Lighting, is often taken for granted in enterprise companies. But, there are some options available with lighting that can be applied to save energy, create a better ambiance & use sunlight. In this article we will discuss some Lighting Control techniques that can be used in enterprise companies.
Dimming of lights has traditionally been used in conference rooms while viewing presentations/ when a video conference session is going on. Dimming is quite simple – the brightness of the lights are reduced either to a certain extant (fixed – like 50%) or to any level (variable) as desired by the administrator, instead of just switching them Off (or) On. But Dimming of lights can be done for the entire building for different types of lighting systems (Not just incandescent lights which are typically associated with dimmers, but even CFL and LED light sources can be dimmed as well, by using specialized dimmers).
Basically, an electronic component called Triac turns the light On and Off very rapidly (more than 100 times a second, for example) to achieve the dimming effect. Lights could be dimmed for reasons like Daylight Savings (discussed in the next section), cost control, increasing their life and even to bring an aesthetic look to the premises.
Dimming can be manually controlled for individual or group of lights using dimming switches (or) the process of dimming can be automated for the whole building based on the output from various sensors.
You might have seen that more and more buildings use glass quite extensively. Glass lets in sunlight and hence a part of this sunlight could be used to illuminate a lot of places. There are sensors that automatically find out how much daylight is available at an area, and adjust the lighting accordingly (by using dimmers) to achieve just the required illumination for that place. This process is mostly automated.
There are certain specialized window blinds which can be closed/opened as required, to control the amount of sunlight required in the room. Similarly, there are certain window shades that can either – i. Completely block the sunlight, ii. Filter sunlight and allow a limited amount of light to illuminate the room, iii. Reduce glare, iv. Block UV rays, v. Reflect sunlight but still be transparent enough to allow people to view outside.
Occupancy Sensors are especially useful in enterprise companies. As employees generally do not switch off the lights when they leave, the lights keep glowing till all of them are put off, late in the night. But this process wastes a lot of electricity as lights may not be required at many places where there are no people.
So, Occupancy Sensors are designed to detect if people are present in an area/ floor and then switch off the lights automatically for that area/ floor. It does the reverse as well, by switching on the lights when an area is occupied by people. These occupancy sensors may use multiple technologies to detect the presence of people like Infrared signal sensing, ultrasonic signal sensing, sound/ motion detection etc.
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