How smart emergency lighting contributes to intelligent, sustainable buildings

How smart emergency lighting contributes to intelligent, sustainable buildings

Energy transition and connectivity are important topics in the world of buildings today. Buildings are responsible for more than 42 percent of the world’s energy consumption. Over the next 25 years, worldwide energy demand is expected to grow more than 40 percent.

To transform buildings into greener spaces with reduced energy consumption and emissions, buildings are facing more stringent sustainability targets. Smart and interconnected building technology will be key to achieving these objectives.

To optimize energy consumption, understanding the amount of energy used and where in buildings is critical. Consequently, all devices consuming electricity have to be connected to one central building management system (BMS) to ensure overall security and safety.

Building owners and facility managers are constantly looking for ways to improve building efficiency and the safety level of their buildings. With emergency lighting being mandatory in any building with artificial lighting, the increased focus on sustainability has entered the emergency lighting business. We see various trends in this field aligned to the move to a “greener” environment.

From fluorescent to LED

A key trend, and a quick win, is switching to LED lighting. Especially in the starting phase of building renovation where the focus is all too often on the “shell” of the structure and general lighting. When transitioning from traditional fluorescent lighting to LED, it is the right time to include emergency lighting upgrades.

Replacing fluorescent emergency lighting with LED versions has a bigger impact than just the 60 percent energy reduction of the escape route signalization, which is permanently switched on. Due to its longer life, LED dramatically reduces maintenance costs, saving an additional 60 percent compared to its fluorescent equivalents. The savings are achieved primarily because no annual replacement of the fluorescent tube is required, reducing labor and material costs as well as waste. Within the ABB emergency lighting portfolio there are one-to-one renovation modules available that make replacement easier. No need to change anything to the wiring, paint or ceilings. Simply remove fluorescent lighting and click in the LED technology.

Smart connectivity

The second trend in buildings is related to connectivity. Owners want their buildings to be safer, smarter and customized to their needs. This requires smart systems and tools to integrate all the important elements in the building. ABB’s smart tools and systems can provide exactly that.

Connecting ABB’s emergency lighting systems to a BMS meets the three criteria essential for the most modern buildings: safe, smart and sustainable. For instance, by connecting DALI luminaires to the BMS via the ABB KNX DALI gateway, the status of this emergency lighting system can be monitored 24/7 for optimal and safe operation. ABB’s smart solutions enable immediate action when a failure occurs and help save time on administrative activities such as keeping the log up to date.

The next step in smart emergency lighting can be achieved by using these intelligent systems to turn off escape route signalization when all occupants have left the building, reducing energy consumption and extending the life of components.

Future focused innovation

As we look to the future and the growing demand on buildings to serve the needs of its users, innovations in smart emergency lighting will be key. They will not only contribute to “greener” buildings and the movement toward a more sustainable world but will ensure that the transition is enabled in the safest possible manner


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