Controlled lighting gives more light for less cost and energy

Schneider Electric’s own C Bus system has been used to provide a reliable and robust lighting-control solution for its expansive manufacturing and storage facility covering over 17 000 m2. This lighting-control solution combines controls, sensors and flexible user interfaces to provide automated control of lighting based on occupancy and ambient light levels.

The first stage was to replace 330 metal-halide high-bay fittings with DALI T5 dimmable luminaires. These energy-efficient alternatives can be dimmed right down to zero. Data on luminaire performance are available — including lamp, power and ballast status.

Since then Schneider Electric has installed its Clipsal Schedule Plus software for monitoring and control. It enables automated lighting to be based around shift patterns, so that at the end of a shift fittings in that area are dimmed down to zero over a period of about five minutes. There is an hour over-ride option triggered by local switches on the production floor.

Sensors measure the combined light levels from luminaires and natural light through the skylights to ensure a consistent level of light. If a tube or fitting fails, surrounding fittings will increase output to compensate.

The final stage of the project is to dim lighting in walkways to 10% of full output if no-one is in these areas.

Lighting levels of 100 lx at 18 m have been boosted to over 400 lx at 18 m, reducing the need for localised task lighting. The T5 lamps also require less maintenance and have a longer service life. The project is expected to see a return on investment in as little as 30 months.

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