3) Define the Data Scope
Does your wireless system feed usage data back to an energy dashboard? This strategy can help you get a handle on energy consumption in your facility, but the sheer amount of data available to you can become overwhelming. Decide during the initial rollout how deep you’d like to dig into lighting usage.
“You might not want to know that an individual light went off or dimmed for 30 seconds, so you can set those parameters when any large system is rolled out,” Corrie says.
For instance, if your building hosts multiple tenants, you likely care more about energy usage by tenant than by fixture. Have the management system group its measurements by suite or floor, then use that information to fairly bill each tenant for their own energy usage instead of relying on the building’s overall energy expenses.
“Many companies can’t detect and pinpoint exact energy consumption from office to office. They receive a bill, which is then cleared by them and amortized out from suite to suite,” explains Corrie. “If a property management company had the capability to see granular, specific energy consumption down to the individual suite, it becomes a profit center for them.”
If you opted to forgo a central management system with a dashboard, consider submetering to track post-installation energy savings from your new controls, Lind adds.
4) Appoint a Lighting Guru
An FM department in a larger building or campus could benefit from assigning one team member to focus on energy consumption from the lighting system or on conservation in general, Corrie notes.
“You might have one person remotely monitoring 15 buildings, or one team capable of detecting an issue and pinpointing the fault through the central management system so they don’t have to physically walk to the location to investigate,” explains Corrie. “If you can tell them ahead what to put in their tool kit to fix the problem, that reduces time and maintenance costs.”
5) Redefine Normal Light Levels
You’ve probably already made plans to dim spaces like stairwells and unoccupied corridors, but what about occupied spaces? You may be able to dial back the intensity of a space’s lighting without causing discomfort.
“The human eye can’t really detect a light that dims from 100% to 90%. Right there, you have an instant 10% energy savings,” says Corrie. “Couple that with light detection, where the side of the room that’s near a window doesn’t need light, but the other side does because it’s in a darker area.”
6) Get Creative
Energy savings certainly present a persuasive argument, but if you’re considering installing a wireless lighting control system, think beyond the financial savings and examine how better control over your lighting could influence profits.
“You can use central lighting management to push marketing campaigns, monitor buyer traffic and behavior, and understand where buyers are going and what they’re doing,” Corrie says.
“If someone returns to a clothes rack to look at something for a second time, you could warm up the lighting or brighten it in that area,” Corrie adds. “The realtime applications are endless. These systems don’t just enable people to control and monitor lighting, but to do many other things using the existing infrastructure and technology that’s already there.”
Janelle Penny firstname.lastname@example.org is associate editor of BUILDINGS.