Deploying wireless integrated sensors for LED lighting

Article By : Steve Taranovich

Facility managers are always looking for ways to increase building efficiency and the IoT is here with great LED solutions.

Lighting in commercial facilities can be very costly. There has been an ever-growing demand to lower costs by switching from incandescent lighting (sorry Edison!) to fluorescent lighting, also known as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). One concern has always been Mercury in fluorescent lighting, albeit a small amount currently. If you break one of these bulbs, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends these steps for cleanup.

LED lighting
Enter the LED. Facility managers are always looking for ways to increase building efficiency and the IoT is here with great solutions.

There are so many good LED lighting companies in the market today. I’ts no problem to find a great variety of LED light bulb solutions in the market arena. I am particularly impressed with Osram solutions that provide not only the LED light itself, but LED solutions like light ambience and spatial atmosphere, longevity and energy efficiency for offices, schools, hotels, leisure facilities, garages, warehouses, and retail space.

Osram brings together high quality and state-of-the-art technology for professionals, offering rapid installation and refurbishments with low mounting complexity because existing mounting points can still be used. The latest LED light technologies bring up to 85% less energy consumption. This company has pioneering technology ranging from control via an app to motion-sensitive outdoor lighting.

The wireless integrated sensor
A critical part of a successful luminaire design and deployment in a building are wireless integrated sensors that will enable the IoT. Each individual lighting device in an area becomes a data node on a lighting system network. This enables the harvesting of critical data for the safe, successful, and efficient deployment of a modern lighting system (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Every luminaire is a data point or node due to the wireless integrated sensor (Image courtesy of Osram)

The lighting system data is collected and processed for such amenities as simple control strategies like the adjustment of light levels in response to daylight and also dimming and switching lighting on or off depending on occupancy status. Future capabilities of such data, from each wireless integrated sensor, can be used for a range of operational activities, such as emerging non-lighting smart building applications like space optimization, conference room booking, desk hoteling, wayfinding, and other features that will emerge as this system matures with new developments in the future.

In this article, I want to focus upon Osram’s SensiLUM, a multi-featured wireless integrated sensor. This device enables occupancy detection, daylight harvesting, and individual or group control of luminaires. SensiLUM is compatible with the Encelium extend networked light management system (LMS) (Figure 2).

Figure 2 
Encelium extend networked light management system (Image courtesy of Osram)

DEXAL (data exchange for advanced lighting)
DEXAL is an industry standard, bi-directional communication interface for power and data. It enables bi-directional communication between the LED driver and any device like SensiLUM or Lutron, etc., but the other parties would have to provide the software for their device. This enables wireless luminaire control and wireless data exchange between the luminaire and the cloud software or something like Osram’s Encelium Polaris 3D.

What kind of data do we need? Let’s look at a large building or space where the building manager wants to know how the lighting system is performing. Using DEXAL, we can see power consumption down to the luminaire level if needed. DEXAL drivers can power SensiLUM over the DEXAL+ and DEXAL- ports on the driver with no extra wires for power needed, or alternatively using the AUX output on the 0-10V drivers (Figure 3).

Figure 3 Wiring diagram (Image courtesy of Osram)

You could see driver temperature, which would help in assessing system performance and efficiency. Operating hours and the all-important fault conditions and diagnostics can also be seen (Figure 4).

Figure 4 Data can be generated, aggregated, and communicated, as we move the data back and forth between the sensor and the software (Image courtesy of Osram)

The driver has internal memory where it would store all of this information. You can use Polaris 3D software or third party software to crunch that data for such things as periodic maintenance or when you are reaching end of life of a particular luminaire. All of these can be assessed through DEXAL.

SensiLUM can be used with one luminaire, up to four DEXAL luminaires, or up to 10 0-10V luminaires. Some applications could be occupancy sensing with a passive infrared (PIR) sensor, daylight harvesting, or DEXAL could access all the data points.

SensiLUM sensors have 0-10V dimming control or can use DEXAL control options. The DEXAL interface option enables bi-directional communication and power between the driver and the SensiLUM sensor; this makes it ideal for smart building applications that require exact luminaire-specific data, including power consumption, temperature profile, operating hours, and diagnostics.

[Continue reading on EDN US: Communication]

Steve Taranovich is a senior technical editor at EDN with 45 years of experience in the electronics industry.

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