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How lighting controls from Elkay can support Part L

Part L of the building regulations will force the issue of lighting control in commercial buildings up the agenda, for both consultants and electrical installers

With lighting using around 20 per cent of the electricity generated in the UK, the issue of lighting control, particularly in commercial buildings, forms a key part of the drive to reduce energy and carbon emissions.

Part L of the building regulations requires local control of the lighting, which offers the opportunity to create lighting control zones with appropriate controls for each type of zone, based on the ‘ownership’ of the workspace and the availability of natural light.

For example, a corridor which would be regarded as being ‘unowned’ in that it is not an individual employee’s workstation, with minimal daylight and low occupancy, would, under Part L potentially be fitted with presence detection and a manual on / timed-off capability.

Similarly, often employees prefer to retain an element of control over lighting in their individual work areas which, generally, have greater access to natural light. In this situation, a ‘request on’ ‘auto off’ absence control could be implemented, along with daylight sensors and the ability to dim lighting to comfortable levels for the individual.

There is a strong business case for the deployment of lighting controls with very attractive payback times for occupiers of commercial buildings, which can be implemented either as stand-alone systems or as part of a wider building refurbishment.

A well-known lighting control standard currently on the market is KNX, a computer-based system which can be controlled using a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

The biggest advantage for DALI in combination with KNX, is when it is used in conjunction with other applications such as heating and ventilation controls, energy management and door communications. When linking to an existing BMS system is required, KNX offers a very cost effective solution alongside DALi at the forefront of lighting control. If the commercial solution only focuses on lighting controls then a simple DALi solution, such as one from Elkay, can be the answer. Taking advantage of its ease of installation and commissioning, therefore removing the need for a certified systems integrator, project costs and overheads can be reduced. Whilst KNX can provide a holistic solution for Building Control, Elkay’s easyDALi focuses on the ease of installation and commissioning when only intelligent lighting control is required.

For ease of installation and integration, Elkay’s easyDALi system can automatically detect DALi lighting ballasts. The installer then simply wires the Part L-compliant DALi luminaires, the power supply and PIR together, and programs them via a simple dual purpose remote control.

A DALi lighting control system can be used to cover a single luminaire or can be connected to other DALi devices to create a much larger system. Elkay’s easyDALi system can be used to configure up to 64 ballasts, or as part of a much wider overall lighting strategy, connecting many hundreds of separate DALi systems on different floors of a building for example, forming them into a coherent building lighting control system.

Programming is simple for both the installer or systems integrator and the end-user. The easyDALi system has default settings for broadcast mode, timing and daylight harvesting and a handheld remote control, with only one remote required to operate and program the system, which makes it easy for end-users to configure lighting that covers both personal preference and is energy efficient.
The remote can also be used by the installer or systems integrator to program the system, with specific installer modes for the discovery of ballasts, programming of luminaires and room timing options.

DALi systems have the potential to make significant energy savings for end-users. The combination of daylight harvesting, presence detection, corridor modes and room timing options can deliver savings of up to 80 per cent on energy consumption just from lighting. For installers and systems integrators that have struggled to apply Part L in an efficient and cost-effective manner, easyDALi offers a compelling opportunity.

Overall, with easyDALi, the implementation of Part L-compliant lighting controls becomes a much easier proposition.

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'With easyDALi, the implementation of Part L-compliant lighting controls becomes a much easier proposition'