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Integrated lighting and technology

POWER TO THE PEOPLE PoE, Li-Fi, VLC, IoT… it’s time to get up to speed with the new lighting revolution (and a whole new load of acronyms) as ‘Big Data’ hits the industry. Andrew Brister looks into an increasingly technologically-integrated future

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ow are your IT skills? It might be time to brush up on your infrastructure knowledge as the lighting and IT worlds move ever closer. Indeed, the market metric for the big lighting manufacturers has shifted from dollars per lamp to dollars per lux and now on to dollars per bit – the same metric used by the likes of Google. So what technology is emerging in this brave new world? Perhaps the best known example of the new breed is using Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology to create a connected lighting solution. Philips is one manufacturer currently promoting this approach. As luminaires

receive both data and power over a single Ethernet connection, typically a Cat 5 cable, there is no need for expensive electrical wiring, reducing installation costs by at least 25%, says Philips, and slashing installation times by 50%. The big attraction for occupiers goes beyond the upfront installation savings. For example, at The Edge in Amsterdam, the first office building in the world to be equipped with Philips’ PoE technology, each luminaire includes four sensors: one each for detecting light levels, temperature and occupancy (a motion sensor), plus an infrared sensor that serves as emergency control in the event of a power failure. The system is able to provide facilities managers with an integrated view of a building’s occupancy patterns and energy usage. This enables more informed decision-making with improved levels of energy and operational efficiency. The Edge is the result of a partnership between OVG Real Estate, Philips and the main tenant Deloitte, and is owned by Deka Immobilien Investment. ‘On top of the energy savings, we

Lighting Journal November/December 2015

will get a tremendous insight into how the building is being used from Philips’ connected lighting system. We can actually use the data from the sensors to understand how our people use the building, and how intensively,’ says Erik Ubels, chief information officer at Deloitte in The Netherlands. ‘For instance, it will help us focus cleaning on the rooms that really need it, thus optimising costs – a room used the whole day for a large meeting with lunch and coffee requires a different level of cleaning than one used for two hours by two people,’ he adds. PERSONAL CONTROL Philips’ system also allows office users at The Edge to set the lighting and temperature to suit their personal preferences via an app on their smartphone. Their smartphones will detect their location from overhead lighting fixtures via the app. ‘The LED lighting alone is 80% more efficient than conventional lighting. Personal control of the lighting by employees actually increases efficiency, as general lighting levels can be kept lower,’ says Jeff Cassis from Philips Lighting. ‘The potential savings on

Lighting Journal November December 2015  
Lighting Journal November December 2015