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Lighting Controls

A crucial component of successful lighting designs

 

Lighting controls are an important aspect of successful lighting design implementation. Whether managing power consumption, meeting code mandates, servicing programmatic needs, creating dynamic effects, or simply managing on/off cycles, the control of light and its impact on a project can be a key element of success.

Strategies and Planning

The integration of lighting controls into the overall lighting system design and formulation must begin early in the process. Controls can be their most impactful if they are thought about as a part of the actual lighting design concept development. During that stage, they can be leveraged to heighten the concept effectiveness in a seamless, transparent manner. In early development, control strategies are established that support the goals for the project, which often include:

    • Time-of-day management of lighting energy consumption
    • Compliance with LEED or similar energy and sustainability program requirements
    • Compliance with code mandates
    • Facilitating daylight harvesting
    • Supporting user programmatic needs in spaces such as conference rooms, auditoriums, and offices where changes in lighting levels may be beneficial for optimizing spatial effectiveness
    • Use of controls as a dynamic component to the intended lighting design objective or effect.

These strategies become the foundation for controls development throughout the remainder of the project’s lighting design. Close coordination with the project’s engineer helps to ensure the proper interpretation of design intent.

System Development and Documentation

The complexity of lighting controls can be daunting. Developing a complete system capable of addressing the control needs of a building is not for the uninformed. Randy Burkett Lighting Design has had a wealth of experience in shaping systems for a wide range of project types and complexities. The constantly evolving technologies demand that controls be responsive to current client needs while still providing long term flexibility for future changes in project program. The documentation of lighting system controls must be precise, comprehensive and tailored to the project’s objectives. A sound set of specifications, capable of communicating both the technical and implementation requirements for the work, is a necessity to ensure a successful result.

Programming Support

Ultimately, it is the realization of the control intent in the final project implementation that will be essential in its support of a successful lighting design. Many projects will require one or more site visits by the lighting design team during the lead-up to project completion, in order to provide guidance to the controls commissioning professional. This interaction at the final stages will help make certain that the role for lighting controls that was envisioned during the early design phases is fully manifested in the final result.

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