An illuminating experience with ubisys
The web-based ubisys Dashboard is a great example of added value compared to solutions from other providers/manufacturers, where this feature is missing – as they are limited to mostly commissioning and control. Here, in the following use case we can even add predictive maintenance: For instance, as lamp burn hours (which we can show) approach the MTBF (Mean Time between Failure), the Dashboard will indicate it’s time to replace those LED panels. Or, when a fixture reports a failure of an LED driver or LED panel, the facility manager will be notified and will immediately be able to react and go replace the defective units. In such cases, our solution would bring down the total cost of ownership and increase insight. The ability to run advanced automations, including custom automations, is another unparalleled feature.
Presenting a brand-new product range of smart lighting modules by ubisys – we will delve into the growing importance of lighting in context of your work-life balance. For the longest time, working in an office, especially cubicle workspaces, has been synonymous with monotony and sometimes even dreariness – with employees counting the minutes until they could finally flee the daily grind of work. Still to this day the most common office lighting typically consists of rather large “energy saving” fluorescent tubes arranged in a fixed grid-like constellation – not allowing for any kind of flexibility when rearranging or adding workspaces.
Now more than ever, as we are in constant flux – always in between calls, followed up by meetings, including workshops and creative brainstorming sessions, or simply enjoying a break in designated relax areas for coffee and networking – this highly diverse way of working requires smart, flexible and highly adaptable lighting strategies to fully maximize productivity and furthermore its most important ingredient, your employee´s overall well-being. This is why an ever-growing number of companies are embracing smart lighting, and in doing so, they are finally enabling a more comfortable environment for employees. As shown in studies, smart lighting boosts productivity, while creating a functional and welcoming atmosphere, considerably enhancing comfort and mental acuity.
But it is not only health and productivity benefits, we must consider, but also the many possibilities of creating a beautiful ambiance to any workspace by utilizing a vast range of design features easily programmed to perform any number of tasks and scenarios. The key element responsible for enhancing performance metrics is the fact that the human body relies upon the circadian rhythm – which now can be replicated using ubisys smart lighting modules in combination with illuminance/occupancy sensors, creating a so-called human-centric lighting (HCL). The circadian rhythm is an instinct based on our exposure to natural light telling us when to sleep and when to be awake. Unfortunately, our constant exposure to artificial illumination has a counteractive effect. This has been shown to be critical, given that the average office employee spends approximately 90% of their day indoors – implementing human-centric lighting, has been shown to boost productivity by 12%.
Versatility paired with flexibility
Workplace lighting should always work in conjunction with the available (but sometimes severely lacking) natural, ambient lighting. As part of the modern working structure, workplaces change and evolve constantly, thus desks might need to be repositioned and staff size may increase or decrease based upon business needs. In this context, smart lighting does not require any thought of where to place wall-mounted light switches when changes are implemented, ultimately leading to greater freedom when selecting a new layout for the workplace. Additionally, wireless sensors give even more flexibility with their ability to illuminate based on presence in a workspace and the available amount of natural light. Smart lighting offers the most flexible solution available as it is not restricted by any technical limitations and can be configured to adapt to the given surrounding illumination requirements – regardless if based around the individual, the group or even on performing a specific task. The clear advantage of smart lighting is flexibility, which becomes evident when moving into premises or retrofitting an existing site. This adjustability has become vital in our modern business landscape, in which the traditional nine-to-five working pattern has grown increasingly outdated – a modern rule of thumb: as working patterns vary, lighting requirements must be revised.
Energy-savings and sustainability
A quick glimpse into any of the various discounters out there, all offering LED luminaires in their non-food section on a regular basis, exemplifies the rise of LED lighting – already a big business and still rapidly growing. Within the next three years, the LED lighting market is expected to be valued at around $US130 billion, and due to the sustainability of LED lighting this value is shared. Thanks to the LED efficiency it is projected that businesses will be able to enjoy cost savings of up to US$18 billion. Another very persuasive factor to switch to LEDs is considering the environmental impact. LED smart lighting, mainly due to its eco-friendly traits can help reduce up to 160 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, falling well below sustainable energy regulations in professional settings. The flexibility of control over smart lighting also adds other eco-friendly credentials. Such functions as occupancy sensors and human-centric task lighting will reduce unnecessary energy consumption, with patterns programmed and memorized to ensure maximum efficiency. As smart lighting also works in conjunction with natural daylight, it ensures that unnecessary energy consumption is avoided, which reduces the load put on the electric grid. Smart lighting makes this achievable without sacrificing the comfort of employees and other building users.
Individual wireless lighting control
The key factor of wireless lighting control is its simple installation, as retrofitting makes use of existing wires and feeds. There is no need to rewire an entire site, turning the workplace into a building site, massively obstructing proper working conditions, if not halting all work for a considerable period – resulting in significant revenue losses. While LED smart lighting is becoming increasingly sophisticated, wireless lighting control is getting more accessible and user-friendly as time goes on. The main idea behind wireless smart lighting is to put the power in users’ hands by tailoring a workplace environment to the needs of those who work there. Lights can be regulated individually to ensure individual comfort. Smart lighting enables different lighting schemes that can be allocated for a multitude of pre-programmed scenarios. Lighting schemes can even consider individuals’ needs, such as differences in age and if more visibility is needed for the older demographic.
Human-Centric Lighting (HCL)
Perhaps the most critical element of smart lighting is its human-centric approach. When deployed in the workplace, it helps keeping the workforce alert, as well as increasing mental acuity and raising efficiency. This not only will improve company revenue, it also means that employee turnover will be reduced, as all employees are comfortable and content within the workplace environment. Smart lighting is referred to as human-centric, due to the control over colour temperature. By steadily adjusting the hues and intensity of light, the human body can replicate the experience of being outside. This is our natural state of being, as the sun’s rays govern the human body. This approach can also be used to complement natural light that may pour in through an office window. If this is not an option, smart lighting can ‘replace’ natural sunlight. If an employee is fortunate enough to work in a light environment, smart lighting will not create conflict with the sun. Over time, LED lighting has adapted to appear considerably more natural. For too long, artificial lighting – especially overhead strip lights in the workplace – were a harsh, unnatural bright white. Perhaps even worse was the dull, murky yellow of an outdated incandescent bulb. Smart lighting eradicates these concerns. Use smart lighting to create an imitation of natural light so convincing that the human body is simply incapable of telling the difference. In essence, smart lighting brings the natural world inside the workplace.
ubisys Dashboard – data collection and connectivity
As data collection has become increasingly important in our modern business world it evidently also has for analyzing and assessing lighting metrics. Once accumulated, the collective illuminance/occupancy sensor data then can be used to optimize and develop space layouts by analyzing space utilization with heatmaps – the newly developed ubisys Dashboard being the ideal tool for gathering this data. This data can also be utilized to finely tune automated processes, such as ventilation or automatic UV-disinfectant. In a post COVID world with the data from occupancy sensors, one could differentiate which parts of the office have been used, and when there is no one in, lock the door and use UV light to clean the surfaces.