July 2018

The End Client Wins ……empowered to better understand and operate their businesses:

  • Highly flexible
  • Vendor choice, less equipment
  • Seamless access to all value data, locally and in the “cloud”
  • Continuous optimisation, Analytics, Machine Learning, AI capable
  • World class leading in addressing energy saving, sustainability, health and wellness
  • Lower cost of ownership and avoids “Stranded investments”

Delivery Channel Partners Win ……empowered to deliver more with less:

  • Leverage existing technology knowledge and experience
  • Grow business twice or more, with less cost and risk
  • Deliver additional smart services with on-going service-based revenue generation

Fulham Wins ……empowering its partners to deliver more with less:

  • Creates unique business relationships and partnerships fit for the 21st century
  • Sell more product with greater capability
  • Continue to develop business around interoperable open standards that deliver real value for money to our channel partners and their end clients.

Fulham is transforming its business in innovative ways that are designed to better serve global commercial building end clients, i.e. owners, developers, facility managers and users.
Fulham uniquely brings together global light fixture OEM’s and smart IoT building controls System Integrators to deliver the most convergent, vendor independent interoperable open standards based smart IoT convergent lighting controls solution available anywhere today.

It achieves this by creating “building blocks” of components required by global light fixture manufacturers to create their light fixture products. It also creates the “building blocks” of software plus DALI® network interfaces to empower the global Niagara System Integrator, Distribution and OEM community, using any Tridium Niagara Framework® platform, to create smart IoT convergent, both local and remote (“cloud based”) lighting control solutions.

Fulham has been an innovator since 1995, creating the components required by light fixture manufacturers to create world-class light fixtures. Today almost 3,000 tier 1 and 2 light fixture manufacturers incorporate Fulham drivers and LED light engines into their products.
In 2017 Fulham acquired the capability to create and deliver the “building blocks” of smart IoT lighting controls. To date, a growing group of elite Niagara System Integrator partners have already delivered smart IoT convergent lighting control solution projects, many are world-class buildings totalling more than 150,000 devices across more than 10,000,000 sq ft of built environments.

About Fulham:

  • Headquartered in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, see www.fulham.com and www.fulhamcontrols.com
  • Operates globally with business, engineering and manufacturing centres in US, UK, Europe, Middle East, India and China
  • Employs over 800 personnel
  • Creates and delivers components globally to almost 3,000 Tier 1 and 2 light fixture partners

About DALI:

  • Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI), IEC 62386, see www.digitalilluminationinterface.org
  • The only global open interoperable published standard for intelligent light fittings
  • Up to 64 DALI light fixtures connected on a single network
  • Communicate individually, collectively or in groups
  • On, Off, Dim Up, Dim down instructions, Colour control and tuning and more
  • Over 100,000,000 DALI devices installed world-wide

About Tridium’s Niagara Framework:

  • A Honeywell company and creators of the world’s de-facto standard convergent web technology platform for building and lighting controls
  • A software framework for building device-to-enterprise applications and Internet-enabled products, created by Tridium Inc.
  • A unified platform to easily build Internet-enabled products and software applications for controlling and managing diverse “smart” devices across an enterprise in real time.
  • 30,000+ certified Niagara engineers, 1,000s of organisations
  • 400+ global OEMs producing building management, automation and energy management solutions based upon Niagara installed globally in 500,000+ buildings. See www.tridium.com.

June 2018
Mike Welch
Mike Welch
VP Controls Business Development for Fulham Inc.

Every employee or visitor to a building takes it for granted that emergency and safety lighting is 100% operational
It is therefore truly astonishing that any business or operation would put its employees, customers and visitors at risk in the 21st century!

And yet here is another headline reported in this month’s Lux Review, read here for full details.
“Badly maintained emergency lighting at a Brighton hotel means guests issued with torches!”

There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this!

Since 2007 there has been no reason not to install real-time monitoring, maintenance and testing solutions for safety/emergency lighting.

Fulham has been developing products since then which empower organisations to create such test and maintenance solutions for their “end clients” (building developers, owners, managers and users). This enables such solutions to exceed BS 5266 (which was the subject of a substantial revision in 2016), and BS EN 60598-2-22 the requirements of which business, commercial clients and building managers should also be aware of.

Simply, each safety/emergency fixture is connected ultimately to local or remote IT network and individually monitored in real-time for its status to correctly operate. It can also be locally or remotely and manually or automatically tested, and the results recorded.

The Niagara Framework

Digital Illumination Interface Allicane

This solution is entirely web based. It uses existing suitable Building Management Systems (BMS) platforms, interoperable device and communication standards and can be delivered by any suitably qualified building controls System Integrator (SI) either alone or in partnership with the emergency/safety light fixture manufacturer or supplier.

A solution such as this can be deployed potentially using the existing BMS platforms to run the Test and Maintenance applications, to which the emergency/safety light fixtures are directly connected via a DALI communications network, and the rest utilises existing IT infrastructure and standard web services. So, the install costs may be lower than you imagine and the operational costs of test and maintenance drop dramatically.

Most importantly, and in real-time, you will know the exact status of every emergency/safety light fixture. Your employees, visitors and guests may never know but they are being kept safe and their lives are valued!

To learn more either contact our Certified elitedali™ Partners listing via this link, click here or us directly via sales.uk@fulham.com.

November 2017
Patrick Treadway
Alvaro Garcia is the Product Director, LED Emergency and Advance R&D, for Fulham Co. Inc., a leading supplier of lighting components and electronics for commercial and specialty application, including connected lighting products. He has more than 12 years of experience in the lighting industry with numerous product awards, such as LEDs Magazine 2017 Sapphire Award for Wireless Programmable LED drivers.

Interoperability is one of those things that people seldom think about when it comes to Bluetooth devices– just connect it and forget it. No need to look at a compatibility chart to figure out which Bluetooth-enabled speaker will work with which Bluetooth-enabled smart phone. Unfortunately, lighting control systems have never been this easy, until now.

The Walled Garden
In the lighting controls world, the topic of interoperability causes plenty of headaches. Many vendors take a “walled garden” approach, offering propriety controls solutions that provide interoperability only among the devices that operate on their chosen system. While this typically simplifies the implementation, it traps a customer with a single vendor. This also causes future issues when products need to be replaced or a facility expanded or reconfigured, because the original vendor must still be able to service the components. Even those vendors who adopt a common standard will often make small improvements which ultimately lead to interoperability issues when their products are used with other vendors. This has been a common practice that has plagued the lighting controls industry.

The Full-Stack Solution
Now imagine a world where the user can choose one vendor for a luminaire, a different vendor for sensors, another for switches and yet another for the lighting control system. With the release of the Bluetooth Mesh Network Specification, that world is here.
The key to this interoperability is the defined protocol layers; from physical radio to the application layer / profiles, all aspects of the Bluetooth protocols are defined within the specifications. Bluetooth Mesh’s full stack solution includes lighting profiles with defined application models. By including the lighting models in the Bluetooth Mesh specifications, common lighting requirements are now available out of the box. Adopted model-defined behavior cannot be changed, ensuring interoperability across products from different vendors for the foreseeable future. Vendors adopting the Bluetooth mesh standard can be confident that their products will properly work with other vendors within a lighting controls installation for years to come. Product replacement, facility expansion or reconfiguration becomes a simple task by empowering an array of compatible products from many vendors. This brings the same level of interoperability to the commercial lighting world that we have grown accustomed to in the Bluetooth consumer world.

A New Chapter
A new chapter of the lighting controls business is commencing. Bluetooth mesh networking specifications bring multi-vendor interoperability to the lighting world. Manufacturers such as Fulham have embraced Bluetooth Mesh, designing clever lighting components that use Bluetooth to communicate in new, unexpected ways. Luminaires built with Fulham’s Bluetooth-enabled LED drivers can act as beacons for building navigation and asset tracking, transmit sensor data that can be used for HVAC controls, and even allow a smartphone to control environmental conditions. Using the lighting infrastructure to create a robust mesh network built on trusted Bluetooth technology will pave the way for a platform of wireless building management solutions, with user facing services taking us beyond traditional perceptions of what lighting controls can do.

For more details please contact Mike Welch VP Controls at Fulham, Email: mwelch@fulham.com, Tel:+44 (0) 1256 818700

October 2017
Patrick Treadway
Patrick Treadway
Acting Product Director Fulham Co., Inc

UV Control Applications Impact Health & Wellness:
Air quality has long been understood to be important in the built environment and continued research is deepening our understanding of just how important to health & wellness it really is. Now smart lighting control has the potential to play its part in health & wellness outcomes by dealing with airborne and surface bacteria that threaten our health.

“The Fulham/Niagara solution really is at the forefront of a particular convergence of Commercial-Industrial Lighting, and Industrial controls. With a long history as a global supplier of quality power supplies and control gear to the UV industry, Fulham is positioned to extend continuity of the sourcing chain by including controls integration. “Fulham’s unique customer footprint within the germicidal and sterilization space, positions Fulham to be able to apply original and valuable application insights to the level of integration the IoT convergence shift is embarking on” said Russ Sharer, VP of Global Engineering and Product Marketing;” This really cuts to the promises of leveraged applications creating leveraged revenue opportunities!”.

Early research conducted by the American Society of Microbiology (see: Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Aug;67(8): 37123715.doi:10.1128/AEM.67.8.3712-3715.2001) has set an underlying awareness that purification systems can be effective in commercial HVAC scales. A more recent study published on the American Journal of Infection Control web site (“The effectiveness of UV-C radiation for facility-wide environmental disinfection to reduce health care–acquired infections” by Nathanael A. Napolitano, MPH; Tanmay Mahapatra, MBBS; Weiming Tang, MD, PhD; December 1, 2015Volume 43, Issue 12, Pages 1342–1346. Abstract: https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(15)00757-9/abstract) focused on room level sterilization within hospital environments, in which the introduction of UVC equipped “robots” were found to be statistically significantly more effective in reducing positive test cultures than the traditional disinfection methods in use. A 28.8% reduction in Hospital acquired infections (HAI’s) was documented at the study conclusion.

The potential to further improve ROI, staff safety, and sterilization with the introduction of integrated controls, is a close parallel to the better ROI seen when controls have been applied to typical office or stairwell lighting. Fluid, contact, and airborne purification and sterilization applications use a diversity of system management devices- HVAC for temperature control, system compressor motors and pumps, I/O purification devices for clean water/air inputs and outputs; also, smart drivers running scheduling systems to coordinate more than occupancy lighting. Niagara Framework™ software is a global de-facto platform that supports the management and control of local or distributed systems and devices, regardless of manufacturer or protocol. The value of an “out of the box” software capable of tying room lighting, lighting and occupancy control, HVAC control, sterilization emitters and control gear together in a unified system is a true game changer.

Fulham is very interested to partner with organisations working with “End Clients” namely building developers, owners, managers and users for whom such additional health & wellness issues are of great importance.

For more details please contact Mike Welch VP Controls at Fulham, Email: mwelch@fulham.com, Tel:+44 (0) 1256 818700

August 2017
Jennifer A Veitch, PhD
Jennifer A. Veitch, Ph.D.
National Research Council of Canada

Welcome to the lighting revolution
It’s difficult to overstate the changes that have occurred in recent years to the lighting industry, with the development of both new light sources — light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs — and advanced control systems. We are beginning to see reductions in energy use associated with these technologies, as well as new product developments that marry sensors, controls and light sources to produce colour-tunable LEDs and new applications.
Scientists are equally excited about what we are learning about how light affects biology. We have known for ~15 years about the intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), the photoreceptor class that is separate from the rod and cone cells that transduce visual signals (1). The eye-brain connection is far more complex than previously thought, and the more we learn the more complex we find it to be (2). Ever since this discovery, debate has raged concerning how to apply this knowledge, and how quickly to do so (3). The pressure to move from investigation to application has never been greater – but the need for caution is, in my view, unchanged.
In all the excitement, it is important to recognize that the fundamentals have not changed. Lighting installations should strive to provide the best lighting quality consistent with the context (Figure 1). Well-being has many components.

Light: Not just for vision
Light provides the strongest signal for daily rhythms of waking and sleeping (circadian rhythms). Melatonin is the signalling hormone. Darkness triggers melatonin production; light exposure suppresses melatonin. In a healthy person living a regular schedule of daytime activity and night-time sleep, the circulating melatonin level begins to rise in the evening, reaching a peak in the middle of the night before falling abruptly around dawn. Melatonin production remains very low throughout the daytime hours before rising again the following evening. Physiological processes including immune function, digestion, cellular repair and regeneration, start and stop in synchrony with the rise and fall of melatonin.

Interestingly, it now appears that light exposure during the day has additional effects. We have long known that the ipRGCs connect to many brain structures. It now appears that there are five subtypes of ipRGC, although we do not yet know the functions of all of them, nor are we certain what their spectral sensitivities might be. These other ipRGCs might be involved in the processes that underlie the observations that bright light exposure during the day can improve the quality of social interactions and increase alertness (5).
One way to think about how light might influence human health is in the expression of principles of healthy lighting, as seen in CIE Publication 158:2004/2009 (6). Some of these are extracted here as bullet points, with commentary on their current status.

  • The daily light dose received by people in Western [industrialized] countries might be too low.

Investigations continue to show that people who experience increases in light exposure during daytime show beneficial effects (7). Time-use studies consistently show that people spend ~90% of the day indoors, which raises the possibility that interior light level recommendations might need to be higher than is currently the case. This could be controversial because of the need to reduce lighting energy use. Even with smart lighting systems using solid-state lighting and advanced controls, providing higher light exposures without increasing lighting energy use will demand careful design and planning.

  • Healthy light is inextricably linked to healthy darkness.

Although circadian regulation is not the only function influenced by ipRGC stimulation, it is an important one. There need to be signals for both light and dark. Without a period in darkness each day, night-time melatonin is suppressed. Growing evidence links this to serious health consequences, from cancer to metabolic disorders (8).

  • Light for biological action should be rich in the regions of the spectrum to which the nonvisual system is most sensitive.

Part of the evidence for the existence of ipRGCs was the observation that night-time melatonin suppression by light followed a different spectral response function than any of the then-known retinal photoreceptors. Extensive research since then, and an international expert workshop, has established consensus concerning the action spectra for the five known photopigments (Figure 2) (2, 9). The consensus placed the peak of the action spectrum for ipRGCs at 490 nm, in the blue region of the spectrum – but also concluded that no single photoreceptor type explains physiological responses to light.
This finding underlies much of the current excitement about colour-tunable lighting. Surely we can boost exposure to short-wavelength light for some of the day to boost the circadian regulation signal, and then reduce it at other times to add to the amplitude? Surely we can use relatively more short-wavelength radiation to increase the circadian signal strength while avoiding the need to increase overall light levels (and therefore energy use)?
We know more about when to avoid light exposure to short-wavelength light than we do about the right times to increase it. Late in the evening, as we ready ourselves to go to sleep, it makes sense to avoid light exposure of all kinds, and particularly in the spectral range that most strongly suppresses melatonin. However, it does not follow that it is necessary or desirable to increase short wavelength exposure at other times of day, as the next principle makes clear.

  • The timing of light exposure influences the effects of the dose.

Light exposure at night suppresses melatonin immediately, but light exposure during daylight cannot, because there is little or no circulating melatonin to suppress. There is evidence that the same brain structures that are very sensitive to short-wavelength radiation in the middle of the night are much less sensitive during the day – but current research is telling us how those daytime exposures influence our behaviour and well-being later that same day or evening. There are guidelines available today that can aid shift work adjustments and jet lag adaptation (10) by timing light exposure in relation to the lowest point of the circadian cycle, but we don’t know enough yet about the necessary intensity, spectrum, timing, or pattern of light exposure to make good recommendations for specific people in places where they spend only parts of their day.

What the future holds
Healthful lighting is not only an architectural issue: It is a public health matter, and individuals will need to take responsibility for their own light hygiene. Most people (with some obvious exceptions) do not spend all of their time in one place lit with one set of lights. For most of us, our personal behaviors will largely determine the daily light-dark pattern to which our bodies respond.
Among the most important science to be done is to determine what that pattern ought to be, with enough detail to support integrated lighting recommendations both for architectural spaces – meeting the full range of lighting quality goals — and for personal light hygiene. Until we know this, the foundations of recommendations for using advanced controls for colour-tuning, intensity, and timing of lighting remain strictly “under construction”.

This is an updated version of a longer article that appeared in Information Display, December 2015.

Dr. Jennifer Veitch (e-mail: jennifer.veitch@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Twitter: @JenniferVeitch1) is a Principal Research Officer in NRC Construction, where she has led research into the effects of indoor environment effects on health and behaviour since 1992. She chaired the CIE technical committees that wrote CIE Publications 158:2004/2009, and CIE 218:2016. She is a Fellow of several associations in lighting and psychology. In 2011 she received the Waldram Gold Pin for Applied Illuminating Engineering from the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). She currently serves CIE as Director of its Division 3, Interior Environment and Lighting Design.


  1. Berson DM, Dunn FA, Takao M. Phototransduction by retinal ganglion cells that set the circadian clock. Science. 2002 Feb 8;295(5557):1070-3.
  2. Lucas RJ, Peirson SN, Berson DM, Brown T, Cooper HM, Czeisler CA, et al. Measuring and using light in the melanopsin age. Trends in Neurosciences. 2014;37(1):1-9.
  3. Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE). CIE statement on non-visual effects of light: Recommending proper light at the proper time. Vienna, Austria: CIE; 2015. https://files.cie.co.at/783_CIE%20Statement%20-%20Proper%20Light%20at%20the%20Proper%20Time.pdf
  4. Veitch JA. Commentary: On unanswered questions. Proceedings of the First CIE Symposium on Lighting Quality. Vienna, Austria: CIE; 1998. CIE x015:1998: 88-91.
  5. CIE. Research roadmap for healthful interior lighting applications (CIE 218:2016). Vienna, Austria: CIE.
  6. CIE. Ocular lighting effects on human physiology and behaviour (CIE 158: 2004/2009). Vienna, Austria: CIE.
  7. Smolders KCHJ, Kort YAWd, van den Berg SM. Daytime light exposure and feelings of vitality: Results of a field study during regular weekdays. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 2013;36(0):270-9.
  8. Stevens RG, Zhu Y. Electric light, particularly at night, disrupts human circadian rhythmicity: is that a problem? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 2015;370(1667):20140120.
  9. CIE. Report on the First International Workshop on Circadian and Neurophysiological Photometry, 2013 (CIE TN 003:2015). Vienna, Austria: CIE. https://www.cie.co.at/index.php?i_ca_id=978
  10. Revell VL, Eastman CI. How to trick mother nature into letting you fly around or stay up all night. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2005;20(4):353-65.

July 2017

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Dear CEO,
You have always been there for your people, making the workplace much more than just a workplace. Tight schedules, work pressures and deadlines take a toll on the employee enthusiasm and productivity. And, there is a serious need to apply a work-life balance through work-light balance; yes, you heard it right, it is “work-light” balance. Work-light balance when applied appropriately can potentially work wonders for enhancing health, wellbeing and productivity in a workplace according to growing evidence from global research. What more? It simply renders a by-product that is ‘dear’ to everyone – significant saving in your power bill.

We have experienced the variations in the natural light ever since we have been on earth. Daily, the sun’s light progresses from low intensity waves with color temperatures from warm white to high intensity waves with neutral white temperatures during the mid-day and back to low light levels with low color temperatures towards night. This process plays a primary role in managing our 24-hour body clock. That means the amount and quality of sunlight has a direct impact on different bodily functions including the key ones, namely hormone secretions which are responsible for different mind frames that we go through. Many hormones like dopamine (pleasure, attentiveness and physical coordination), serotonin and cortisol (mind control) and melatonin (sleep-relax) are secreted throughout the day, accordingly. This briefly explains the ‘circadian rhythm’ or the body’s daily natural routine for humans.

Image Courtesy: luxreview.com

Does our workplace lighting compliment the natural cycles of the body? Or is it hampering the normal functions through the artificial lighting? We need to consider this at length, if we want to comply with the body demands and keep it well-oiled and efficient throughout the day.

Several studies have already shown a definite link between the spectrum of the indoor lighting to the human well-being and thereby their efficiency, click here to review one such. However, office spaces are rarely considered for this effect, thus giving rise to potential health issues among the office goers. Such studies suggest these effects can be eye strain, headaches, low mood, poor concentration, absenteeism, and job dissatisfaction – even a few minutes working under the wrong lighting can kill productivity. Whilst significant research continues, there is growing evidence that increasingly such issues can be addressed by today’s latest smart IoT automated lighting solutions. With these programmable lighting solutions and appropriate colour control smart light fixtures, it is very much possible to follow the natural circadian rhythm and maintain a healthy work space, which in turn supports the “work-life” balance through a perfect “work-light” balance.

The above-mentioned implementations do go a long way to bestow a fresh outlook to your entire enterprise. Well, light is indeed an indispensable factor to keep our mind focused and body fit. It is necessary for an office to be well-lit for good visibility, but it is also essential that the lighting scheme follows the natural environment for best results.

Boosting the efficacy of your people is now in your hands. Automated lighting is the next “foresight strategy” that your people and enterprise have long waited for.

Vinay Ghule

Vinay Ghule – CTO, Leap Info Systems, Pune, India

June 2017

So there I am, a new guy on Fulham’s LFI 2017 stand, surrounded by “traditional” lighting controls industry stands. All of those “traditional” companies were using words such as “Innovative” or some derivative. This had to be one of the most overused words I saw, along with the usual “Smart”, “Cloud”, “IoT” et al.

Of course, much of this modern wordage was being applied to existing mature lighting control solutions. It seems that many of them think adding a “cloud” to their solution magically makes it a better solution for the “End Client” namely the building developer, manager, owner and user.

According to the “End Clients” I talk to, not only are these solutions still very proprietary, inflexible and costly but now the device value data from those very systems is locked in a “cloud” owned by the solution provider.

This reminded me of that Google relationship; you can have our apps but your “data soul” is ours. We now understand this and either you are OK with it or you go somewhere else for a particular app.

Who owns the data and, in particular, the Gold Nuggets of IP that may be derived from the end client’s use data? Almost certainly not the end client or not entirely, and not without additional cost. But that’s not the worst of it.

It seems not so unusual that End Clients quite quickly fall out with their lighting solution providers. If the End Client thought it problematic before to disengage from the original provider and to move to another, the “cloud” just made that process a whole lot more difficult and costly.

Your installed systems “use” data and potential operational IP Gold Nuggets of information are tied into the lighting solution provider’s “cloud”. It’s almost certainly not yours, in their eyes, and as there is no standard for how such data is stored there is no guarantee that it would be in any meaningful form even if you could access it.

So now transferring from one supplier to another means the potential loss of years of valuable “use case” operational IP data that should be building your facilities into the most optimised they can be.

There you have it. You the End Client, having spent maybe millions on a solution, find you don’t own all the data and you don’t have free and seamless access to that data.

Why? Well it’s a question you will have to ask them. However, let me tell you what we at Fulham believe. If you buy our smart IoT convergent lighting control solution all the device data (that is 30 -40 data and command points per intelligent fixture) is freely and seamlessly 100% accessible to you. You, the End Client, have the ability to review, manipulate and take action on the data you’ve created.

That’s how it should be.

So, End Clients, choose your next smart, IoT, cloud based lighting control solution very wisely before you end up wondering “What happened to those Golden Nuggets of your IP?” Check out these 8 Things You Need to Know to guide your decision.

Also Fulham UK is expanding its software development team. If working within this innovative, market disruptive and expanding global team interests you, then click here to learn more about who we are looking for.

April 2017

CNS’s Smart Light Management Software and Technical Expertise Helps Fulham Meet Growing Demand for DALI-enabled Clever LED Drivers and Smart Lighting Controls

HAWTHORNE, Calif. – April 18, 2017 – Fulham Co., Inc., a leading supplier of lighting components and electronics for commercial and specialty applications, today announced the acquisition of the assets of partner company Control Network Solutions (CNS), the UK-based creator of the elitedali™ smart lighting control and management system. This transaction continues Fulham’s strategic European expansion.

Fulham has been developing its relationship with CNS for over a year and utilising CNS’s elitedali to help its partners provide complete smart lighting control systems.

Based on the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) lighting communications standard, elitedali simplifies installation, commissioning, and control of lighting systems. Enhancing Building Management Systems (BMS) and Edge Control devices, elitedali provides total control over individual LED fixtures, including reducing input current, managing output to optimise useful life, adjusting lighting to dim at a constant level, and adjusting power output to accommodate different light sources.

With this acquisition, Fulham can now offer a DALI and web-based convergent smart lighting solution to meet increased demand from customers worldwide. For Fulham customers in Europe and India, CNS’s smart lighting platform meets the immediate need for DALI-based lighting control solutions.

“We developed clever LED lighting components that are intelligent and programmable so luminaire manufacturers can customise solid-state lighting products in a customer-valued way. With the acquisition of CNS, we now have the remaining components needed to move from clever to smart lighting products – communications and control system software,” said Bob Howard-Anderson, Fulham CEO. “elitedali technology aligns with our vision of standards-based smart lighting controls and allows us to meet increasing customers’ demands for DALI-enabled lighting solutions based upon multi-vendor choice, flexibility and real-time device data for analytics, and effectively lays the foundation for the coming of smart lighting.”

Mike Welch, founder of CNS, will continue with Fulham as Vice President, Controls Business Development. In his new role, Welch will continue to support more than 40 elitedali™ resellers worldwide and help shape Fulham’s clever lighting strategy as well as new smart lighting products and solutions.

The elitedali solution is based on the Niagara® software framework from Tridium, an independent business entity of Honeywell International. Niagara is used by hundreds of OEMs and resellers to craft Building, Data Center and Smart City management systems.

“We are excited to be able to leverage Fulham’s global brand and resources to accelerate the market reach of elitedali,” said Welch. “Becoming a part of Fulham will allow us to provide better support our growing Niagara Community Partners, enabling them to participate in larger lighting control projects.”

Fulham already incorporates DALI support into a variety of its LED driver products, including the programmable WorkHorse LED drivers and the company’s new Lumo series of European LED drivers. Fulham offers CNS partners direct access to DALI-compatible driver products through Fulham’s global network of distributors, and works with a network of OEM luminaire manufacturers that incorporate the company’s DALI drivers.

For more information about Fulham’s complete line of LED drivers, please visit www.fulham.com.
For more information on elitedali smart lighting controls, please visit www.elitedali.com

About Fulham
Fulham Co., Inc. is a leading global provider of intelligent, socially-conscious sustainable commercial lighting components and electronics for use in commercial general lighting, parking structure, signage, horticultural, UV and other applications. The company develops and manufactures a variety of award-winning LED and emergency products, as well as legacy products across multiple lighting platforms. Fulham sells its lighting solutions worldwide through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electrical equipment distribution channels. Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., the company has sales and/or manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, China, India and the UAE. For more information, visit www.fulham.com.

Andy Firchau
Marketing Manager
(323) 779-2980, ext. 1252

March 2017

Blog Part 2-1
5. Is it wireless versus wired, wireless & wired?

Images via Nickolay Lamm

Images via Nickolay Lamm

  • Wireless operates in an uncontrolled environment, see here
  • How secure is a wireless solution? It is easier potentially, to unobtrusively monitor and hack a wireless network than a wired one.
  • For deterministic high performance solutions such as lighting controls, either it requires very expensive point to point wireless solutions or its low-cost wired.

6. What does IoT really mean in building & lighting controls and how secure?
Blog Part 2-3

  • The IoT is an idea, a concept, it is not a standard for anything. Right now it is mostly the Internet of Connected Separate Things (IoCST)
  • Unintended and unexpected consequences of the IoT? Read more, click here
  • The impact of the IoT depends on whose application it is, and where it is. It may affect remote device level power consumption and the necessary infrastructure required to enable a solution and application to deliver paid-for results
  • The IoT does not mean every device being physically connected to an IP network, it does mean seamless access to every device and its value data across the internet! (Not 1 x IP device per IP address but for example 64 x devices per IP address)! (As opposed to the IoCST?)
  • Is your chosen IP device secure? How is its security maintained over time?

7. Analytics; what is it, what could it deliver, what might it not deliver?
Blog Part 2-4

  • It’s the clever maths that mines for nuggets of gold from device level value data and represents opportunities to more efficiently run a space for a given business outcome than your competitor.
  • It allows you to calculate which exact device level settings create the optimum space environment for your workers, so they are both healthier and operate more efficiently.
  • The problem is, do your analytics tools have seamless access to all the device level value data?

8. “Cloud” based solutions, whose “Cloud” is it, who owns the data/IP in the “Cloud”, can I change from “Cloud” to “Cloud”, how secure is it?
Blog Part 2-5

  • All very good questions and not usually the one the End Client is fully aware of, until it’s too late!
  • There are NO standards-based “Cloud” solutions. Each solution provider is offering their own version of their “Cloud”.
  • Unlikely to be able to switch from one “Cloud” based solution provider to another seamlessly, without loss of content.
  • It’s just another tie-in to proprietary solutions enabling the supplier to earn more money from the End Client/User
  • IP/Copyright ownership again depends who owns the facilities, the nature of the contract terms offered and where on the planet the facilities are. One thing is for sure, most people have no idea regarding the answers to these questions. They incorrectly assume too much and don’t realise that it is a legal minefield.
  • Security most likely depends on who actually owns the equipment and facilities and where they are based on the planet. It will pay to be very cautious.
  • Suggested reading: “Cracks in the Cloud“.
March 2017

Blog Part 1-1
1. Convergence; what is it really good for and its market-disruptive impact?
Blog Part 1-2

  • Enables choice of who delivers, who operates & maintains and with what.
  • Offers more sustainable solutions that deliver:

Less installed equipment – Lower parasitic energy – Less negative environmental impact (fewer resources to make less and less to throw away at the end of life)

Buiding Services Research & Information Association (BSRIA) “Convergence – What is it good for?” presentation enumerates the benefits, read more click here.

2. End Client requirements; what are they really looking for and why?

Blog Part 1-3

  • Flexibility
  • Choice
  • Real-time device level value data
  • Health & wellness benefits, click here to read more
  • Energy saving whilst addressing sustainability issues

3. The role of international open interoperable standards in smart building & lighting control?
Blog Part 1-4
They deliver highly vendor-independent solutions that:

  • Enable greater choice in the supply of product and who installs, commissions and provides future operations and maintenance
  • Increase choice of solutions and delivery channels.
  • Therefore it delivers best of breed!
  • Is every international and published communications standard offering intelligent device level interoperability? NO!
  • To understand the difference between communication standards and interoperable communication standards (e.g. ZigBee IEEE 802.15.4, EnOcean ISO/IEC 14543-3-10 and DALI IEC 62386) there are 5 Key questions to ask to establish how interoperable is the offered solution. Read It’s all about published open international interoperable standards” and Avoiding “Stranded Investments” articles

4. Demand side management and security of supply;
Blog Part 1-5

  • Base load generation and supply side issues resulting in emerging short to medium crisis in electrical supply
  • For electrical load shedding, smart IoT lighting control is the best option at enabling this, with minimum impact on space output or the people operating within that space.

Read Part 2 here
Contact Control Network Solutions directly via website or social media:

February 2017

Feb Blog 1A coffee story that throws light on the state of today’s proprietary lighting controls industry and the smart Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that are market disrupting them.

Here, Teresa Pole-Baker Gouveia draws on a recent experience that very well reflects the potential long overdue market changes that are already occurring in the lighting controls industry. Not being led by the traditional lighting controls companies but by a new generation of solution providers and channel partners.

Last Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me my present, and I tried to contain a sigh as I saw … another coffee machine! A Nespresso. Even though I was utterly charmed by George Clooney in the ads, I already had a coffee machine.

Being a coffee lover, and a few years back, I wanted a coffee machine with those easy-to-use hermetically sealed capsules for coffee-shop-quality coffee I could have at home. I didn’t want an expensive machine, or one that only produced small cups of coffee, so Nespresso was out (sorry George).

I enjoy a variety of drinks; tea, hot chocolate, coffee, cappuccino, latte and so on. So, I bought a machine, on promotion, which did just that.

However, over time –

  • The price of my machines capsules increased while the generic forms of capsules for other brands of coffee machine, were reducing!
  • The competition machines were offering a wider range of drink capsules.

My sole sourced proprietary product, was falling out of favour, and was no longer in all supermarkets.

Having bought a low price coffee machine which only used the manufacturer’s proprietary capsule brand, I was now stuck!

Feb Blog 2

In Portugal, one doesn’t mess with the mother-in-law. So I got the Nespresso coffee machine working.

  • To my surprise I find that its capsules offer a wide range of drinks, including all those I particularly enjoy.
  • Best of all there are generic versions available everywhere, with an even greater variety of drink options on offer.

Nespresso’s capsule patent having run out a few years ago, enabled imitators to flood the market with similar machines and capsules, thus increasing choice and competition whilst improving the price point.

Bad for Nespresso’s business; actually no, their market share of the capsule market is growing, and they dominate the market in Europe.

So as a consumer, I’m happy. I now have access to a wider selection of goods at better prices. Meantime Nespresso have to work hard to keep ahead of the market and, as a consumer, this means more innovation, quality and better price.

So I was able to tell my mother-in-law, quite honestly, that her gift was great.

The interoperability of these drink capsules breeds variety, stimulates innovation and quality and, in the long run, makes it more likely that my fix is guaranteed. In order to differentiate itself, Nespresso has turned to issues that consumers care about, such as sustainability, quality and variety.

So why is this emerging coffee machine success story not repeated in the intelligent lighting solutions space?

The traditional lighting controls industry still dominates the global market, even though this means that “end clients” (building owners, managers, users) are faced with the same problems as me and my old coffee machine; while the initial cost of the system may seem attractive, down the line there is a price to pay;

  • proprietary, sole sourced parts
  • limited (or costly) access to all device value data
  • inflexibility or increased expenses when changes are needed
  • technology which is quickly out of date and is no longer the most innovative solution which is neither really smart or converged

However, in the last few years new smart IoT lighting control solutions have appeared. These are highly vendor independent both at point of delivery and in future operation and maintenance, thus offering end clients what they really want:

Feb Blog 3

  • Choice of who delivers, who maintains over time and what equipment is used.
  • Simpler architecture means less installed equipment.
  • Super-fast automatic commissioning, which means installation and changes can be made quickly and inexpensively.
  • Full, direct access to all the device-level value-data seamlessly and freely
  • An IoT solution you can access from anywhere on the planet.

All this whilst leveraging today’s and the future’s expected benefits of smart IoT converged solutions.

The other day, while I was buying my generic coffee capsules, I found someone I know, a maintenance manager of a local supermarket, who was staring in dismay at the defunct ballast in his hand. “This should be a cheap product” he sighed. “But I can only use one from the place I bought it, and it costs a fortune!” I smiled, sympathetically.

“Let me tell you a story over coffee” I said…

January 2017
End users often desire a user-friendly lighting control system with an interface that they can operate without the assistance of a specialist engineer.

Here, Mike Welch argues that today’s leading smart, Internet of Things (IoT), convergent BMS engineers can ensure that this is the case and end clients needn’t be in the dark with regards to their control solution.

December 2016
Image courtesy of Tridium inc.
Após quase uma década, finalmente estamos a ver um momento seminal quando se trata de controlos de edifícios e iluminação que são independentes do fornecedor. Surpreendente para alguns, esta mudança de atitude da indústria não foi provocada pelas tendências nos mercados ‘maduros’ do Ocidente, mas ganhou impulso pela adoção generalizada de controlos de construção e iluminação inovadoras e interoperáveis em regiões não tradicionais

Em qualquer setor, pode-se imaginar que à medida que a capacidade tecnológica se desenvolve e melhora, traz mais opções, flexibilidade, maior eficiência e menor custo para o usuário final.

Pense por exemplo no smartphone que provavelmente tem em sua posse agora. Usamos nossos telefones inteligentes para uma variedade aparentemente interminável de aplicativos divergentes. O telefone interage e se integra com uma variedade de software e hardware, permitindo que mude de canal em sua TV, controla a temperatura em sua casa, reproduza música de um alto-falante Bluetooth e até mesmo iniciar seu carro remotamente.

Agora imagine que não poderia realizar essas ações a menos que seu smartphone fosse da mesma marca ou do mesmo fabricante da sua TV, termostato, alto-falante ou carro. Isso não faria sentido. O poder tecnológico e o potencial do dispositivo seriam desprezados.

Por muito tempo, este tem sido o caso no mundo da construção e controles de iluminação. As empresas tradicionais no campo têm impulsionado sua própria agenda ao serviço dos seus próprios interesses, sufocando a inovação e, mais importante, colocando barreiras que negam as melhorias na tecnologia e interoperabilidade.

No entanto, depois do êxito da nossa participação em vários eventos no Médio Oriente e na Ásia-Pacífico, descobrimos que aqueles que trabalham na indústria de serviços de construção nessas regiões estão a procurar e a utilizar as soluções de controle mais eficientes e convergentes disponíveis hoje.

A interoperabilidade é vista como um requisito fundamental, garantindo que os sistemas de controle de construção possam comunicar-se eficazmente com todos os componentes do sistema. Esse valor, obtido através da adoção de padrões abertos, aumenta a flexibilidade do sistema e sua capacidade de evoluir e se adaptar às mudanças no uso do edifício ao longo de sua vida útil.

De fato, no CNS, encontramos uma procura e interesse extremamente elevados nas regiões do Oriente Médio e Ásia-Pacífico, para as nossas soluções independentes de fornecedores em iluminação, elitedali™ e controle, cns-enocean

Pessoalmente e profissionalmente, estou encantado com este desenvolvimento, mas pouco surpreendido. Afinal, porque é que outras regiões quereriam implementar um modelo de controlo de construção e iluminação que é ineficiente, ineficaz, excessivamente caro e ultrapassado

O Leste entendeu que não devemos vender produtos individuais aos usuários finais, mas oferecer soluções convergentes e interoperáveis. Como membros da indústria de controle de iluminação e construção, devemos ter uma abordagem holística, focalizando os elementos que podemos oferecer de uma perspetiva macro, oferecendo aos profissionais de serviços de construção e usuários finais mais opções, flexibilidade e responsabilidade a níveis mais agradáveis e mais agradáveis de custo e eficiência.

November 2016
Russ Sharer é VP Global de Marketing e de desenvolvimento de negócios da Fulham Inc.

Neste blog de convidado, Russ Sharer discute a importância da interoperabilidade no setor de controlo de iluminação inteligente.

中文版 (Chinese Version)

As normas, por si só, têm valor limitado se não houver uma capacidade para interoperar com vários fornecedores da mesma. Por exemplo, existem muitas línguas padrão do mundo, todos com sua maneira de falar, escrita e gramática. Mas a comunicação só acontece quando os falantes ou escritores interoperam, isto é, quando eles podem compreender e responder uns aos outros. Tal ocorre também com controlos de iluminação.

Há muitos nomes para a evolução das normas de controlo de iluminação – Zigbee, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, Power over Ethernet (PoE), Thread, etc. – que estão focados na resolução de um problema real ou de um conjunto de problemas, mas mais totalmente incapazes interoperar uns com os outros. Enquanto opções tais como com fio e sem fio, ou controlo versus potência e controlo podem ser valiosos, a menos que haja um movimento para misturar e combiná-los num edifício, não vão ajudar os usuários finais ou fornecedores a criar um melhor controlo de iluminação e eficiência energética.

Imagine se entrasse num café e tivesse que pedir ao fabricante do roteador Wifi para saber se poderia conectar o seu tablet. Ou se tivesse que escolher o seu hotel com base no apoio aos smartphones Samsung, ao invés de os da Apple ou Huawei. Isso é precisamente o que estamos a pedir aos usuários finais que façam hoje com os controlos de iluminação.

Para atingir o valor de conectividade, e para os controlos serem integrados na maioria das instalações de iluminação, precisamos de padrões interoperáveis, onde os produtos dos vários fornecedores – drivers de LED, interruptores, luminárias, controlos, sensores – podem todos ser colocados na mesma rede e tudo funciona perfeitamente de forma mútua. Este é um marco fundamental no caminho para IoT e um que os usuários finais não levam suficientemente a sério atualmente.

Com exceção de DALI. O que a maioria dos fornecedores de controlo de iluminação pedem hoje é que os compradores confiem neles para permanecer no negócio, continuando a migrar o sistema e garantindo que este mesmo vai continuar a funcionar de uma maneira fechada e proprietária para o resto da vida do sistema. Só DALI pode misturar e combinar produtos de vários fornecedores e fornecer um caminho de atualização fácil, se um determinado fornecedor deixa de ser a sua melhor escolha.

Os usuários devem exigir que os fornecedores trabalhem juntos. Novos documentos de proposta para sistemas de iluminação devem exigir vários fornecedores que sejam interoperáveis. Deve haver um compromisso dos fornecedores para migrar para padrões interoperáveis quando aparecem e ativamente participar nos fóruns de vários fornecedores e testar os sites que surjam.

Juntos, podemos criar um mundo onde as normas sejam interoperáveis e significativas.

Veja a apresentação (em Inglês)

October 2016
Thomas Keel is a Professor at the School of Building Construction at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a respected and influential individual within the building control sector, having extensively experienced the industry from both an academic and corporate setting.

In this special guest blog, Thomas Keel, Professor at the School of Building Construction at Georgia Institute of Technology, discusses convergence and its impact on engineers and product manufacturers in the controls industry.

To understand the power of convergence, we must first define and determine what convergence truly is. Imagine random strands of unconnected twisted wire. Convergence happens when all those strands of wire are fused together to become one.

Regarding intelligent buildings, smart cities, and the Internet of Things (IoT), the goal of convergence is to have devices that are intended to work perfectly when first connected, without reconfiguration, adjustment, or by the addition of an intermediary device, sometimes referred to as a gateway.

We live in interesting times, for in a way, society and culture push against convergence. Industry is not monolithic; it does not stand apart from the society in which it operates. Industry is part of a multidimensional entity that lives in a sociocultural-political environment that celebrates diversity and individualism. In this environment convergence and integration are almost anathema.

With the advent of direct digital control (DDC) each manufacturer developed their own protocol to monitor and control the myriad of devices that make up what is known as the building-controls industry. Therefore, each building was branded by which controls manufacturer won the contract to install the building’s control system.

What was lacking was open interconnectivity/integration between disparate systems. This anchored each building to a specific product manufacturer and unless the building owner was prepared to entirely change out systems, they had to continue purchasing additional equipment, software, and firmware from the manufacturer of the originally installed system. Personally, I was involved in one of those wholesale system changeovers whereupon the initial phase took three years and continued being an ongoing ordeal as new interconnectivity/integration problems were discovered.

Understanding this dilemma, building owners began demanding “plug-and-play” interconnectivity, forcing controls manufacturers to begin working together. In other words, they demanded interoperability. Now, it is reported that many control device manufacturers are collaborating to pre-integrate their systems, although hard verification is not easily available.

This has opened up an entirely new industry known as systems integration with a new class of industry professionals known as system integrators. System integrators, act as a bridge, connecting disparate systems by locating or manufacturing gateways that translate signals from one device to another language of the device to which it is connected. System integrators and system integration can reduce the risk of system malfunctions but are not the solution; integration and integrators are merely temporary, yet necessary, Band-Aids/plasters.

The real solution is found in universal standards and protocols. What if every computer manufacturer had their own set of peripheral requirements forcing the consumer to purchase all of their peripheral devices from the manufacture of their computer?

Leading and influential figures from the controls industry profess to the importance of convergence and the interoperability of standards, with Jim Brandt Vice President of Product Management at wot.ie saying: “the proliferation of standards means that no single standard has yet become the one and only standard. Only time will tell which standard(s) will emerge. Until then, openness to different standards is the order of the day. Given the varied landscape, there are a few approaches to get some value from the available standards and avoid possible incompatibility between different parts of the infrastructure.”

The search for standards of interoperability, interconnection, and integration within the global building controls industry is vital for its future. Those working within this sector need to have a full understanding of the terminology of the intelligent building/smart cities industry and successfully transverse the minefield of convergence, integration, interconnectivity, and interoperability with deft skill so as to emerge on the other side with a fully functioning system while working towards the day of total industry-wide convergence.

September 2016

While presenting a recent lecture for students of Georgia Institute of Technology, the similarities between these young people’s probing idealism and inquisitive nature struck me as very similar to our own ethos at CNS.

The students, accompanied by Professor Thomas Keel of the School of Building Construction at Georgia Institute of Technology, contributed to a lively lecture, debate and Q&A session on the topic of convergence. Hailing from different but complementary disciplines within the built environment, the stateside students made the afternoon session, which was generously hosted by One Sight Solutions at their premises in Hampshire, a thoroughly thought-provoking, engaging, and enjoyable experience.

During the session, we explored how convergent technology has changed and continues to shape nearly every aspect of our modern life; before narrowing our focus to examine how convergent technologies will help develop the building and lighting control industry.

Convergent technology involves the integration of two or more different technologies into a single device. A great example of convergent technology is the smart phone you probably have on, or in near proximity, to your body right now. Instead of carrying separate devices, the invention of the smartphone has enabled us to amalgamate and harness the capabilities of a phone, MP3 player, camera, personal organiser and much more into one single device.

Within the building and lighting controls industry, convergent technology allows different components of a facility’s Building Management System (BMS), such as air-conditioning, heating, access control and lighting to integrate and speak to each other. This allows data and information to inform the end user, resulting in increased cost savings and energy efficiencies.

Furthermore, these convergent smart web-based solutions remove layers of unnecessary equipment that drain energy and money and give the end user more in terms of flexibility and choice. This means they can choose who delivers, operates and maintains their system, as well as having full control over future equipment and software preferences.

Additionally, smart Internet of Things (IoT) based control solutions can deliver valuable real-time data to connected devices. This can be of particular value in sectors such as lighting control, where growing research highlights the impact that factors including the colour and intensity of light can have on employee productivity and health. Thus, full access to this analytical data can enable facilities managers to optimally deliver lighting control that can positively affect their company’s bottom line.

However, there is a major disclaimer here. All these benefits are contingent on a vital condition. To fully extrapolate the value of convergent technology, the building and lighting controls must operate to truly open and interoperable standards.

This issue of vendor independence and interoperability (or lack of) is still very prominent, especially in the lighting controls sector, where unless all the components on the system are from one manufacturer, effective communication and operation is not likely. By not allowing similar devices from different manufacturers to communicate within the same lighting system, end-users and facilities managers have no choice but to choose a single manufacturer’s offering.

Consequently, the building and lighting controls industry can sometimes feel quite closed. With the ‘big-hitters’ controlling a large market share and attempting to enforce a droll hegemony that can stifle technological innovation as well as the quality of end product offered to the client, the sector can be very frustrating.

However, there does exist vendor independent, smart IoT based lighting solutions. For example, based upon a building’s existing BMS, CNS’s elitedali™ is an example of a flexible and truly interoperable lighting control system. Integrating with an existing Niagara BMS, elitedali enables the BMS system to control the lighting and connects it with the IoT – allowing end users to fully harness the benefits that convergent technology can offer.

As a company CNS is proud to be at the cutting edge of innovation, helping to bring convergent technological solutions to the market. Much like the students I encountered during our presentation on convergence, CNS will continue to push against the status quo when necessary, challenging stagnant and out-dated mentalities when it comes to open standards and strive to deliver top-class building and lighting solutions that benefit the end user.

View the presentation given to the students of Georgia Institute of Technology.

June 2016

There was an expressively celebratory atmosphere to the Niagara Summit 2016. Buoyed perhaps by the tropical weather of Louisiana, or the colourful vibrancy of the city of New Orleans, the collective energy and passion amongst the attendees, organisers, and speakers was palpably infectious.

The Niagara Summit, which takes place every two years, is a wonderful tech-fest. It enables all channel partners within the Niagara community to congregate in the same space, not only to network and meet in the flesh, but to share their latest news, ideas and visions for the future direction of Niagara and the controls industry in general. It also provides the perfect platform for communal and personal reflection. This year was especially poignant as Control Networks Solutions (CNS) were named by President and General Manager of Tridium, Nino Di Cosmo, during his keynote speech, as one of the top four innovators within the Niagara network.

When I first visited the Niagara Summit in 2006, it was a very different event and experience. The fervent determination and belief in creating a centralised, global network, where innovation lives and boundaries are questioned and pushed, was still present. However, the festival itself was a much tighter affair and had the feel of an emerging technology.

A decade later, and our collective vision has not only emerged but also come of age. Niagara is the de facto standard in converged building and lighting controls. It is a recognised and respected standard of quality and innovation. For example, today Niagara is recognised as a world-class smart Internet of Things (IoT) lighting controls solution. Niagara and Smart IoT lighting controls has commissioned and is controlling more than 100,000 intelligent light fixtures, in more than 10,000,000 square feet of built environment, from state of the art medical facilities, offices, hotels to government buildings.

The main auditorium of the 2016 edition was buzzing as exhibitors showcased their latest products and engaged in lively conversation with stand visitors. The show itself provides a great opportunity to meet with long standing partners, forge future relationships and is the perfect setting to demonstrate to end clients the power and innovation of this unique ecosystem. The presentations, forums and breakout sessions were well attended and sparked lively debate on a host of sector issues.

The summit also provided those within the Niagara community with a glimpse into the near future. There was confirmation that the Niagara 4 platform has been released – with deployment already begun. Niagara 4 will bring more benefits to the end users in terms of visualisation of data, security and analytics. By streamlining data, Niagara 4 will remove the fog and help produce actionable real data. This data can then be harnessed to inform and guide future actions and increase efficiency, productivity and ultimately reduce the operating costs of buildings.

Much like the holistic aim of Niagara, the summit works in galvanising and engaging its community. It brings developers, programmers, building owners, engineers and executives together, creating conversations that bring intelligence and connectivity to the edge of the network and back. As a company, CNS is extremely proud to be a central figure within this innovative network and was delighted to contribute to the summit in such a meaningful manner.

During the Niagara Summit 2016, in my capacity as managing director of CNS, I was involved in a video interview with Eric Stromquist and Ken Smyers of Control Trends, who bring such tireless enthusiasm to covering the controls sector. I also gave a presentation on the specific requirements and needs of end clients for converged smart lighting controls, whilst reflecting on the progress of Niagara as a world-class smart IoT lighting control solution since 2008 and contributed to a session on the merits of the recently launched Niagara Marketplace, and its benefits for the Niagara community. However, the highlight of the whole summit from a personal and professional perspective was when Nino Di Cosmo, President and General Manager at Tridium, during his keynote address, named CNS as one of the top four innovators within the Niagara community.

This honour filled everyone involved with CNS with an immense sense of accomplishment and pride. To be recognised in this manner, in front of a packed auditorium, by a group so illustriously creative and dynamic as our Niagara peers, was an energising and eminently positive experience. CNS will continue to play as pivotal role as is required to further grow, nurture and mature the Niagara network, vision and ideology, and wholeheartedly look forward to the next Niagara Summit in 2018.

May 2016

The building and lighting controls industry – once quite slow in its evolution – is now rapidly experiencing completely new solution innovations and delivery channels.
Knowing how to find them and making the right choices based upon open, interoperable standards and technology choice, rather than brands, can lead to lower-cost smart control solutions delivering immensely beneficial business results.
Discover the true cost of your building control solutions.

May 2016

On the surface, cloud based building management systems (BMS) seem to offer an ideal solution for facilities management. Their purpose is to allow users to collect, process and analyse data on a range of services including HVAC systems, energy usage and lighting controls. However, inspecting the finer details can uncover some fundamental issues surrounding ownership, autonomy, security and interoperability, creating an uncertainty that darkens the hue of these cloud based BMSs.

First of all, whose cloud is it? Or more importantly who owns the data held in the cloud? This is a topic that is fraught with ambiguity. Generally, ownership rights fall into three distinct categories of the law – copyright, confidentiality and contract, all of which vary depending on the country. If data is created in one country and then stored in another, the jurisdiction to which it belongs becomes blurred.

Additionally, if for example, data is created and then stored on a cloud, one could assume, due to copyright law, that the original creator of the data is the owner. However, we again enter the realm of uncertainty when we contemplate who owns the data if it is created within the cloud. Here, deciding ownership can become a legal minefield.

An assumption surrounding cloud based BMSs is that they help conserve and streamline energy output and are an environmentally friendly option but cloud platforms are not some fluffy, floating, intangibly infinite data resource. They require maintenance, staffing and a host of technological and physical resources.

By outsourcing to a cloud facility, businesses may not be reducing energy consumption but merely moving it offsite. Using a cloud based BMS can help increase the energy efficiency functions of a facility such as the lighting controls and HVAC system, but how do we quantify this against the exponential amount of power, energy and pollution created in the construction and upkeep of cloud data centres?

A further issue companies should consider when choosing BMS systems is access and security. Large commercial enterprises by their nature hold sensitive and valuable data about their business operations. They might not want this information to fall into the hands of the media, public, or competitors. Cloud data centres hold such a vast amount of information that they are attractive targets for hackers. Additionally, companies sometimes use cloud services to store data they do not immediately have use for but will have in the future. A study from Queen Mary University of London found that the fine print in some cloud contracts means that providers can waive responsibility for data storage or delete data if it is not used within a given time period.

Moreover, a lot of cloud based BMS systems do not provide seamless access to all the installed building and lighting controls device level data. This issue could arise if, for example, a facility manager changes the lighting controls solution provider. Depending on the new system installed, it may not be compliant with the cloud based BMS. This lack of interoperability means that analytics gathered via the cloud are of limited use in informing how the end user can improve their building’s services.

On closer inspection, it seems that cloud based BMSs raise more questions than they answer and are definitely not the utopian, analytical guiding light that many profess they are. Instead, the latest generation of control network solution providers can ensure a level of flexibility and data access that cloud based BMSs cannot match. In addition, they are designed to reduce energy consumption whilst passing on all the benefits provided by the control system to the building owner.

An example of such a system is elitedali™ lighting controls. The elitedali technology enables lighting to be incorporated into the building’s existing Niagara BMS. With the ability to halve total lighting energy consumption, elitedali controls contribute significant energy savings, whilst accounting for less than one per cent of the building’s energy use.

Created with the Internet of Things in mind, the elitedali lighting controls can be controlled both locally and remotely using any suitable web browser and smart mobile device, meaning changes can be made to lighting settings instantaneously.

Requiring less of an initial investment due to it simply connecting with the already installed BMS, elitedali smart lighting controls provide the user with absolute confidence, automony and certainty over the lighting control system and its data.

For more information, and to discover how you can reduce the cost of your lighting, please visit www.control-network-solutions.co.uk or follow @elitedali on Twitter.

April 2016

A iluminação é um dos custos mais caro para um negócio, representando mais de um terço do consumo de eletricidade de um edifício e emissões de CO2. É, portanto, compreensível que muitas empresas e gestores de instalações anseiam por soluções de controle inteligente inovadoras para gerir energia elétrica e uso de iluminação. No entanto, com o foco ainda firme sobre a fonte de luz própria e, como os preços da energia estão a cair, estamos realmente considerando o verdadeiro custo de nossa iluminação?

Descubra o verdadeiro custo da sua iluminação com o nosso novo infográfico

A tecnologia de Lâmpada está em constante evolução, com as modernas luzes LED usando até 90 por cento menos energia do que as lâmpadas de halogéneo regulares. No entanto, uma demonstração mais recente inovação no sector lâmpada era de cerca de a lâmpada incandescente. Desconsiderados e proibiu há vários anos por suas propriedades ineficientes, a lâmpada incandescente para a maioria será ultrapassado. No entanto, Instituto de Tecnologia de Massachusetts desenvolveu uma nova técnica que poderiam, em teoria, aumentar a eficiência da lâmpada em até 40 por cento. Isto resultaria em uma lâmpada de três vezes mais eficiente do que o melhor LED ou lâmpada fluorescente atualmente no mercado!

Estes desenvolvimentos mostram que a tecnologia dentro do setor de iluminação continua a evoluir, o consumo de energia da própria lâmpada está se tornando um problema menor. O que está a tornar-se mais aparente é o consumo de energia parasita da solução de controlo que controla as luzes. Isto refere-se à quantidade de energia utilizada pelo sistema de controle, mesmo quando todas as luzes que controla estão desligados.

Os controles de iluminação apresentar benefícios significativos, pois, escurecendo ou desligar as luzes quando uma sala está desocupada, pode reduzir o consumo de eletricidade em 30 por cento. Em alguns casos, no entanto, esta poupança é diminuída devido à energia que o próprio sistema de controlo está a consumir.

Além disso, como o custo da energia tem baixado nos últimos meses, outros fatores importantes, tais como a flexibilidade, o acesso em tempo real aos dados de nível de dispositivo, bem como a saúde do empregado e bem-estar são cada vez mais aparentes.

A última geração de fornecedores de soluções de controle está a assegurar a flexibilidade, o acesso aos dados, bem como a redução do consumo de energia dos seus sistemas, para passar todos os benefícios proporcionados pelo sistema de controle para o proprietário do edifício.
Um exemplo de um tal sistema é elitedali™ controlos de iluminação. A tecnologia elitedali permite que a iluminação é incorporada no sistema de gestão do edifício existente (GTC), reduzindo a quantidade de equipamentos instalados e fornecendo a capacidade de aproveitar as mais recentes tecnologias de captação de energia para interruptores e sensores.

Com a capacidade de reduzir pela metade o consumo total de energia de iluminação, controles elitedali pode contribuir para economias de energia significativas, enquanto que representa menos de 1% do consumo de energia do edifício.

Além disso, como o sistema elitedali foi criado considerando a Internet das coisas, o sistema pode ser controlado local e remotamente através de qualquer navegador web adequado e o dispositivo móvel inteligente. Isto permite mudanças instantâneas, tais como a mudança de iluminação on / off e escurecimento, bem como proporcionar acesso em tempo real aos dados de nível de dispositivo para cada luminária.

Exigindo menos investimento inicial, uma vez que simplesmente se conecta com o BMS já instalado, controles de iluminação inteligentes elitedali são ideais para reduzir o consumo de energia elétrica devido à iluminação, minimizando o consumo de energia parasitária, bem como proporcionar acesso completo ao sistema de controle de iluminação e seus dados.

Para mais informações, e para descobrir como você pode reduzir o custo de sua iluminação, entre em visit www.control-network-solutions.co.uk ou seguir @elitedali no Twitter.

January 2016

Um recente relatório divulgado pela Comissão de Energia da Califórnia destacou os benefícios das soluções de iluminação adaptativas no setor de varejo/retalho. Representando atualmente cerca de 13 por cento do uso de eletricidade gasta em iluminação da Califórnia, surpreendentemente o setor de varejo na região tem menos legislação de iluminação com a qual se conformar. Isto levou à criação de soluções inovadoras de controlo de iluminação inteligente sendo subutilizado pelas suas funções de poupança de energia e de marketing.

A partir de três estudos individuais, as características chave para poupar energia numa solução de iluminação inteligente para energia geral, foram identificadas como sendo:

  • Densidade de energia de iluminação: 0.85 to 1.25 W/sf
  • Os sistemas devem ser totalmente reguláveis.
  • Sensor de movimento por zona, resultando num design de iluminação de vários níveis:
    • Sensor de ocupação com período limite de 5 a 10 minutos.
    • Ocupado: totalmente iluminado
    • Desocupado: 30-50 por cento do total de iluminação
    • As zonas de controlo devem ser menos de 500 sf para maximizar as poupanças
  • Ajuste: com base no design do sistema, a redução dos níveis máxima de luz (“top end trim”) deve ser utilizada para reduzir a produção total em cerca de 10 a 30 por cento
    • Os sistemas devem ser avaliados ao final de cinco anos para ajustar os níveis máximos para contabilizar depreciação lumínea ou utilizar sistemas que incluam ajustamentos de manutenção automática do lúmen
  • Todos os sistemas são desligados automaticamente após o horário comercial

Todos estes recursos podem efetivamente melhorar a eficiência energética num ambiente de varejo/retalho ou qualquer edifício. O uso eficaz dos controlos de iluminação permite a otimização do espaço, com mudanças contínuas possíveis durante toda a vida útil da solução. Consequentemente, isto significa que as empresas, neste caso, os retalhistas, podem reduzir as suas faturas de eletricidade.

Os controlos de iluminação não só reduzem o consume de eletricidade, como também pode ser aproveitado como uma ferramenta de marketing e de vendas.
Muitos estudos, tal como um projeto de investigação recentemente feito pelo Laboratório de Investigação de Retalho e Design, Universidade de Hasselt, demonstram que o caminho optado por um cliente pode depender da sua iluminação. Através do monitoramento dos movimentos de clientes de uma loja, os estudos têm vindo a mostrar que estes passam mais tempo e compram mais em zonas com configurações de iluminação mais quentes do que em áreas mais escuras e iluminadas com tons mais frios.

Logo, ao instalar uma solução de controlo inteligente, que permite as características mencionadas anteriormente pela simples ligação de redes de luminárias inteligentes ás plataforma existente de gestão técnica centralizada (GTC), automação ou solução de controlo de energia do edifício, tornando-a na solução ideal. Conhecida como elitedali™, esta tecnologia dá a possibilidade de controlo total sobre ambientes de retalho extensos utilizando plataformas de GTC /domótica já instaladas. Permite movimentações e alterações dentro do sistema através do fornecedor de manutenção existente no edifício e não há a necessidade de um pacote caro de manutenção de uma solução de controlo de iluminação tradicional.

Além disso, a elitedali fornece diariamente aos gerentes de instalações e proprietários de edifícios um acesso completo aos seus dados de iluminação. Isto permite que a análise de dados tome lugar, proporcionando eficazmente um custo em tempo real enquanto cria benefícios ambientais.

Por fim, ao escolher uma solução altamente independente do fornecedor e baseada em padrões abertos, significa que qualquer produto de iluminação que corresponda ao DALI IEC 62386, independente do fabricante, pode ser ligado a este sistema de iluminação inteligente. E mais, qualquer solução adequada BMS, BAS ou BEMS baseada na estrutura Tridium Niagara pode ser usada na instalação, com manutenção constante fornecida por qualquer organização qualificada adequada á escolha do cliente final.

Acerca de DALI

  • Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, IEC 62386
  • Único padrão aberto interoperável global publicado para luminárias inteligente
  • Até 64 luminárias DALI ligadas numa única rede
  • Comunicação individual, coletiva ou em grupos.
  • Instruções para LIGAR, DESLIGAR, escurecer e Iluminar, entre outros
  • Centenas de fabricantes de dispositivos, e 100 milhões de dispositivos implantados em milhões de edifícios
  • Veja www.dali-ag.org

Acerca de Niagara

  • Plataforma padrão Mundial de-facto de tecnologia convergente web para controlo de edifícios e iluminação
  • Uma estrutura de software para aplicação de dispositivo-para-empresa e produtos com acesso á Internet em edifícios, criada pela Tridium Inc.
  • Uma plataforma unificada para construir facilmente produtos com acesso á Internet e aplicações de software para controlar e gerir diversos dispositivos inteligentes de uma empresa em tempo real.
  • Mais de 20,000 engenheiros certificados Niagara e milhares de organizações
  • Mais de 400 OEMs globais a produzir soluções de gestão de edifícios, automação e de gestão energética baseadas na Niagara instaladas em mais de 500,000 edifícios.
  • Veja www.tridium.com

Para mais informações, por favor contacte cns@control-network-solutions.co.uk ou ligue para +44 (0)1256 818700.

Para ler o relatório completo, clique aqui.