I have created a CPD to provide engineers and designers alike with information on how to better plan their Lighting controls strategy based on seeing too many years of specifications that are just cut and paste jobs based on technology that in many cases is dated but in some extreme cases obsolete.

You could argue, as many do that this approach has worked for us in the past so why can’t we continue with what we know and trust. I accept this as a logical argument, however your market has evolved, as so has the lighting technology. A specification written around a fluorescent lighting product 20 years ago, is no longer valid.

There are many reasons why LED’s benefit from controls and I can cover this in another opinion piece, but the focus should be; how do we optimise lighting, regardless of the technology.

Education is the key and to that end this CPD addresses a number of elements from how one takes the initial client brief to how you validate the technology and the Lighting management company themselves. As with all CPD’s this is intended to educate and provide a frame work to develop your companies approach to specifying Lighting Management systems.

It’s also worth mentioning that the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless technologies has somewhat muddied the waters. In truth these are just tools used to deliver a project and a previous opinion piece from me outlined the challenges of both the IoT and wireless technologies. I am a fan of the technology, but it has to be integrated in the correct manner.

Your specification is key and above all else it should be both up to date and relevant. There is a vast array of technology available today that provides a vast array of opportunities to connect devices to a system, but without a well thought out strategy and the appropriate checks and controls in place then the system may become more of a liability than a solution.

I have some experience in this field and have over the years, lectures on both BSc(Brunel) and MSc (UCL Bartlett) for Lighting, I also founded the Lighting Controls group within the LIA and have launched a few revolutionary Lighting products in the UK and Globally. I was also heavily involved in perhaps the largest DALI project in Europe during the noughties. So hopefully my experience can give you some additional insight in how to specify controls that work and don’t tie you into restrictive contracts for both maintenance and expansion of the system at a later date.

Stewart.B.Langdown MSLL