You might not read Architectural Lighting magazine, but concepts mooted in its pages might just come to pass. Here’s a bit of an article posted in August to the AL website:
“With a distributed intelligence approach, lighting systems no longer have a single mission control station. Rather, they act more like ant colonies, where members work independently, but in concert with the overall goals of the community.
“Control zones are smaller and greater in number, and individual luminaires can make their own decisions when to switch, ‘on,’ ‘off,’ or dim, thanks to integrated sensors and controls.
But this vision isn’t just about controlling light bulbs.
“One such strategy is to enable individual devices—sensors, dimmers, and luminaires—to behave autonomously, while belonging to a flexible and scalable system, says Dave Ranieri, vice president of Acuity Brands.
“’You can control [devices] individually, or you can group them together into small networks and control them by room or zone’ with a simple CAT-5 cable, he says. ‘If you change the space, all you have to do is unplug them and plug them in again’.”
How about installation? There’s also this:
“Installing wired lighting networks can be costly and challenging, particularly in existing buildings. Wireless systems show promise for both retrofits and new construction . . .
“If these systems sound like a brave new world, they are, but they won’t be adopted overnight. While the technology is developing rapidly, new construction has been sluggish, which has limited market penetration. Ambitious control systems remain most attractive for facilities with intensive lighting demand, such as hotels, or even projects that anticipate having longer payback periods, including schools, government buildings, and large offices.
“As construction picks up, however, the shift will accelerate. In a few years, hyper-intelligent lighting could seem just average.”
By Joe Salimando
Salimando is a Fairfax, Virginia-based writer and contributor to energysolutions.necanet.org and his own eleblog.com.
Reach him at email@example.com