FAQ About Networked Lighting Controls

by | Apr 18, 2023 | 0 comments |

Networked lighting controls (NLC) combine LED fixtures, controls, data, and connectivity to create a flexible lighting system.  An NLC can improve occupant comfort and optimize space utilization. Some control strategies employed by NLCs include daylight harvesting, occupancy sensing, dimming abilities, and more.

Benefits of an NLC System

Here’s a brief look at some of the benefits you get with an NLC system.

Ease of Installation and Use

The lighting fixtures can be ordered from the manufacturer with the controls and programming already installed. It means the fixtures are ready for installation out of the box. Most fixtures allow users to control the product via an app or supplied tablet. Anyone considering an LED retrofit will find these kits simplify and reduce installation costs.

Flexible Lighting System

Lighting systems equipped with NLCs allow for easy changes in space usage. The flexibility reduces the cost of a changeover for new tenants with different lighting requirements. Simply regroup the fixtures and update the settings to the new preferences.

Energy Savings

NLCs use 25 to 50% less energy than fixtures without lighting sensors.

Improved Occupant Experience

Providing the right level of light at various times throughout the day creates a better environment for occupants. It can increase productivity and employee safety.

Additional Benefits

Comprehensive lighting systems can provide additional benefits like tracking assets, monitoring space usage, improving safety, and more.

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Smart Lighting Controls Equal Big Benefits

Luminaire level lighting controls provide big benefits that include the following.

  • Easy installation. You can have the controls preprogrammed into the fixtures for a quick and simple installation.
  • Flexible lighting controls. NCLs are adaptable and can be easily reorganized to meet changes in space usage, reducing costs for new tenants.
  • Improved lighting quality. LED fixtures with controls can dramatically improve lighting quality.
  • Increase occupant comfort. Lighting controls allow users to adjust lighting fixtures as a group or individually, improving occupants’ comfort in the room.
  • Energy savings. Along with a reduction in energy costs, typically between 25 to 75%, NLCs are also less expensive to install and maintain.
  • Improve building operations. NLCs can be integrated into emergency lighting systems, work with demand response, and track assets. The lighting controls can also be integrated into other building systems for easier management.

When you combine LEDs with lighting controls and sensors you can improve your building, and ensure long-term flexibility, while also seeing energy savings.

Action Services Group believes in educating the public so they can make better energy efficient decisions for their facilities. We offer an in-depth Lighting Controls Education Center as well as over 50 articles in our Lighting Controls Blog Feed.

Understanding NLCs

NLCs (networked lighting controls) are systems enabled with wireless sensors. The sensors allow the light fixtures to communicate with each other. The systems have multiple control capabilities in a single package. It can include data transmission and daylight harvesting, along with vacancy and occupancy sensors.

Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about NLCs.

  1. Why are NLCs the future of lighting?
  • Potential energy savings of 25 to 50% compared to fixtures without controls.
  • Correct the limitations of older-generation lighting controls. For example,
    • Some systems have pre-programmed settings for easier installation.
    • Less wiring, faster and easier to install.
    • Same basic installation process as non-controlled fixtures when using luminaire level lighting controls
    • Wireless features and apps simplify the programming process.
    • Sensors and software work together to adapt to the space and can be individually controlled via smartphone or tablet, making it easier to reconfigure as needed.

The fine-tuned controls provide a better customer experience. It includes controls that track the amount of sunlight in a room and continuous dimming. It ensures the light level remains unchanged throughout business operations.

  1. Are NLC systems right for all buildings?

NLC lighting systems are a good fit for all types of buildings. The systems reduce energy usage while improving light quality. NLCs are a simple way to have multiple control capabilities that can include,

  • Occupancy and vacancy sensing
  • Daylight harvesting
  • Task tuning
  • Continuous dimming

Some non-electrical benefits you also get from NLCs are,

  • Asset tracking
  • Space utilization planning
  • Simple adaptability for new tenants
  • Integration with building systems, including HVAC and CO2 sensing systems
  • Integration with building security and emergency response systems
  • Demand response capabilities
  • Energy code compliance
  1. What types of buildings can benefit from NLC systems?

Examples of the types of buildings that should consider integrating NLC lighting systems are,

  • Hospitals, utilizing asset tracking and space utilization
  • Warehouses, for asset tracking and demand response
  • Schools, for security and emergency response system integration and to enable lighting adjustments throughout the day for optimal learning environments

Mixed-use office buildings, that take advantage of NLC’s building systems integration, can include demand response, space utilization and lighting flexibility in the included lighting controls.

Networked Lighting Controls from Action Services Group

If your organization is considering an LED upgrade, we highly recommend also considering the installation of lighting controls. As you can see there are major benefits from installing networked lighting controls in most any facility. As a bonus, there are lighting control and LED incentives and rebates that your facility can take advantage of.

If you are ready to discuss a potential lighting upgrade with a networked lighting control system, call 610-558-9773, emailing [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below. Don’t forget to ask about the available incentives and rebate.


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