John Niebel

Power over Ethernet lighting delivers big savings & better health

  • 8 Sep 2015

John Niebel, CEO of intelligent lighting control specialist amBX, says Power over Ethernet lighting will deliver installation and operational savings and healthier, more productive workspaces.

The advent of connected lighting will deliver massive operational and installation cost savings and up to 75% energy savings in commercial and public installations switching to LED.

This also means that Power over Ethernet lighting systems will become commonplace in the next few years, much in much the same way as VoIP has in telephony. Network-connected lighting control will mean that lighting systems will become much quicker and easier to install and faster and richer in configuration.

Connected Lighting will not only produce lower installation costs but also a lower Total Cost of Ownership. Both Philips and Cisco evidence a 50% reduction in installation costs for Internet-based connected lighting systems compared with conventional AC powered systems. This new way of controlling lighting, which has broken the “if this, then that” programming model, has led to a new paradigm in controls that ensures that the optimum desired output is always achieved.

The new way of doing things can be characterised as “Better, Faster and Cheaper”. It will deliver high performance lighting control using a building’s Ethernet network and removes the need for costly wiring and complex technical interfaces. At the same time richer lighting experiences are easily implemented. Platforms like ours are agnostic, which also means they can be used with PoE systems, wirelessly, with PLC or using existing control protocol options.

Health benefits

Controlling lighting using Power over Ethernet lights in this way will also enable building owners to use richer, bio-adaptive lighting in new ways to create healthier, more productive workspaces and environments. This will lead to better human-centric lighting at desks, in meeting rooms and public spaces, in terms of intensity and colour changes.

Power over Ethernet lightingThe impact of lighting on human performance and wellbeing is becoming widely understood and these new systems will be able to deliver more appropriate lighting.

Bio-adaptive lighting provides artificial light controlled in such a way as to match the needs of human biological cycles, or circadian rhythms – our physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness  – in the most effective and appropriate way.

It supports improved health and wellbeing and aspects of human behaviour that benefit from varied and changeable lighting. Technology like ours can also be combined with daylight harvesting systems.

The technology is proven. We have provided the software that runs one of the world’s first fully PoE powered and controlled office spaces at the University of Strathclyde’s Technical Innovation Centre. This was as part of Cisco’s Light as a Service (LaaS) initiative. It will now deliver better integration of lighting with other systems whilst improved use of sensors will provide better lighting control for optimal light settings and energy usage.

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