect alignment of multiple shades across windows.

Modern light systems can be programmed to switch certain lights on or off automatically, which means one can switch off or dim the light according to room’s setting or an occasion. It also allows to monitor lighting and heating and cool condition with an internet connection. So, it can switch off a light from office, with an app or via text and emails, if one has left it on or switch on air-conditioners before entering the house. If one has installed occupancy sensor at home, the sensor will turn the lights on when one enters the room and turn it off when leave.  On this note, Trehan says, “Lutron innovations, leading the market in high quality lighting controls, provide all these solutions from single room control like GRAFIK Eye QS preset light and shade control system to total home system like HomeWorks QS.”

On the other hand, many street lighting facilities are outdated and are therefore highly inefficient. This not only results in higher energy requirements, but also more maintenance work and higher investment cost. All this adds up to street light accounting for approx 30 to 50 per cent of the entire power consumption. “Latest lighting automation solutions enable centralised control of individual luminaries with the advantage of constant online link and ability to monitor the lighting system. But there intelligent multifunctional VS Controllers provide the same savings potential and high flexibility even without online connectivity,” says Agrawal.

“Household technology is undergoing a transformation which is going to make LED lighting an integral part of our everyday life. Lighting automation is now becoming a part of every individual life to create comfortable and energy efficient environment. Lighting solutions are not stand-alone projects, and they can be combined with other home automation features to create a holistic home environment,” states Mahendru.

Advantage of lighting control system
Advanced lighting control solutions will add to the top of vocabulary, “CESC” – Convenience, Efficiency and Comfort. Convenience: Easy access to manoeuvre, dim or increase the intensity of lights, control the opening and closing of shades etc, all with the touch of a button on tablet, smart phone or a dynamic keypad. Efficiency: Managing the lights, shades in a big house is a constant struggle since once has to manually control the lights, shades, AV equipment. Such systems will make life simpler since the power to control rests in the palm of the hands. Comfort: with enhanced control systems, automation will set  mood almost instantly without us undergoing any real effort.

Lutron automated light control systems make a dramatic enhancement to lifestyle, improve comfort, add convenience and save energy. ”Lutron technology enables one to stay connected with home appliances and devices on smart phones and special Lutron key pads” says Trehan.

Trehan also shares that with Lutron lighting solutions, one can have total home control when one is out of town or out for an evening in a hassle-free and intelligent means with the Lutron mobile or tablet app.

Energy saving with unparalleled comprehensive home control solutions to cater to the shortage of electricity in a country like India.

Reduce the cost associated with electricity bills: Lutron provisions households with energy saving dimmers that control the amount of lighting- more than a simple on or off, adjusting light to suit different needs be it for reading that requires brightness to be at its maximum, watching TV with minimal light etc. Rather than having six switches lined up on a wall, one can eliminate the clutter with the Dynamic Keypad- use it to adjust lights, blinds and HVAC. One stand to save energy without sacrificing style or convenience.

“LED Lights are based on electronics which can conveniently incorporate lighting control sensors so that it can automatically switch “ON” or “OFF” depending on the natural light conditions. When it comes to street lights, they can be automatically dimmed to save 60 per cent of power consumed depending on the traffic hours. Due to such automation, these sensors also help additionally conserve 20 to 50 per cent  of electric power automatically”, states Mahendru while speaking on the advantage of lighting control systems.

Additonally, Mahendru says that, LED Lights benefits to our nation are being better understood and appreciated on account of its energy efficiency, drastic cost reduction in energy bills, long life and. LED lights are already being recognised as a progressive source of light because of its inbuilt electronic control.

As per Agrawal suggestion there are few advantages, such as: Dimming of individual luminaire or entire luminaires group. It can be sensor controlled. Considerable energy saving. It has remote monitoring functions. Optimise maintenance process and cost. Flexible structure for new installation or classic retrofits. Occupancy sensors and dimmer sensors can save up to 60 per cent energy.

Saving energy
Advanced lighting control solutions might require some expenses initially, but if given a thought, it will be more beneficial than regular lighting solutions. The reduced electric and heating bills will surely have an impact on financial investments. It is a smart investment, since the running cost is substantially lower as compared to the conventional systems. Speaking on lighting control systems help saving energy at commercial and IT/ITeS sector, Trehan says, “One is bound to realise the benefits once it is fully functional. For an average household, one can save up to 60 per cent of lighting energy and 10 to 30 per cent of heating and cooling costs by adopting various strategies such as occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, personal dimming control, automated shading, plug load control and time scheduling etc. Dimming the lights by 25 per cent can save 20 per cent energy.”

Every dimmer automatically saves 4 to 9 per cent in electricity—even at the highest lighting levels—over a standard on-off switch. When users choose to dim their lights, even more electricity is saved. Quite simply, the more one dim, the more one save. A halogen or incandescent  light source when dimmed 25 per cent can reduce energy use by 20 per cent and extend the lamp life by 4 times. On average, dimming an incandescent or halogen light will reduce energy use by about 20 per cent.Dimming lights is a great start to saving energy. Trehan add, “A single Lutron dimmer saves a business more than US$85†† annually, and our commercial dimmers are designed to last at least 10 years. Upgrading to dimmers not only improves the comfort of your space – it improves your return on investment as well.”

On this note, Agrawal says, “Using various functions such as automatic and semi – automatic detection, constant light control, scene setting, push and on and off  function etc. tremendous energy saving and application flexibility can be achieved . It increases comfort to working people and may improve productivity. Unlike standard switches which saves energy only if it is in off condition, but these solutions can do the saving 24 / 7.”

“Through the use of more efficient LED lighting technologies as well as advanced lighting business and control strategies, there is significant potential for saving electricity, reducing energy costs and reducing the emission of green house gases associated with electricity production.  In addition efficient light technologies and designs can improve the quality of light at commercial and household sector,” says Mahendru.

Conclusion
Though lighting automation in India is still at its nascent stage it has created its space in daily life of people. More and more people are  opting for modern lighting in their homes and offices to make it more smart and stylish. In future the advanced technology in lighting solutions will break-though the sector and take it in the right direction of growth and to maintain the lighting standard in India.

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