Connected Emergency Lighting – Safety and Security in Controls and Emergency Lighting
Having emergency lighting, just to meet code and just to code, is not enough.
The world is starting to take notice of the importance of emergency lighting. The traditional rudimentary procedures to test and report emergency lighting diagnostics is manual, burdensome and inefficient.
But no more.
The days of maintenance or operations personnel walking the facilities, manually pressing a button to ensure the proper function of emergency lighting is already replaced with advanced luminaires. Now there is the opportunity, as with many other devices, to become part of a larger, connected IoT ecosystem providing users with streamlined testing and automatic reporting. More importantly, there is an opportunity to improve functionality in emergency lighting to ensure greater safety and security in the rare times that we need to use the system.
Starting at the emergency luminaire, advanced processing features are necessary to enable monthly and annual diagnostic tests and reports, to various specifications. Couple that with wireless (BLE Mesh) or wired (DALI) systems, or even a combination of both, allows you to log those reports in your central database. Connecting to a network also allows the end user to schedule tests in a time that will not interfere with daily operations and allows you to pull real time diagnostics. Utilizing the right driver will allow you to pull power consumption, temperature readings and various other data. It is possible to predict failures before they happen, not react to after they happen.
Adding another layer of intelligence and functionality could be easily done with the use of sensors. Currently emergency lighting is a ‘dumb’ system, meaning that it is off, unless it is on; there is no intelligence to the system. Adding simple sensors and apps changes that. With heat sensors, the location of a fire is easily identified. In the US, with sound sensors, we can pinpoint the exact location of an active shooter (unfortunately, we must consider such circumstances). Add occupancy sensors to either above examples allow first responders to know the location of people needing evacuated. Further adding intelligence to the data gathered with the sensors allows the system to also reroute people in an evacuation. You don’t want the exit sign to illuminate if it leads you directly into the fire.
This presentation will explore the progression of emergency lighting products from today’s product, to the addition of functionality and connectivity. I will explore and discuss considerations for the person or organization that is specifying and deploying emergency lighting that will make the economics of system more attractive when integrated into the full lighting next work. We will open the eyes of the audience on emergency lighting today and where it could be with convergence in other systems. We will use actual use cases, scientific data and market research for a fact base discussion.