'Light management is becoming big business'
'Light management is becoming big business'

Stefan Bernards, proposition manager at Nedap Light Controls, keeps a close eye on the lighting industry. What’s happening in the market? Where’s the market heading? And how can Nedap keep pace with the developments? “For five years everyone was talking about LED lighting, but last year controls became the new hot topic. It is becoming big business,” says Bernards. “The market has recognised that, while LED lighting does result in huge energy savings, you can boost efficiency even further with controls.”

Dynamic light management

“At Nedap we focus on dynamic light management,” says Bernards. “This means that each luminaire is connected to the internet, receives information via sensors and provides feedback to the system. With this approach, every luminaire reports how much energy it is saving and where waste can be reduced through light management.”

While many other light management systems are currently still connected by wires, the Nedap system is completely wireless. This makes the system not only suitable for new construction but also for retrofitting. “In the lighting industry that is precisely where the greatest opportunities lie, rather than in new construction. So this is our naturally our focus,” says Bernards. At present, thousands of light points in the Netherlands are already controlled with the Nedap system.


Savings

A dynamic light management system can provide tremendous energy savings. Bernards explains: “Suppose you replace conventional lighting with LED lighting. This alone easily results in 50 per cent energy savings. LED is therefore a good first step, but you are ignoring an opportunity for further savings if you don't take the next step. Because with controls you can save even more – as much as 50 to 70 per cent more.”

As an example, Bernards asks us to consider a large factory hall.  "The usual situation is that the luminaires are kept on day and night. In other words, energy is still being wasted, even with new LED lighting. But with a dynamic lighting system you can dim lights in certain situations, such as when daylight is streaming in or when workers are taking a break. Or you can switch the lights off completely in areas where no one is present. The light system brings these energy-saving opportunities to the fore.”

Moreover, system performance data is accessible to the end user wherever he may be. “Suppose you are in New York but your light system is at a site in Milan. You can check the performance just as easily as if you were there,” says Bernards


New business models

For the installer, the emergence of dynamic light management means the development of new business models. “The installation of traditional lighting is simply a matter of hanging the luminaires and shaking the customer's hand. Light management creates the opportunity for the installer to remain involved throughout the life of the lighting system,” says Bernards. “Rather than just being an installer you become a service provider that keeps the lighting system in top condition.”

This also makes you the obvious party to turn to when the customer needs something more. Bernards explains: “Imagine the customer in question decides to expand their light management. Who do they turn to? It's very likely they will call on the installer they already work with.”


Future

Nedap is hard at work making new improvements to their product. For example, there are currently several software environments in the making, tailored to the different users that come into contact with the lighting system. “An installer needs different options and features from the floor manager of a particular building or an energy manager responsible for multiple locations. We develop a special interface for each type of user in order to optimise the use of the light management system.”

'Light management is becoming big business'

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