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Let’s talk lighting - Lighting Controls

In the past few years the focus from LEDs itself has moved towards how we can achieve smarter and better control of lighting. Automatic lighting control has fundamentally two main functions:

  • Energy efficiency: we don’t want to waste energy by having more artificial light in a room than necessary or to keep the lights on while an aera is unoccupied, and

  • The comfort of use: no hassle with turning lights manually ON/OFF, get the exact amount and quality of artificial light when and where we need it.

Intelligent lighting control systems in buildings essentially replace the traditional circuiting and grouping of light fittings using relays and extensive wiring with a standardized flexible digital control approach. DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) has become an industry-standardized protocol, and is specified in the multi-part international standard IEC 62386. In November 2020 DALI-2 was adopted as the first Australian/New Zealand lighting control standard AS/NZS 62386.







Image: lightingcontrolsassociation.org


The DALI-2 standard defines an open DALI-2 bus, and DALI-2 wireless protocol where certified DALI-2 multi-vendor sensors and switches can communicate to a control system in both a wired and wireless manner. In essence, the lighting industry had no choice but offer solutions complying with Dali-2 in their portfolio to stay competitive.


Looking at the (not so far) future, according to a recent research published by Mark Herring Lighting (MHL) in New Zealand: Internet of Things (IOT) is considered to be the next revolution in technology – Industry 4.0. It will transform everything around us in a disruptive way including lighting. Currently, we are experiencing the first step in lighting towards IOT through wireless lighting control. Smart lighting controls has received a lot of global attention recently. Smart lighting controls aims to combine drivers with sensing, control algorithms and wireless communications to deploy scalable lighting solutions. Even though they are more versatile, comprehensive and advanced compared to the previous generation of lighting control, the end goal of smart control systems is to integrate and work autonomously in the IOT ecosystem.


There is endless utilization of this technology, smart lighting control systems can provide information of the use of space, especially useful now that we need to reduce occupancy of rooms to limit the transmittance of viruses as an example. We learned on a webinar we attended on Trilux Akademie how the latest iBeacon enabled LED drivers with Bluetooth mesh technology can now be used for proximity marketing, customer heat mapping, and even indoor navigation.


Imagine the light fitting recognizes a customer entering the store and a message is sent to his smartphone (watch):

“Welcome to our store Mr. Smith, good to see you again! Today you can get 10% off on your favorite red wine”