Digital Systems Blog

The Many Advantages of Upgrading Your Lighting System

osram-dam-3829_501802_500159+_Ensinger_Industry_Office_-_retouchedLighting controls range from simple switches to networked light management systems that leverage the latest technologies. Commercial real estate including offices, hospitals, retail establishments, schools and universities have all adopted smart lighting systems. The initial benefits that drew early adopters to smart lighting were the dramatic reductions in energy usage and the related costs. Today’s systems, however, are more technologically advanced and offer so much more.

Here are a few things to ponder when considering upgrading your lighting system:

Stay Current and Get Ready for the Technology Future

Lighting systems are now based on advanced technologies. Updating your system to the most current technology allows you to retrofit existing systems and provides future-proofing for upcoming applications.

For example, we are in the midst of an IoT revolution, and smart lighting is the key to unleashing the power of IoT and smart building applications. With networked lighting systems, sensors are embedded in luminaires making each light point a data node on the network for gathering information and serving as the infrastructure for smart building applications beyond lighting.

Lighting Affects Productivity and Comfort

Quality lighting for specific tasks creates a better working environment for the ‘whole’ person and not just the eyes.  A study by researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago concluded that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers' sleep, activity and quality of life.

Most commercial office space is over lit. Lighting control systems enable tuning the right level of light to the actual task. Because each fixture on a network-controlled system has a unique address, it can be programmed to meet the unique requirements of the task being performed.

Worker mistakes can be costly in both time and money. By creating lighting scenes for different tasks, a worker’s visual comfort improves which in turn increases his or her accuracy. To improve accuracy levels, lighting scenes can be set for assembly work in a plant, reading radiology scans in a hospital, or test-taking in a classroom.

Improve Safety and Security

It might be surprising, but office workers are twice as likely to suffer a serious fall or injury as other workers. According to Albert Einstein College of Medicine, inadequate lighting is one of the four top reasons that office workers are hurt on the job in fall accidents. Lighting control systems can improve the lighting in poorly lit areas and help reduce accidents.

Quality lighting that minimizes glare can also deter criminal activity and increase a feeling of safety. Conversely, too much light can actually be counter-productive and help rather than hinder criminal activity. The ability to program lighting to the illumination that best fits the space is paramount to improving safety and security.

Go Green and Attract Millennial Workers

Since lighting control systems provide significant energy usage and related cost reductions, they help boost an organization’s green branding. The environmental benefits of networked lighting systems are plentiful including no mercury in the LED lights, longer light life, and sometimes fewer lights needed. Lighting control strategies such as occupancy sensing enable lights to be shut off when spaces are unoccupied in areas such as restrooms, conference rooms, hallways and classrooms providing further energy savings.

While saving on energy costs, you can attract millennials and indirectly assist your recruitment program. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 millennials will make up 50% of the U.S. workforce. This group is inspired by an organization’s environmental concerns and that plays significantly into their workplace choice.

The 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study reports that 76% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and nearly two-thirds (64%) won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.

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Topics: Lighting Controls, Connected Lighting & IoT