The light of the future – available today

Intelligent light management, energy monitoring and predictive maintenance offer new possibilities for luminaire manufacturers and users

The light of the future is digital. Simply ensuring good, uniform illumination in buildings no longer suffices today. Instead, what is needed are solutions that provide added value, such as measuring the energy consumption of luminaire groups or predictive maintenance. The value of data has increased enormously – and can already be collected, processed and analysed in a targeted way.

Megatrends such as digitalisation and the Internet of Things will fundamentally change lighting technology in coming years and intelligent control, connectivity and customisability are the buzzwords in digital light management. Data from the lighting installation is continuously collected and automatically processed in order to create added value for users, such as the evaluation of energy costs saved by a luminaire group. At the same time this means increasing demands on the development of luminaires and their lighting electronics. Electronics once again becomes increasingly important compared to mechatronics and it no longer only controls, but at the same time serves as a data source. Thanks to solutions from BAG electronics, relevant parameters such as ECG temperature, efficiency, wattage and operating times can already be collected today and subsequently processed.

An essential prerequisite for connectivity and rapid data exchange is already contained within the lighting technology: each light point in the room represents a potential network point that can be upgraded with intelligence. The LED control gear units from the ZITARES wiz series, for example, offer a wide range of options in combination with other components. This can also be implemented in existing buildings without time-consuming rewiring: radio control and communication modules connected e.g. via Bluetooth to the Z-COM interface enable ZITARES wiz to regulate the light without need of additional control lines. This considerably reduces installation complexity and already enables radio-based lighting control with simultaneous energy consumption measurement.

With the digital Z-COM interface, the intelligent control gear units here offer a decisive advantage. The open protocol enables luminaire producers to custom-connect their communication modules and sensors to the user’s specific requirements. The open interface thus makes it easy to integrate sensors, for example for presence detection and daylight-dependent lighting control of luminaires. The high speed of bidirectional communication between the ECG and connected components also provides significantly greater lighting comfort.

The intelligent ECG forms a powerful unit together with the EXELIQO application software and the upcoming BAG data visualisation solution. Desired configurations, ECG functions and settings are individually implemented within the software. These include precise setting of output current, temperature-dependent control of output current, compensation of LED degradation (Constant Lumen Output (CLO), for the complete service life of the luminaire) and measuring of the ECG temperature. The complete system convinces with its open architecture, which allows users to efficiently and flexibly implement future-safe solutions such as networked systems or simple data exchange.

With the evaluation and visualisation of collected data, BAG is already pursuing the next step: time analysis is possible in the graphical dashboard for any intervals (1 hour, 1 day, 1 month, 1 year etc.). Exporting CSV files for further analysis is just as simple. The overall solution thus creates completely new options for predictive maintenance and energy consumption measurement and represents the entry into intelligent light management - ready for the market and already available today.

Questions to Marcel Nierhoff and Jens Freihöfer

What changes will digitalisation bring to the lighting industry?

The path is clearly shifting from mechatronics to electronics - and to electronics solutions that not only control, but also deliver, transfer, process and provide analysis possibilities at the same time. With our complete package we can offer luminaire manufacturers the technological solutions they need to move in the direction of digitisation.

What makes the BAG solution so special?

Two essential factors should be mentioned here: on the one hand we offer a complete system of hardware and software that ideally interlocks and thus significantly simplifies project implementation for luminaire manufacturers. On the other hand, and this is quite decisive, we're not talking about future developments but can supply all components today.

Which typical applications do you expect in the future?

The digital possibilities are almost infinite and fundamentally the most varied of use cases are feasible. These range from more efficient, sensor-supported, presence- and daylight-dependent light distribution in office buildings for example, to predictive maintenance based on the collected data and empirical values for reducing maintenance complexity and maintenance overheads. In the coming years, numerous other applications will certainly be added to those. To give an example: to protect UV-sensitive works of art, lighting in museums could in future be dimmed according to presence and therefore controlled individually for each painting. The luminaire manufacturers are close to their respective target markets and are familiar with such special requirements. Thanks to digital technology, we're now in the position to implement appropriate solutions.

Profile of BAG: the electronics partner of luminaire manufacturers

BAG has always seen itself as a solution-oriented partner of the lighting industry, for which customer-oriented and flexible electronic solutions are developed. Technologically, the focus is on digitisation and networking. In close partnerships with luminaire manufacturers and specialised companies, for example in the fields of control and data analysis, BAG develops tailor-made concepts – ranging from solutions that are connectivity-ready and efficiently realisable white-white systems for Human Centric Lighting applications to hardware and software from a single source for simple programming, data collection and evaluation across the complete life cycle.



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