Laziness is considered to be the main engine of progress. It is this quality of man, according to many, determines the further development of systems “facilitation of life. Looking at such a concept as intelligent lighting, you will doubt the truth of the original judgments. This kind of automated technology does create simplicity, environmental friendliness and enviable savings. But this product would not have come about without the complex thought processes of scientists and the painstaking work of developers. Let’s take a closer look at the issue.
The cost of electricity consumption in our time is growing with geometric progression. And there are several logical explanations. Let’s start with the individual. The development of NTP offers us an increasing number of high-tech equipment for work and life. At work, it is usually computers, tablets, scanners, printers, modems and so on. At home it is equipment for home life and entertainment.
Looking at the issue from a more global perspective, private purposes pursued by individuals and companies do not increase the state’s energy capabilities. In order to provide people and companies with the proper amount of electricity, any country chooses one of three methods to solve the problem. They are applied consistently until they begin to work together:
Raising the cost of the resource as a measure to encourage more economical circulation
own investment and leveraging private capital to develop more economical technologies
expanding capacity by building and finding new sources of obtaining the missing resource
As a derivative of the second solution appeared solid-state light sources or LED lamps. Modern LED technology was the impetus for the development of a new generation of intelligent light control.
The origins of intelligent lighting
Initially, lighting control was achieved through dimmers. Devices directly control the power of light sources by mechanical or electronic means. The principle of mechanical dimmers is based on the use of variable rheostats. Semiconductor transistor switches are used to provide the functions of electronic devices. Both are usually switched in series with regulated light sources.
The disadvantages of controlling lighting with dimmers are:
- Distortion of the sinusoidal shape of the regulated voltage
- Interference, including radio-frequency interference
- Incompatibility with fluorescent lamps
- Necessity for additional installation of an electronic ballast
- Local applicability (controller and source are in the same room)
The precursor of dimmers was another system that was never used in the corporate environment. For example, in the late 1970s, scientists developed the X10 protocol, which used power wiring as the medium for the control signals of the electronic modules.
The disadvantages of power wiring as a lighting control medium are:
- low speed of operation
- Instability and frequent failures
- High “pollution” of electrical networks hinders signal transmission
The next step in the development of lighting control technologies were the systems that use LON, DALI and BACnet protocols. The advantage of this technology is the centralized principle of connection (the presence of a controller) and the possibility of interfacing with other automation systems:
- fire safety
- burglar alarm
- heating and air conditioning
- and so on
In the process of automation take part motion sensors control light, more on which we recommend you to read in our article of the same name.
An important disadvantage of intelligent lighting technology of the previous generation is the separation of control systems and power supply. This leads to the need to install and maintain multiple cable infrastructures at once:
- power – supplying power to the light sources
- control low-current – ensuring communication with sensors, electric light units, controllers
- additional – video surveillance with/without integration with intelligent lighting system, computer network, etc.
As a rule, the number of wires grows in proportion to the size and functionality of the company. The result is a veritable web that is difficult to control, maintain and repair.
The next generation of intelligent lighting
The most important advantage and a real technological breakthrough in the field of IE was the possibility of using a single cable infrastructure. The interconnection of communication systems and power supply to the luminaires has been achieved through:
- LED light sources
- The evolution of PoE, or Power of Ethernet
LED light output is about 10 times more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. This also applies to the level of energy consumed. According to analysts, by 2017 about 87% of U.S. companies will switch to LED lighting. We dare to suggest that about the same mark will reach the world statistics.
The technology of the RoE allows you to transmit data and electricity together over a twisted pair of Ethernet cable. The evolution of RoE is associated with an increase in power throughput, allowing more devices to be connected to the system. Modern PoE equipment assumes the capacity of the connected devices up to 60W. It should be noted that the declared maximum is still far from the capabilities of the technology itself.
Principle of operation of an intelligent lighting system
As mentioned earlier, the modern ISO is based on a single cable wiring, which includes:
- data exchange
- power supply
The heart of the system, as before, is the controller or controller-injectors, which provide a centralized power supply and remote control of lighting fixtures.
Increasing demands for flexibility and functionality require an increase in the number of controllers. In this case, the Director becomes an important addition to the complex. The latter also allows a process of integration with other applications and systems. Data collection is provided by sensors installed near or inside the LED luminaire. Typically, the sensor is a miniature set of sensors (light, temperature, motion) and contains a gateway to communicate with the controller. Typically, the standard gateway connector is the RJ-45 type.
For connection of new generation systems to fluorescent light sources, universal gateways with a sensor unit and the probable need to install an additional relay can be used.
The system is monitored and controlled via special software that is pre-installed in the controllers. Access PC, tablet or smartphone, usually through a web interface.
The tasks of the software include:
- data collection and storage
- analysis and reporting
- status monitoring
- system management
The enviable benefits of intelligent lighting
- Reduction of power supply costs of lighting systems by up to 80%
- Reduce design, installation and commissioning costs by up to 50%
- Get detailed information about power consumption, room temperature and personnel presence
- Increase of safety level of complex conjugated systems
The degree of functionality, flexibility and efficiency of systems depends largely on the level of modification and equipment configuration. Due to the high efficiency and positive prospects for cost reduction, the cost of intelligent lighting in the company will pay off very quickly.