The three generations of lighting control:
- First Generation – N+1 signal control: cables consists of multiple wires (origin of the N+1 designation), emphasis on dual access control from both local and central, complicated signal wire wiring, and unable to expand.
- Second Generation – evolved into digital trunk: wiring method changed to full 2-way system consisting only of 2 signal wires, all controllers are now addressable, with configuration groups and patterns. Digital switches have also changed much compared to first generation. Application capabilities can be programmed through software.
- Third Generation – evolved into energy saving, touch panel and networkable: integration of classic switches and ordinary sensors, controllers have built-in interactive energy saving logic programming, controller programs are designed to be easy to setup, centralized control have touch panels to replace walls of digital switches.
Viewing a Lighting Control System in the Proper Light
A lighting control is not merely a high technology ornament to be placed for showcasing the technological sophistication of a building, but rather it is a very fundamental part of the building. For the following reasons:
- It is the most practical method for wiring the lighting circuits in any large open public space.
- It satisfies the building owner’s need to save on energy, at the same time allowing for ease of use by the local user, without contradicting each other.
- Intricate control of lighting greatly improves the quality and stylishness of any space.
- The correspondence of the switches to the lighting can be reconfigured to match the varying needs of the space.
- To match the energy saving policy of a country, a smart energy saving lighting control system becomes the most important player to fulfill such a mandate.
- In order to save on costs, having a lighting control system is a must have with its ability to reduce the needed wiring, less manpower needed, and saved electricity bills.
Requirements for Centralized Control
- Realtime feedback: The status of the lights at the central control should be synchronized with the local site.
- Ease of Management: With a touch panel, management is easier than ever, expansion is also easy as there is no need for additional wall space nor wiring.
- Multiple central control: A single system should be able to allow for multiple centralized control locations for multiple access and mutual redundancy.
- Networkable: Being able to connect the system to a network and to the Internet means that distance is no longer an issue and the user can control the system from anywhere whether it be through a computer of a mobile phone.
- Local switches: these are switches located in near the lights that they control and are placed for the benefit of the local user, and not the other way around.
- Simplified and reduced wiring: by using digital signal cables; and results in ease of expansion.
- There is no conflict between central and local control; both have equal access.
- Multi-function buttons: these can be used for single, group or pattern modes of operation.
Adaptability of the Terminal Units
- Suitable for all types of luminaires: especially for LED lamps, with the capability to handle high inrush currents.
- Control for dimming, roll up doors, curtains, shade blinds, air conditioners and others.
- Can be used in conjunction with ordinary sensors, card readers and classic wall switches.