How to Use an LED Lighting Controller | LED Illuminations |

Do you Need a Degree to Operate your Lighting Controller?

These days, the only thing trendier than a LED lighting system is a LED control system. There are full-featured, wifi systems that use sensors to manage on/off control with occupancy, control dimming, and even adjust the correlated colour temperature (CCT) for various times of day, tasks, or ambient preference. In theory, any application of these networked solid-state lighting (SSL) systems should only increase the energy savings you’d get from an LED retrofit. 

Control systems can get expensive and OTT (over the top). LED lamp replacement might cost about £0.67 per square foot (including installation), a lighting network comes in at around £0.67–£1.67/ft2 ! In other words, an LED retrofit saves 60% on operational costs under all conditions, implementing a digital control system would save a further 5–15% on lighting energy consumption under the right conditions. 

When installing a digital control system and doubling the cost of a retrofit project, it is best to check that the system you’re investing in will function as expected and can be operated by you simply. 

Systems are still difficult to install. The systems with fewer parts and pieces are easier and faster to set up. Similarly, systems with default settings and fewer control capabilities are easier to understand. 

Operating controls is another issue: Some have rocker switches or multi-buttons, some are pre-configured, and some are not. Even after configuration, the wall controls aren’t always easy to use. If the installer (who is usually not the person purchasing the system) is able to configure the daylight and occupancy sensors, they then have to understand the software specific to that system — and this is like a foreign language to the client! 

“Manufacturers/design engineers need to relate to the end user who needs to operate the system daily” 

Controls being used with today’s lighting systems are not yet intuitive enough. Functions such as daylight harvesting is often disabled by users who do not want to deal with the disruption of changing light levels within an office or commercial environment, even though this would enable a further energy saving. 

Most retrofit projects can easily be controlled by a modular wireless system that is intuitive to use and can be integrated into both new and already-built environments. Unless you really need a complex control system with a multitude of functions which hopefully will justify the cost – GO SIMPLE!