Is there really a choice when it comes to lighting control; does the designer/ engineer and or end user have the power to choose the system that best works for them.

A strange question but sometimes, I really do wonder if we provide the lighting market with a real choice. Don’t get me wrong, when you first look at the array of solutions out there you will be struck by the variety of solutions in the market place, but when you dig deeper, all is not what is seems.

We are still using dated technology that is clunky, restricted in its operation, and ultimately very expensive as it’s a hardware rather than software solution. So, the question is why do we accept this; why don’t we challenge the status quo?

In reality it’s down to two distinct elements, firstly, I don’t want to rock the boat and I already have the spec written so let’s stick with what we know and secondly and perhaps more importantly it’s down to a lack of training.

How can I change your mind if I don’t educate you to make better decisions? This is true for all of us and we should continue to learn throughout our working life. If you are a Chartered engineer, then you have a duty to do this for your professional qualifications. This is why at zencontrol, we have created a series of CPD’s that cover such topics as “How to specify Controls”, “Emergency Lighting”, “DALI 2.0 the DALI revolution” and “The Internet of Things”.

These are educational and have and are being assessed by CIBSE as training packages to improve knowledge and not as pure sales pitches. So much of what we see in the market today is part of the “Hype Cycle” of a grand vision without any deliverables.

A classic example of the “Hype Cycle” is the Internet of Things, it’s not new and it certainly isn’t revolutionary. The technology has been around for years and the restrictions in adopting smart technology is really down to a lack of knowledge and a desire by many companies to tie their customers into their version of IoT.

Being smart, starts with making smart decisions; changing the way we work and integrate is part of that change. One small step such as the adoption of DALI 2.0 will dramatically open up your choices to bring smart to your lighting control system. Using a standard such as IEC 62386 provides the hardware and subnet platform to deliver the first layer of an IoT enabled controls strategy. Consider then the software, support infra structure and Analytics and then you are getting close to an integrated solution.

The industry supports this view and if you check out the Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA) website you will find all of the major lighting groups supporting this position.

Stewart.B.Langdown MSLL


For more information on any of the CPD’s we run on a range of lighting topics, please contact me on one of the following;


Mobile: +44(0)7774 821093