There has always been a need for intelligent buildings. The problem was that technology took a while to reach where it is now. Now, most of the structures built are intelligent buildings that, naturally, use technology to operate. The benefits that have been witnessed from using smart building lighting systems can be seen in the rise of many more automated buildings.
Smart buildings are living assets utilized by facility and building managers to advance operations. The building uses technology to control its services and automate processes, including security, AC, heating and lighting. This automation is achieved via networked sensors, wireless and wired technology and microchips, which collect data in a UI. Buildings are now part of IoP (Internet of Things) and are used as flexible assets that quickly adapt to change.
Unified building controls are essential when you are considering building a decarbonized, resilient and equitable power infrastructure. Infrastructure that will also be able to combat the many challenges posed by climatic changes. To manage the growing incursion of sources of renewable energy, the building systems you use need to be multipurpose. It should be able to collect data, respond to signals and even talk to other systems robustly.
Benefits of Smart Buildings’ Lighting
Lighting controls play a vital role in the evolution of automated buildings. These buildings mainly depend on controls that are occupant based instead of the HVAC system (are mostly schedule-based). In schedule-based systems, they tend to be still running even when no one uses them or when the building has no occupants. This is a total waste of energy. Smart buildings have lighting systems that have numerous benefits. Some of the benefits are:
- Energy savers
When there is a good set-up smart building lighting system, the entity or organization will save energy. This is very important considering the amount of energy consumed by buildings housing different businesses or organizations.
All energy-consuming aspects contribute to the buildings electricity bill. To save up on energy, most buildings have LED lighting systems and lamps put in place. LEDs consume less energy as compared to luminescent fluorescent lights.
Using lighting systems in smart buildings creates comfortable convenience. There is automated lighting that comes with sensors. These sensors create convenience in that they will only turn on when they need to be used. The lighting system used in smart buildings is also very convenient for the disabled, who would find it challenging to turn the lighting off and on.
Smart building lighting systems also enhance safety. Most lighting is sensor-controlled. So, if someone enters a room, the lights will automatically turn on. That way, the security detail in the building can monitor movement. Security alarms also trigger the lighting system making it easy for the deaf to be notified of the need to exit a building.
- Increased productivity
Lighting used in smart buildings is very reliable, and the fact that they are automated means less time is used controlling them. Their light is bright enough to illuminate all areas in a room and still not irritate the eyes.
The Roles Lighting Plays in Smart Buildings
If all lights used in buildings had sensors, the data captured would make it easy for building managers to make more informed decisions. They would know which space is used the most and least, temperature and ambient changes and show all pathways in that building. This, in turn, makes that building an even smarter one.
Here are other ways in which lighting technology can be leveraged:
- Asset tracking:
There are lighting controls with Bluetooth transceivers, which make it easy for assets to be tracked because you will be able to tell their location with ease. For example, in a hospital where medical equipments are stored in one large area, finding a specific one can be hectic.
- Covid Solutions
In the current global pandemic, we can use smart lighting in multiple cases. They make it possible for building users to exit and enter buildings without making physical contact. It also enables analysis of pattern movement and highlights the areas that are now congested. Contact tracing is also possible; that way, people can be tracked easily. So, if a person tested Covid positive and accessed a building with intelligent lighting solutions, it will be easy to see the people s/he came in contact with. The system will then send people alerts notifying them of their potential exposure to the virus.
- Building maintenance
Smart building lighting systems make it easy to track building occupancy. This lighting system can also send data to the janitorial staff, notifying them of cleaning areas. This can also be applied for restrooms where the system will send alerts after several uses.
- Occupant comfort
This refers to control of natural lighting, air quality, humidity and temperature. Smart lighting solutions can detect ambient light and temperature levels. This makes it easy to create a comfortable space for building occupants.
Better Integration Advantages
Today, smart building lighting systems are developed in a way that they can easily integrate with other systems in one building. For example, HVAC is integrated with lighting controls at room level. That way, the one system gateway is avoided. When a single interface point between systems is used, a bottleneck will be created, increasing the cost of integration.
Control systems have always been the weak link in the building sector. Worse still, they are getting more complex, meaning that there will arise more challenges. The good news is that there are suppliers of lighting control who offer flexible integration solutions.
It is essential to understand the rate at which smarts buildings are evolving and realize their impact on strategic planning and product roadmaps. They can adapt to the many challenges that were previously faced in the lighting industry.
Businesses and organizations that would like to compete and thrive in their different industries effectively must consider going the smart way. They can easily do so by using smart building lighting systems. Light has been known to play a crucial role in maintaining customers. It also attracts potential customers to your business or organization.