Smart lighting [Middle East Interiors]
(Middle East Interiors Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Intelligent control systems are good payback on investments, says SANGEETHA SWAROOP
Often considered an expensive proposition, how can smart lighting control systems provide a good payback on investment, and also add considerable value to the property This was the prime concern the Al-Khudair family in Saudi Arabia raised with regard to the installation of intelligent lighting systems at the 224 residential apartments at the Al-Yamamah University in Riyadh.
However, after conducting an energy saving study for the project, says Abdulghani Hijazi, Philips Dynalite country sales manager, "we were able to demonstrate the value our lighting control design would be able to add to the buildings."
"The scope of the system included the installation of intelligent home automation system in all 224 apartments, plus lighting controls for the common areas," he explains. "The system is designed to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and electrical sockets, and also facilitate the monitoring of electricity usage by each apartment."
Smart controls: Added value for
In addition, a number of preset scenarios have been programmed into the system, and each apartment has been configured with wireless connectivity to allow iPad or iPhone control, using the Philips Dynalite software. The entire system is also connected into a single network using a sophisticated peer-to-peer communications serial bus network from its Dynalite portfolio.
In terms of energy savings, the presence detection functionality is anticipated to enable as much as 30 per cent while an additional 10 per cent is possible from the daylight harvesting strategies, he says. "This means that the additional cost of including an intelligent lighting control solution will be offset over time by the energy it saves. The solution offered also allows for future upgrades."
Until recently, the application of smart controls for multi-dwelling developments was considered to be uneconomic and suitable only for high-end luxury homes. "However, with average energy savings of 40 per cent now being realised for this market, smart controls can easily offset the initial capital expenses, with the extra system features adding considerable value for the investor," says Daniel Walker, global product manager, Dynalite Controls.
It is estimated that 30 per cent of the energy consumed by buildings is being used inefficiently or is being wasted. Therefore, controlling and managing lighting is an important factor in managing a building's energy costs.
As lighting accounts for a large chunk of the energy used in commercial and institutional buildings, the lighting system represents a big opportunity to use energy more efficiently. Through specific light control functions in the form of presence sensors, daylight sensors and timers used either individually or in combination, light management systems can guarantee maximum energy savings and lower CO2 emissions, lower costs, enhance maximum comfort and productivity, offer greater flexibility and provide scope for personalised light scenes.
New technologies: Remote control
systems add a new dimension
According to Sergio Padula, Middle East Technical Manager, iGuzzini illuminazione, "Light control systems allow the programming of a set of different scenes for luminaires in the area, defined to respond to any changed conditions within the application area. Therefore, from being a stable, immovable, and monotonous element, light is now vibrant and alive, taking advantage of new opportunities and smart technology."
It was the light-emitting diode (LED) revolution that almost proverbially snapped the lighting world out of its reverie, asserts Padula. "The ability to have not only a variety in coloured lamps, or different intensities of light, but on such a small scale, among its other advantages, have pushed boundaries that 20 years ago, we could not have imagined. Lighting, as a result, has not only progressed as a means to an end, rather as a necessary application process from construction to an artistic point of view. Once the primary material – in this context, LED – was readily available, the challenge was on to create the most complex and diverse lighting control systems allowing endless possibilities."
The advent of the touch screen has further developed the way in which we utilise and interact with the lighting management systems, Padula says, citing the example of iGuzzini's own iPad app called Light Touch which "allows you to manage your iGuzzini Master Pro light management system with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad as remote control via Wi-Fi."
However, lighting controls aren't just limited to the indoor environment. At night, as we seek artificial light to illuminate our world, safety and security become the main concerns of outdoor lighting schemes. The use of a targeted lighting control strategy also ensures that outdoor lighting no longer needs to be maintained at full output all night long.
Yet another development that has made great strides in technology in recent years is the ability to remotely control a lighting system. This allows facility managers to monitor lighting solutions from any location either with internet or intranet access.
"Remote control of a lighting system affords a new dimension of convenience to the user, and can also ensure additional security benefits," says Daniel Walker. "Philips' current intelligent user interfaces that allow remote control of lighting and automation systems, EnvisionWeb, ensures control of lighting, HVAC and home automation systems via a webpage."
EnvisionWeb allows users to control their home services via a smartphone or laptop, he explains, and is designed to connect via a server within the system.
The very latest evolution of lighting control systems – and the way these interact with third-party systems such as blinds, curtains and climate-control hardware – have been designed to achieve a wealth of senses, moods and ambiences, all at a fraction of the cost that was once considered the norm, elaborates Walker.
Today, lighting schemes are more complex than in the past, says Sakina Dugawalla, iGuzzini Middle East Technical Design Support. "Supported by exhaustive know-how, vast experience and high awareness of social issues, iGuzzini replies to the user's diversified requests and energy saving and environmental requirements with a wide offer of lighting management systems. These can be chosen according to the specific functions and application areas – perfect solutions are available for multiple settings and situations. Amongst light control systems, those which allow variations in the colour of the light in luminaires with RGB function, in particular LED luminaires, stand out."
Yamamah project: Smart systems
installed at 224 units
The ample benefits that light management systems bring about – occupant satisfaction, the use of right technologies, possibility to create personalised light scenes – is aptly demonstrated in the control systems set up by iGuzzini for the Rolex Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, UAE. The complex, designed by architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with a spectacular glass facade reflecting the city's countless lights, seems to be covered with a veil thanks to the use of glass with a milky effect, explains Dugawalla. In contrast, the upper part of the building loses its opaqueness, turning transparent with an effect similar to that of the pixels of digital images.
The architects and the lighting designer wanted to recreate the same type of pixelated effect at night. Therefore since the building was first lit up in February 2010, 800 special LED luminaires with a diversified switch, have been managed by a control system (storey by storey) set up by iGuzzini. The control system has been recreating the tower's daytime milky effect which gradually turns more and more transparent the further upwards it goes. The night-time appearance also includes more intense lighting at the top of the building, with a kind of torch effect, as if the building were crowned to resemble the Rolex logo.
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