Traditionally, the light in your premises is delivered through high-voltage cables – usually installed in the plenum space above your ceilings and beneath your floors – and controlled by a switch.
However, you can run LED lighting via Power Over Ethernet (PoE). PoE is common way of powering network devices such as wi-fi access points, IP phones, and CCTV cameras. Now, lighting can be brought onto that very same network system allowing true convergence.
Switching from high-voltage cables, to a low voltage category cable, has its benefits. It removes the need for an electrician to install and manage any future adds, moves, and changes. This is because working with low voltage has significantly lower risks. So, a cabling engineer could do it all.
In addition, that single cable can be used to power your lights and provide the connectivity for smart building control. This frees up the space you would have otherwise filled with electrical cables. And what’s more, is the first step towards creating an intelligent building.
When lighting becomes intelligent
A high-performance structured cabling solution can play a critical part in operating an intelligent building.
Everything within an intelligent building – lights, communications devices, doors, heating – can be connected through your structured cabling network and powered by ethernet. So, not only does your cabling carry your data, it also carries the electricity supply to power everything in your building, including LED lighting.
Natural daylight might not be available to people within your buildings. But artificial, intelligent lighting – that’s connected to your network – can deliver transformational benefits beyond visibility.
An 80% reduction in cost, compared to traditional lighting.
This includes both energy costs and ongoing maintenance costs.
A more personalised, comfortable environment.
Where light can be dimmed, made brighter and even replicate natural sunlight throughout the day– to make your buildings more conducive to a good days’ work.
Powerful insights into how your building is used.
To predict and anticipate usage and levels – so energy savings are made, and your environmental performance is enhanced.
An intelligent building monitors, predicts, and responds to how occupants use their work spaces to reduce unnecessary lighting usage in targeted zones – all of which can be controlled wirelessly.
From wi-fi to li-fi
On the topic of wireless – Li-Fi is already hot on the heels of Wi-Fi!
Wi-fi – something we’re all familiar with – is a way of transmitting data via radio waves. Over the last 20 years, wi-fi has become the de facto way for people to connect to data networks, whatever their device. But studies have shown that the wi-fi spectrum we use today, is already fully allocated.
Li-fi however, leverages the power of light to give data connectivity. With very predictable coverage, high bandwidth availability, and enhanced security – due to the fact the signal is only accessible inside the light beam – li-fi is a very attractive proposition. Add to this, the fact that you’re only installing a light – not a wireless radio transmitter – and it’s even more appealing. Li-fi potentially offers over 1000x more bandwidth and orders of magnitudes more devices to connect to an access point than the very latest Wi-fi solutions so its essential to plan for the best structured cabling infrastructure to take into account Li-Fi applications over the next 5 year.
Illuminate your future
Lighting is something that can be added to your network – as an application – that’s carried over a single cable. That’s when the lighting in your building switches from smart to intelligent, providing your businesses with great cost savings, energy efficiencies, productivity gains, and environmental benefits.
Connecture are UK-wide experts in designing and delivering, large-scale cable infrastructure projects – as well as state-of-the-art intelligent, connected building technologies.