Digital Systems Blog

Why Smart Lighting and Building Management System Integration Makes Sense

smart lightingMost facility managers today are using building management systems (BMS), also known as building automation control systems (BACS), to control and monitor some of their buildings’ mechanical and electrical equipment such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and safety and security systems. Centrally managing these individual systems has enabled facility teams to take advantage of a number of operational and energy efficiencies. For many facilities, however, the lighting system has remained separate from the BMS. This has translated into an opportunity loss. Further optimization of energy usage and operations through lighting system and BMS integration could be significant.

Integrating a smart lighting system with a BMS can up the ante significantly, particularly when the lighting system includes fixture-integrated sensors. Sensors embedded in the fixtures provide data at a granular level about the space and how it is being used. And this sensing data can be leveraged by other non-lighting functional systems within the BMS. In addition to leveraging the data to deliver maximum energy efficiency across HVAC and/or security and safety systems, this data can enable organizations to more accurately understand how their offices are being occupied and used, which in turn will help them better manage and optimize the space.

How the Integration Works

Networked lighting systems can connect with BMS/BACS via a BACnet interface. This connection enables lighting control system functionality and data to be leveraged by other traditional building systems such as HVAC and Safety/Security, providing an integrated approach to building management. For example, heating and air conditioning set points can be adjusted automatically based on the status of an occupancy sensor on the lighting system. This in turn can make the space more comfortable for occupants and save on unnecessary heating and cooling expenses when space is unoccupied.

Optimize Energy Savings and More with Smart Lighting

A centrally managed smart lighting system addresses the visual needs of the space by enabling the right amount of light at the right time based on occupancy, a timed event, daylight level, and more. Smart control strategies including daylight harvesting, personal control, occupancy sensing, time scheduling, and task tuning offer a comprehensive approach to improving energy efficiency. When these control strategies are used in combination with each other, maximum energy savings is attainable.

Buildings are reported to account for almost 40 percent of all carbon emissions, which has propelled sustainable building practices to take center stage in the industry. Smart lighting systems are enabling dramatic reductions in energy efficiencies and the data collected can be used to help substantiate green building certification programs. Learn how OSRAM and its customers have met LEED, the WELL Building Standard, BREEAM and The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard requirements leveraging the ENCELIUM® EXTEND Light Management System.  In addition to maximizing energy efficiencies, green buildings have benefits such as higher productivity and increased occupant health. And achieving these standards can help attract talent and build brand awareness for an organization.

Why not optimize other building functions by integrating lighting control system functionality and sensor data with the BMS?

Provide a Safer and Secure Environment

What is more critical today than safety and security? Increased lighting and connected lighting control can help deter criminal activity, burglary, and damage to property in commercial, educational, retail, and other facilities. When a smart lighting system is integrated with a BMS that includes a video surveillance system, occupancy sensors that are part of the lighting system can switch lighting ON when there is activity, giving more clarity to images captured. A safer environment can be provided for a building’s staff, customers, and visitors.

At hotels, a guest can swipe a card in the elevator to securely access their floor and room.  With smart lighting BMS system integration, this activity can also trigger the lights in that floor’s elevator lobby and corridor to turn ON for their arrival. The system integration combines safety with a comfortable, welcoming experience for the hotel guest.

Parking garages are often dark and vacant, making entering them uncomfortable. They are also a target for vandalism. Lighting system sensors can trigger lighting to illuminate paths for cars and pedestrians according to their presence and movement. When there is no movement for a defined period, the lights turn OFF or DIM, saving energy. For example, in the parking garage at the Victoria Gate luxury shopping center and multi-story parking garage in northern England, ensuring optimum safety and energy efficiency is essential. An integrated lighting and building management system enables lighting to follow cars and pedestrians as they move through the garage, thus lighting their way and allowing safe and comfortable movement always. The lights turn OFF when no movement is recognized during a programmed time frame.

Enable Smart Building IoT Applications

Today, lighting control functionality and data are leveraged for advanced smart building IoT applications such as space optimization. The raw data from a connected lighting system network is acquired, aggregated and stored in the cloud where it is accessed by analytics software providers and processed using data science and machine-learning algorithms. The results are actionable insights.

Understanding how a space is used removes the guesswork in determining how to optimize a space. For example, sensor data from the lighting system will determine what size and number of conference rooms are needed in an office. Lighting system data will show how often a room is used and the number of people in attendance (not the number of people who accepted the electronic meeting invitation).

Using real-time and historical lighting system data, facility managers can determine how many desks are needed for a mobile workforce that visits the office occasionally. Sensors in lighting systems can be the information source for determining the square footage required for office staff, rather than using an outdated square-footage-per-employee formula that presumes every employee sits at one desk 40 hours per week.

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Topics: Smart Lighting, Connected Lighting & IoT