The desirability of smart lighting systems, driven by Philips Hue, is spreading to commercial lighting projects from offices to retail spaces and warehouses. Early adopters who have experimented with wireless lighting control at a commercial project level have been burned and learned some hard lessons.
The technology is finally ready for the demands of the market. Systems of Wireless Lighting Control need to meet the three major expectations of a professional lighting designer:
- Universal compatibility
- Matches or beats wired options
- Robust technical networking
Designers of commercial projects need to retain autonomy to specify the right light. The failure of systems to grow beyond a single brand or small clusters of brands is inherently limiting to the designer and ultimately the end-user. A design shouldn’t be the outcome of a forced choice of control tech. A solid wireless offering has to be accessible to designs with multiple brands – as long as an established standard for control (e.g. DALI) remains at the heart of the project.
Better than the Wired Option
Wired control costs a lot of money in a project – especially retro-fit. However it guarantees connection, up-time and the durability of control. Wireless systems have suffered from promising too much and failing to deliver.
For a commercial project the technology has to successfully compete with wired control in terms of reliability and functionality. Because LED has been revolutionary in cutting the energy used by lighting, control also has to cost less.
Wired systems have set the expectation of ultra-long life time with relatively awful software and UX. However they are rigid, hard to adjust after installation and require some TLC. Wireless lighting control give you a modular flexibility. Groups can be made and changed on the software side. Additional devices are much cheaper to setup. Extensions and revisions can be handled with ease.
Robust Technical Networking
Opting for wireless control – if it satisfies the use case and flexibility questions – requires technical reassurance. The network has to be robust enough to carry large numbers of lights and extend across a full floor with little boosting. It has to be able to secure itself and its communications. The benefits available to owners are huge if the technical questions can be answered.
We have found in developing WiLight that it is vital to address these issues with wireless lighting control as a package for our clients. The ease of adding a module to any fitting or brand at light or circuit level is hugely attractive from a total cost of ownership. Important design choices can be retained and user joy can be increased while function is streamlined.
The WiLight system helps bridge significant user pain – talk to us about how we can help you get the most from it.