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Thursday, 18 July

Have You Seen the Light

What does your lighting say about your business? ask Mike Welch as he discusses the first impressions a building’s lighting can give to new visitors.

Instinctively, everyone makes thousands of assumptions about everything they encounter on a day-to-day basis – new people, buildings and companies. As research has proven, these first impressions are lasting and often hard to alter.

In addition, a study of a Harvard teaching fellow has provided evidence that first impressions can be surprisingly accurate, even when based upon as short a time period as 10-seconds. This not only highlights the level of difficulty encountered when trying to alter a preconceived impression but also how first impressions can provide an accurate representation.

 

First impressions count

Creating the correct first impression in a business environment is therefore essential to ensuring that a positive image of a company is portrayed, in either a short or long time period. Consequently, entrance halls and meeting rooms are kept in pristine condition with plants watered, tables clean and refreshments fully stocked. This is often extended to the exterior premises of a company, where the car park is kept litter and weed free, with the office entrance signposted for the ease of visitors – creating a positive, welcoming environment.

However, one of the most visible, instant demonstrations of a company’s image and ability to make the best use of its resources is often overlooked – lighting.

Lighting as a resource is often neglected, with other practices being considered more important, for example, the visibility of various recycling facilities or energy-saving air conditioning controls. A very evident demonstration of how a company utilises its resources is through its lighting. For example, if on a clear sunny day, in an office containing a lot of windows, the lights are all on at 100 per cent, how does that reflect on a company? It could be assumed that the organisation does not make best use of its resources or at worst, that it can be wasteful. Wasting light, sometimes referred to as light litter, is becoming of importance within the facilities management portfolio.

As such, smart lighting and building controls are becoming popular. Smart lighting and building controls not only provide energy saving control capabilities but can also be connected to the Internet of Things, allowing system changes both on and off site, via the Internet. They also enable the collation of value data.

 

On - Off

Allowing complete access to data from the lighting system down to the individual light fixture level, helps optimisation. For example, using data to identify areas of the building that are unoccupied during certain periods of the day or automatically dimming the lights on bright sunny days and increasing the light intensity in darker, cloudy periods.

By choosing a system that can integrate with the building’s existing building management system, further reductions from the initial investment through to system running costs can be achieved.

In addition, by specifying a BMS-convergent control solution, the need to be reliant on a specific manufacturer's engineers is removed, as any suitably qualified BMS engineer can make system changes and revisions.

By Mike Welch, Managing Director of Control Network Solutions

Article written by Mike Welch

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