Start with intelligent lighting components
Before you connect emergency luminaires together, each luminaire has to have its own on-board intelligence. Emergency luminaires include LEDs and power supplies that have microprocessors already embedded for programmable intelligence.
Vendors are already using LED programmability to customise luminaire characteristics. When mixing and matching LED fixtures from different vendors, for example, you may have to adjust individual hue and brightness. You can program LED power supplies to control heat and dimming as well to support built-in diagnostics, automatic monitoring, and remote testing.
Connecting intelligent luminaires into a common ecosystem simplifies regulatory compliance. For example, EN.50172 specifies that emergency luminaires have to be tested monthly, including an annual three-hour test to ensure the battery is working correctly. By connecting luminaires, you can centralise control and automate testing, including logging the results.
Connecting emergency lighting opens even more possibilities:
- You can test luminaires from anywhere at any time, including function tests, duration tests, automatic logging, and automated failure alerts.
- You can perform real-time monitoring of current status and incidents.
- You can perform remote software upgrades and maintenance monitoring, including alerts for end-of-life of products, as well as lamp, LED and battery failures.
- You can integrate emergency lighting with building security and access systems.
- You can generate analytics to determine building occupancy rates and traffic patterns.
The objective, of course, is to make buildings safer. For example, specialized sensors communicating with your lighting control system can detect hazardous conditions such as fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, or poisonous gases, as well as information data about room occupancy. By using localised sensors, you can identify the location of the hazard and use emergency lighting to show the best path away to reach safety.
This example demonstrates the possibilities of creating a building-wide control infrastructure using emergency lighting as a foundation. The challenge, of course, is creating a reliable, secure building communications infrastructure.