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Lighting Controls : Energy savings beyond LEDs

Much has been written and said about the inherent energy efficiency of the LED luminaries compared to the conventional light sources. Today the word LED is a synonym to energy savings. But does it end there? How can we squeeze out more from them and save more? The obvious answer is optimising our usage by means of lighting controls.

Lighting controls just like LEDs have long been portrayed for saving energy and increasing system efficiency, not to mention the additional advantages it provides like ease of usability, mood settings, security etc.

But are we efficiently using this win-win combination to optimise our energy requirements – probably yes! but in case not, here are a few ways to do so.

1) Efficient lighting design must include lighting controls design

This goes out to every specifier or client. The use of lighting control systems should be considered mandatory for any type of project. Often this is excluded from a design terming it as a complex system for the end user. But, if properly designed at the beginning of the project keeping the user preferences in mind, lighting control systems are simple to use.

2) Choose the most efficient electronics with your LED fixture

LED drivers / power supplies play an important role in determining your exact savings. An efficient electronic control-gear will ensure you get the most out of your system minimising the losses which occur at distribution board.

3) Dimming Protocols

Dimming via analog 1-10VDC methods is tried and tested protocol that still works with LEDs.

DALI is complex and is best only if addressability of lighting fixtures is required.

The simplest and most economic dimming protocol is Mains dimming (Leading/Trailing edge) which provides full functionality of LED control while eliminating the control wiring cost. However, compatibility and dimming quality issues might arise so it is recommended to test the systems beforehand.

4) Efficient lighting leads to efficient mind – human centric lighting

Use of lighting controls to control the colour temperature of the lighting fixtures can be designed. The effect of colour temperature on the efficiency of human mind has long been studied and verified. The same can be incorporated in an efficient way by using controls along with tuneable white fixtures for more human centric lighting.