Lighting control systems in schools
By controlling how we use lights in schools, we can help to make our facilities much more energy-efficient. Furthermore, by making notable savings in the electricity we use, we can also give schools a helping hand with their finances. In addition, lighting control systems are a way of merging how we use natural and artificial light, which has many advantages, including increased visual comfort and creation of spaces that favour productivity.
In this article we will talk about...
- New trends in school lighting
- Control systems: the main advantages
- SECOM’s top choices for schools
New trends in school lighting
Lighting control systems are based on principles of automation. With the right technology, we can use these systems to regulate luminaires and turn them off and on. Presence and motion sensors are one common example of this type of technology, but there are also other options, such as level monitoring cells that are guided by natural light or simpler lighting calendars and schedules.
It is hardly surprising that lighting control has turned into a real trend. Some of the wonderful advantages include consumption savings of around 65% on total figures. For certain types of installations, the savings can be even greater. The savings are made through a combination of factors.
- Lower artificial light consumption levels by making the most of natural light.
- Consumption optimisation using motion controls and sensors. In other words, when classrooms, offices or transit areas are empty, the lights turn off.
When it comes to lighting in schools and places of education, we must consider certain quality and design criteria:
- Illuminance and uniformity
- glare control
- chromatic reproduction
- colour temperature
- ergonomics at work stations.
Until quite recently, lighting projects in facilities of this kind were approached in a conventional manner. However, although we must still take the aforementioned criteria into account, there are now increasingly varied and interesting ways of approaching lighting in schools. Sustainability, energy savings and lower carbon emissions are just some of the considerations taken into account today. For years now, schools have been updating their installations precisely as a result of these considerations and, given all its advantages, the most popular choice is LED technology.
Light control systems are innovative tools that are being used in more and more schools and education facilities. Some of the types of regulation and lighting control systems are listed below.
- Artificial light regulation that takes natural light into account. Light comes into rooms through windows, glass doors, skylights and dormer windows.
- Lights that switch on and off based on occupation of a room or classroom.
- Regulation and control on demand using push buttons, potentiometers and remote controls.
- Regulation and control on a centralised management system.
As a rule, there needs to be a switch for each circuit. Even though there has to be a principal automatic control system, manual controls ensure that there is a back-up option should the automatic system fail.
Control systems: the main advantages
There are many advantages to lighting control systems, which means that most centres for education choose to install them.
The search for efficiency
When schools use lighting control solutions, they decrease their energy expenditure. This is a huge advantage for schools, particularly since most of them have limited budgets. It is an opportunity to bring costs down and these savings can be redirected to other projects, such as renovations, extracurricular activities and school trips.
Simple and easy installation
Installation is quick, easy and very financially viable. In most cases, all schools need are a simple centralised control device and a range of sensors that enable task automation and intelligent system management.
Control devices are so simple that maintenance work really is very limited. They are a way of making lighting systems extra adaptable and flexible but at very little cost. If control boxes get damaged, they can easily be replaced. There are plenty of wireless technology options, making the processes and functions even easier to handle.
Adapted to spaces and timetables
An additional positive feature of lighting control systems is their ability to adapt to spaces and timetables in all places of education. We can choose which lights to turn off and on and optimise consumption. We can also regulate output to suit whatever activity is going on at any given time.
Comfort for pupils and staff
Control systems make good combined use of natural and artificial light. They also regulate light intensity to suit each room, which means that we can create ambiences that promote comfort. This has a positive knock-on effect on the wellbeing of pupils, teachers and school staff.
SECOM’s top choices for schools
At SECOM, we have many different products in our range that are specifically designed for use in schools and places of education.
Light Control Solutions (LCS) is one of the best intelligent lighting automation systems on the market. It is a wireless lighting control system. In addition to being easy to install and maintain, it is easy to use. It makes savings in consumption and improves energy efficiency. Furthermore, it is scalable, flexible, reliable and means we can control illumination wherever we need to.
There are many different luminaires to choose from, including:
- Eslim UGR<19: This indoor panel has excellent glare control features, is very energy efficient and has a great design that works well in workplaces, offices and public buildings that attract a lot of visitors.
- Aliket: This range of continuous line luminaires designed for commercial locations is also ideal for libraries and other spaces where people are always coming and going.
- Aircom LED: This family of extra-flat downlight luminaires blends into the background and sheds all the light you would expect from a luminaire of this kind.
- Loop Supra: This downlight with a diffuser improves energy efficiency and decreases light loss thanks to its direct illumination system.
All the above and many more devices are perfect options for places of education. They are all positive additions to lighting control systems in schools and help us to make full use of all the systems’ benefits.More in our blog