Beyond the ability to save money, Advanced Controls provide many other features and advantages that simple controls cannot provide
For example, when using Advanced Controls, the overall management and reporting systems of a space are far more efficient, plus a store owner gains far greater control over lighting and other energy efficiency activities. One of the most important Control solutions is being able to automatically or manually adjust an environment to the occupant’s requirements. In other words, it’s important to create balance with comfort as a necessary aspect to an adaptable control system. In addition, an advanced control system goes far and above providing credits towards programs such as “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” or more commonly known as LEED. Before long, current regulatory measures will require far more advanced lighting control measures as basic controls will soon be inadequate in meeting building codes.
The one most commonly used lighting control is occupancy sensing, which more often is referred to as a motion sensor. This type of control will detect movement whether through a Passive Infrared, an Ultrasonic System or other types of advanced electrical technologies. When using these types of controls, lights can be turned on and off when they’re not in use even when no one is occupying the space, thereby saving lots of money.
When scheduling controls, unnecessary lighting is totally eliminated, in particular at times when occupants are not in their store or space. A good example of this type of control is having a system that turns off lights automatically usually after hours. Depending on the need, there are several very advanced systems that create intricate systems based on the time of day and even the time of year.
Dimming is another form of control that is used regularly, although dimming is not necessarily considered a true control. Generally speaking, the dimming fixtures are coupled with a dimmer switch to reduce energy use, which requires the dimming to be achieved manually.
Without realizing it, there are many types of electrical devices that draw on energy usage even when those devices are not being used. This is of course a great waste of energy. To alleviate this type of waste, Plug Load Controls is an option that manages loads of energy through a schedule or an occupancy sensor. By way of illustration, a Plug Load Controller can be set so that it automatically turns off a lamp or some other type of device as soon as the user moves from the space. Imagine the amount of energy that can be controlled in offices, schools and commercial spaces when permanently installed Plus Load Controls are in place.
Today there are applications that report on conditions in an environment that trigger alerts if conditions going beyond a certain point. This type of monitoring and alert leads to significant energy savings. Besides these solutions assessing current operating conditions, they also identify opportunities which allow for efficiency improvements. By way of example, with an environmental monitoring system in place, temperature and humidity is closely tracked, thereby avoiding unplanned outages. Using this type of monitoring as a lighting control, temperature and humidity sensors can be incorporated into the network and real time data is provided as a monitoring system.
Most “Building Management Systems” generally manage thermostats and other HVAC devices, but today, Wireless Thermostats are breaking new ground in buildings, proving to offer time-saving as well as money saving features. A wireless lighting control network can be routed with a wireless control message to and from a thermostat by way of lights. The advantage of this type of Control is a single control network that eliminates the need and cost for separate networks. Because of the many fixtures in a building, lighting serves as an excellent application for this type of network.