Sustainable and energy efficient technologies are now part and parcel of commercial building design. With this in mind, we examine the latest lighting, power energy management options for commercial buildings.
Across all types of commercial settings – from retail outlets, hospitality centres, and sports facilities to community buildings, medical structures, churches, and educational institutions – the demand to reduce energy consumption and cut carbon emissions is a constant.
Though this efficiency imperative can be challenging, the good news for architects and designers is that the technology at their disposal is up to the task. There is an ever-increasing number of solar, battery, lighting, power control and other green energy management options available to help them. Here is a rundown of the key suppliers in this space and their latest offerings.
Digilin – the Positouch lighting control system
The Positouch lighting control system is designed and manufactured by Digilin, a Brisbane-based maker of innovative lighting and control products known for their performance, reliability, and efficiency.
Intuitive and user-friendly, Positouch ensures the lighting within commercial buildings is flexible. It can be programmed by each occupant, on a space-by-space basis, to suit specific lighting requirements. For example, some tenants may choose ambient lighting from 7am-7pm, while others may be more specific, and specify how different areas on their floor are illuminated at any given time throughout the day.
Using Positouch, they can put unused areas onto pre-set low light modes, dim each area individually, or turn their lights off completely – all from one control panel. The presence of this single, easy-to-use interface is important. It means users are more likely to take advantage of this functionality; and therefore, to reduce unneeded lighting and save power.
Unlike most other lighting control systems, the Positouch does not require third-party programming or specialty knowledge. It can either be pre-programmed by Digilin before being sent to site for ‘plug and play’ installation, or user configured via USB connection and simple software. Each of its six buttons is capable of initiating DALI commands through long-press, short press, and tap-and-release inputs.
Corporate Initiatives – services for digital display technology
The industry applications of LED and digital display technology are many. They range from airports, racetracks, and educational facilities to reception areas, shopping centres, stadiums, and civic theatres.
The displays themselves (what you and I see and interact with when visiting such places) cannot be classified as products. Rather they are nearly always combinations of products (LED matrix screens, LED lighting, etc.), as well as the skill and expertise necessary to put them to use and have them function as planned.
Whether the application in question involves a digital artwork display, the manipulation of light for wellness purposes, sensor activated interactivity, or touch interactivity, the functioning of this sophisticated technology requires control and specialist programming skills.
Digital displays require the services of an organisation like Corporate Initiatives. Equipped to provide the right combination of skill and support for each individual project (and the corresponding hardware associated with that project), the company takes a brand agnostic approach to its work.
As such, it counts some of the most technically demanding LED displays in Australia – including the MCG/Etihad perimeter/parapet LED, the see-through Emporium media façade, the giant Yagan Square LED Cylinder, the Northbridge Outdoor Cinema, and Telstra’s Crystal LED Melbourne theatre – amongst its successful projects.
Corporate Initiatives’ areas of expertise include Motion Art Content, LED Concept Development Assistance, LCD Videowall Installation, IPTV Video Networks, Interactivity, and Screen Commerce Functionality.
Skydome – Dayray
Within office settings there is a new emphasis on maximising the use of natural light and, in so doing, reducing the need for artificial lighting and its associated costs. Though this can be achieved in several ways, in some offices (or spaces within offices) not even conventional skylights or tubes are able to provide adequate light.
In such cases, Hybrid Solar Lighting Devices (HSLD) is sometimes a solution. An example is Skydome’s Dayray, which uses solar energy harvested via solar panels on the roof to power daylight simulator LED arrays on the office ceiling.
Incorporating a German designed monocrystalline solar panel (the Skypanel Evolution 2 Solar Panel) and a state-of-the-art LED Vividday luminaire, Skydome distributes light evenly around the room. The luminaire is a compact, recessed fitting that delivers more than 2300 lumens. (This compares to a typical 100-watt incandescent bulb, which delivers about 1600 lumens).
An easy to install, plug and play device, Dayray can be fitted to all types of roofs. The luminaires are available in round or square designs and rather than providing an obviously artificial light, they actually mimic the functioning of skylights. For example, the light fluctuates as clouds pass above.
They can be installed without structural alterations and they operate without any heat loss/gain. Therefore, they reduce heat load on the building.
Aglo Systems – Mondolux Mons-C Trunking System
Given that they use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional light globes for the same light output, LED lights represent an environmentally sound investment for a range of commercial applications.
LED linear trunking systems, which include continuous rows of LED modules, are particularly suitable for applications like retail aisles. They deliver sleek, modern line of continuous, energy efficient illumination.
The Mondolux Mons-C Trunking System, available from Aglo Systems, is an all-in-one system that offers five, seven, or 11 wires with a phase selection trunking rail, interchangeable LED module, and lens optic supplied together. Whether surface mounted or suspended, it is easily installed, versatile and enables a three-circuit track to be integrated to mount spotlights.
Compared to fluorescent battens positioned end-to-end, this trunking system is compact and delivers a uniform and continuous illumination. The fact that each section interlinks to the next seamlessly makes this possible.
The use of the Mondolux Mons-C Trunking System at the IGA store in Georges Hall, NSW highlights its suitability for retail applications. As the retail chain’s flagship store, it already had high quality lighting installed. However, its owner (Metcash) wanted to explore the latest technology available. Aglo proposed the Mondolux Mons-C LED trunking system.
To conduct the trial, and to provide a distinct comparison to the traditional 5000K T5 fluorescent luminaires in adjacent aisles, the LED trunking in 4000K was installed in one aisle only. The result was noticeably different, and as a result, Metcash decided to use the site as an example of best practice. It is used to show potential franchisees how to best handle their lighting needs.
Trend Lighting – the XSR range
More and more commercial sites are moving away from traditional T-Bar ceilings. With its industrial appearance, exposed concrete with is becoming both a style choice and a cost saving measure.
This can have implications in terms of lighting. The versatility of Trend Lighting’s XSR range is that lighting quality and style can be consistent regardless of ceiling type or mounting height. The range provides architects and designers the versatility they require to design usable commercial spaces that feel larger, and at the same cut costs.
Designed and developed in Australia to meet the requirements of modern commercial applications, the XSR range combines quality, performance and value in a versatile product that can be configured to suit a range of applications.
Fashion retailer Institchu bridges the gap between old world tailoring traditions and the modern digital retail landscape. Their 2020 revamp of their head office in Sydney’s CBD saw them use a mix of XSR luminaires.
Institchu staff are constantly working with textiles where colour and consistency matters, so ensuring a high quality of light was of utmost importance. Being able to colour-check a Grimsby Navy Pinstripe or a Barbados Light Purple is made even easier under a high CRI luminaire.
For this reason, Trend lighting recommended the XSR range, which has a great colour rendering of 90+ CRI. Available in surface mounted or suspended options, the XSR range was used in both configurations throughout the Institchu meeting rooms and offices. The result was an unqualified success. The lights chosen are designed to be stylish and to blend well within the office, while providing a good environment for the team to view fabrics and sample products.