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Lighting control systems

16 Nov 2022 // by Ricardo Morcillo

Lighting control systems allow us to manipulate various parameters of one or more light sources. They can be managed in a wide variety of ways, from simple intensity adjustments to the creation of complex and dynamic lighting scenes tailored to the user's needs.  

 

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Light is something that influences not only our mood, but also our performance, productivity and even fatigue, which is why having the right light at all times is becoming increasingly important.

 

Healthy and efficient lighting is now one of the great demands for any type of space, and with lighting control it is now a reality within everyone's reach.

 

 

What is lighting control?

 

As its name suggests, lighting control refers to being able to control the luminaires by regulating the intensity of the light to adapt it to each specific time of the day, thus guaranteeing maximum lighting comfort in any activity carried out.

 

Because each activity, and even depending on the time of day, requires different lighting to favour concentration or relaxation, for example, or to prevent eye fatigue.

 

In this sense, lighting control systems allow you to achieve exactly that, the exact degree of intensity that you need in each space and moment, obtaining healthy and energy-efficient lighting.

 

By adding presence sensors to the project, adapting the switching on/off to a pre-established timetable, even an annual calendar, we can achieve significant energy savings, as well as the desired atmosphere at all times.

 

But we can control not only the intensity, but also aspects such as colour temperature.

 

What are the benefits of lighting control?

 

Use of natural light

 

We will be able to adapt the artificial lighting in a room according to the amount of natural light received inside. This is possible thanks to sensors and devices that detect the entry of natural light and modulate the amount of artificial lighting until the desired light levels are reached.

 

Economic savings    

 

One of the main consequences of using control systems is the enormous energy savings. With the use of detectors, light is only activated when necessary and consumption and costs are significantly reduced without any loss of lighting quality.

 

Environmental protection

  

Lower energy consumption reduces the carbon footprint of the facility, resulting in a reduced, sustainable and environmentally responsible impact.

 

Life extension

 

Reducing the intensity or activating the light only when necessary prolongs the life of the light source. This not only saves money in the long term, but also facilitates the maintenance of the equipment and reduces the generation of polluting solid waste.

 

Tailor-made design

 

Beyond savings and environmental protection, control systems allow us to personalize light according to the user's needs, creating changing atmospheres and ambience based on our mood, working hours or solar calendar.

 

What types of control systems exist?

 

Depending on their characteristics, control systems are divided into:

 

Analogue control systems

 

They refer to a manual lighting control and operate from a power switch or remote controller. The most common are the 0-10V, AMX192 (USA) or D54 (Europe) systems.

 

Automatic control systems

  

These are digital control systems based on intelligent devices controlled from an interface. The most commonly used protocols are: DALI, DMX or KNX.

 

SAURA beacon with presence sensor

How does a control system work?

 

In order to install them, we must have devices and controllers whose programming, action or reaction involves activating, disconnecting or dimming our luminaires. The most important are the following:

 

Dimmer switch or Dimmer

 

It controls the amount of light emitted by the luminaires and can be used manually or automatically.

 

Presence sensor

  

It detects activity or movement in a given space. Thus, when one or more people appear on the scene, the light is automatically switched on. Conversely, artificial light will be dispensed with when there are no people or movement.

 

Timers

  

They are used to control the lighting duration of the luminaires once they have been activated. They can be controlled manually or through a programming system according to the day and geographical location.

 

Astronomical clock

  

Device that automatically calculates the time of sunrise and sunset according to geographical location. It is very common in outdoor lighting installations.

 

Daylight sensor

  

Also called photoelectric, it detects the amount of natural light coming from outside. This allows us to calculate the amount of artificial light required at any time of the day and to establish a balance between natural and artificial light.

 

RGB LED controller

  

It allows the control of the colour of the light emitted by RGB luminaires in order to dynamise an activity, induce a peaceful rest or design a festive or corporate event.

 

When to use lighting control systems?

 

Lighting control is available to anyone looking for healthy and efficient lighting. It can be used in the homes of individuals who want to enjoy a home automation and technology home, but it can also be incorporated into large buildings, offices or public buildings.

  

What elements are needed to control lighting?

 

In order to be able to use lighting control, it is necessary to have some elements such as control systems. At Faro Barcelona we use the latest technology with wired and wireless lighting control systems such as the following:

In the same way, it is also necessary to use specific luminaires that can be dimmed, as not all of them can be dimmed. In addition, it is important that installations are carried out by certified installers to ensure the correct operation of the entire lighting control system and of the individual luminaires.

 

 

General tips on how to apply lighting control correctly in a space

 

Lighting control can be the key to a lighting system having a positive impact on the health, well-being and comfort of users, but there are a number of issues that need to be taken into account for it to work properly and be useful.

 

Choosing luminaires, the lighting control system and the necessary accessories such as dimmers or timers can be complicated, especially if you do not have the necessary knowledge.

 

Not all luminaires and dimmers are suitable for all lighting control systems, and depending on the characteristics of each space and the preferences of the users, certain luminaires and specific accessories may be necessary.

 

At Faro Barcelona we have in-depth knowledge of the latest lighting control technologies, and more than just offering lighting, we offer solutions to achieve maximum comfort and well-being for people in every place.

 

With years of experience in the sector, we can advise you on the best options for each architectural or interior design project so that you get modern, functional, healthy and, above all, comfortable spaces. Come and visit us and we will advise you!

 

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