A comprehensive lighting control system at the recently-opened Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College in London has increased energy efficiency and allowed the maintenance team to monitor and change the lighting using just a smartphone.
The 10th and newest engineering department at the Imperial College in London was established thanks to a £12 million donation from the James Dyson Foundation.
Opened by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and inventor and industrial designer Sir James Dyson in 2015, the school was launched to help the next generation of much-needed graduate engineers and technology leaders.
BEG Lighting Controls was selected by the university to provide a user-friendly system which could be maintained by its maintenance department and meet the lighting control standards required by the research university.
The lighting controls manufacturer worked with mechanical and electrical consultants, Buro Happold, who were tasked with overseeing the project and ensuring that the system achieved the best solution for the building.
Imperial College’s main criteria was that the project had to result in energy cost savings for the various areas of the Dyson School department and take advantage of any natural daylight.
This included the teaching rooms, laboratories, offices, corridors, stairwells, toilets and store rooms. BEG Lighting Controls and Buro Happold worked on the layout of the lighting as well as the level of light and type of control required for these areas.
Tom Greenrod, specification director at BEG Lighting Controls, said: ‘The design brief from the Imperial College London meant we had to carefully specify lighting controls products for each area which differed greatly from room to room so this was by no means a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
‘It was imperative that the lighting was mostly switched on in the offices and teaching rooms during working hours and that it could be controlled to reduce lighting levels when the natural daylight was brighter. For the laboratories, we used DALI photocells instead of occupancy sensors.
‘Areas such as the corridors, stairwell, toilets and store rooms did not need to be fully lit and lighting only need to be switched on once our occupancy sensors sensed there was a person or persons in the room.
‘It is in these areas, naturally, that the most energy consumption could be saved so it was vitally important we selected the right products for these areas.
Due to the extensive range of BEG DALI broadcast occupancy sensors we have available, we were able to offer a suitable sensor for all sections of the building.’
The luminaires selected on the project were DALI dimmable and daylight harvesting was to be achieved mainly for the light fittings adjacent to the windows.
For these areas, the BEG DAA4G occupancy sensor was chosen as this unit could be programmed so that the window luminaires were dimmed by 25 per cent to the main room.
If the photocell detected any change in the level of natural daylight then all luminaires would adjust accordingly.
This sensor was specifically used in the teaching rooms, where up to four lighting zones could be set, including the whiteboard and up to three zones for the classroom.
A two-gang retractive switch would control the whiteboard and the main classroom lights. Programming of the sensor was achieved using a smart phone with the BEG Lighting Controls app and Infra-Red adaptor. This app also allows remote programming of all of the DALI sensors used on the project.
The only mains fitting on the project was a feature chandelier in the main stairwell. ‘This needed to be controlled by occupancy sensors together with the DALI luminaires,’ said Greenrod.
‘We solved this by using the sensor with a DALI and switching output. This sensor was also used in the toilet areas where the lighting and the extraction fans required occupancy control.
‘The DALI would control the luminaires and monitor any natural daylight whereas the fan was controlled independently and worked on occupancy detection only.
‘A feature of the DALI master detector is the orientation setting where the lights can be set to 20 per cent once an area is unoccupied.
‘This function was used in the circulation areas so that some illumination was provided at all times which was considered to be a useful comfort and safety feature.’
In laboratories, occupancy sensors were not required as ICL wanted to avoid the possibility of lights turning off which could be considered unsafe depending on the type of experimental work being carried out.
In these rooms, the BEG DALI photocell was used to control the window row of luminaires to provide some level of energy saving.
Greenrod added: ‘Once ICL appointed the electrical sub-contractor, BEG Lighting Controls was happy to provide technical support by attending site meetings prior to first fixing to ensure that the wiring philosophy was understood for each type of DALI sensor to be used on the project.
‘The main considerations were whether the sensor needed to be in presence or absence mode, if manual switching was required and the wiring of master and slave sensors.
These meetings ensured that a smooth trouble-free installation was achieved.
'Once the all the sensors had been installed, BEG Lighting Controls was on site to provide a commissioning certificate.
'We also gave sensor programming training to the University’s maintenance team who were a pleasure to deal with.’