Lighting Control Systems

Lighting control systems play an essential role in today's modern commercial buildings. A well-designed lighting control system should achieve two primary objectives.

Lighting control systems play an essential role in today's modern commercial buildings. A well-designed lighting control system should achieve two primary objectives.

The Challenge

The Solution

The Technology

The Results

Lighting control systems play an essential role in today's modern commercial buildings. A well-designed lighting control system should achieve two primary objectives. 

First, it will provide the end-user with the ability to control the lights in their space best to meet the need of the environment and application. An excellent example of this would be a restaurant, where they may want to control dimming levels depending on the area and by the time of day. 

The second objective of a lighting control system is to meet current energy code requirements. Everyone wants to save energy, but Federal, State, and City codes mandate specific energy codes that must be followed. Energy codes are designed to reduce costs and energy consumption by automating lights on various factors. These include things like the amount of natural light coming into the space or if the room is occupied or not. Some more progressive energy codes require lighting control systems to dim the lighting if there is a high energy demand and the energy grid is stressed. 

In a lighting control system there are several ways that dimming and switching modules can control lighting fixtures. The most common methods are industry standards such as 0-10 volt, phase, DMX, DALI, and simple switching relays. In recent years, some manufacturers have attempted to create proprietary methods of control for their own light fixtures in an effort to box the customer in to making a bigger purchase. And some have tried to adopt what is known as PoE or Power Over Ethernet lighting. For more info on PoE, see the article "Crestron Zūm, Unlocking the Power of Ethernet."

Lighting control systems are generally comprised of a few primary components: dimming or switching modules, user interfaces like keypads and sensors that monitor the environment. Also, these systems can stand alone, meaning they are not interconnected or wired back to a management system, or they can be networked. Networking is required if the end-user or energy code requires a centrally managed time clock, BACnet integration to a BMS, demand response for energy consumption or when the user wants global control of their building from a central or remote location. 

Historically, lighting control systems were large cabinets of dimmers or relays installed in a mechanical room connected to a computer module that required a programmer or integrator to make them work. Modern lighting control systems, like Crestron Zūm, are a fresh approach to lighting control by providing a distributed control architecture that installs faster, works out of the box and can be commissioned in minutes by anyone with a smartphone using the Zūm app. Zūm also comes in both wireless and wired topologies, which allow it to be installed in both new construction or retrofit into an existing building. 

Zūm Wired systems offer an additional benefit if the system is networked. Unlike old technology that uses proprietary wire and communication, Zūm wired systems network with Ethernet over a closed system network to the Zūm HUB. Because Ethernet is an open protocol it allows us to better manage the lighting control system; it also provides future-proofing as the ZūmNet network also acts as an IoT backbone for data collection. 

ZŪM WIRED & WIRELESS LIGHTING CONTROL SYSTEMS MEET ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR ENERGY CODES AND PROVIDE ALL THE FEATURES END-USERS WANT!

Contact us today for more information and design assistance with your project.

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