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Lighting in the Intelligent Building

Dannielle Furness
Marketing Manager

Dynalite Intelligent Light

Until recent years the intelligent building was virtually inconceivable. Initial entries into this industry sector were fraught with the inevitable teething problems, not the least of which was integration incompatibilities. The concept of the intelligent building is now more broadly recognised and considerable development has occurred in associated industries, resulting in simplified integration between building management, access and lighting systems.

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The lighting control system is the backbone of the intelligent building. Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs recently completed the building of new headquarters, a state-of-the-art facility consisting of twin nineteen storey towers and additional public areas. The MHA contains Dynalite's largest and most advanced lighting control system installed to date. Originally, the client was looking for a lighting control system for traditional benefits such as worker comfort, energy savings and control flexibility, but decided on the Dynalite system because it could also offer advanced new features such as predictive maintenance, over the network firmware upgrades, unattended emergency lighting tests and integration to the internet and third party systems using ActiveX.

The Dynalite lighting control system at the Ministry of Home Affairs building has been designed to light work areas to proper levels for worker comfort, resulting in the most efficient use of energy. There is an often-quoted case study by the National Lighting Bureau in the United States, in which a facility manager removed every other fluorescent tube in an office environment in an effort to reduce energy costs. The facility manager immediately saved 50% of lighting energy costs. The nature of the operations in the data-processing space was such that productivity could easily be tracked. It was quickly noticed that a serious side effect associated with the energy savings was a 28% drop in productivity. Given that precipitous a fall, a quick analysis would suggest that for every one dollar saved in energy consumption, at least $100 was lost as a consequence of reduced output. The lamps were quickly restored and productivity rapidly returned to former levels. The lesson to be learned is that a lighting system is there for a reason. Overall there are over 16,000 light fittings, each individually controlled, at the MHA building. Although a lighting control system offers considerable energy savings, there are even greater benefits; higher levels of worker productivity, reduced maintenance costs and the flexibility of configuration and control.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Configuring and maintaining a system of this size would be extremely difficult using traditional software. Dynalite's new DLight32 software uses a map base graphical user interface to simplify the commissioning and subsequent changes to the system. To commission the system, Dynalite engineers imported the original drawings into DLight32 and it was then simply a matter of placing icons over the fittings on the drawings, and "click-dragging" links between the lighting control boxes and the light fittings. This straightforward method of commissioning hides all of the complex control operations from the user and makes it faster and easier to set the system up. Once commissioning is complete, changing the control patterns is a matter of clicking on a link and deleting it, then "click-dragging" a new link. There are no longer any requirements for complicated scripting or set-up table details.

In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs building features new technologies such as ActiveX integration to the Building Management System, a new Client Server architecture for control, over the network firmware upgrades and lamp failure monitoring, providing the client with an intuitive and time-saving system, delivering innumerable benefits. 



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