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Nov 1, 2014 - Building

Light Made to Order

The innovative lighting control system creates a pleasant atmosphere, a sense of well-being and reduces costs.

Bright light is yesterday's news. Today, lighting concepts in offices and factories have to improve energy efficiency, imitate daylight and set the mood in different building areas. Even complex demands for modern lighting can be implemented by using DALI and DMX solutions from WAGO in combination with the controllers and I/O modules from the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM.

The scientists have spoken: people who constantly work under monotone, artificial light without access to actual daylight get sick more often. This problem was recently tackled in the University Hospital in Odense, Denmark. In order to improve lighting in the underground radiology departments, a new lighting system was installed. It simulates daylight by adjusting color temperatures to mimic those of natural sunlight. The effect: employees and patients feel substantially better.

Sunset in the Basement

The core of the new hospital lighting system consists of energysaving LED lights from the Danish company I-NO and an innovative lighting controller from WAGO. The color rhythm desired for the hospital's basement department is stored in a 750-880 Programmable ETHERNET Fieldbus Controller from the WAGO-I/-SYSTEM 750. The fieldbus controller communicates with the LED ballasts via the 753-647 DALI Master, a very flexible digital interface that conforms to IEC 62386 standards. During the day, a cool color temperature of 5500K prevails; sunsets are simulated in the evenings. Late in the afternoon, the light gently drops to 3000K to help personnel wind down for the day.

The most interesting fact about the lighting design in Odense is that it is among the very first to transition to the new DALI Color standard. DALI Color supplements the DALI protocol by incorporating information about the color and color temperature to simplify the use of dynamic lighting. “Not all current DALI systems control RGB color management. We have already implemented the most recent standards into our technology,” explains Karl-Heinz Sanders, a WAGO Building Automation expert.

As with the Odense Hopsital’s new lighting scheme, configuring a total of 45 LED fixtures through the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM via the DALI Master proved to be quite straightforward. After electrical installation, the DALI Configurator helped identify the LEDs within minutes; the LEDs were then addressed and assigned to specific groups that can be individually controlled. After input from the personnel, the user interface and the color rhythm were programmed into the fieldbus controller using the open-source CODESYS software. Due to the integrated web server, any Internet browser can be used to access the interface from anywhere in order to configure or maintain the DALI network.

The most important automation processes can even be controlled and monitored from a smartphone or tablet by using WAGO's WebVisu app. “Websites generated using CODESYS can be accessed at anytime with the app. This allows us to check the system status or directly intervene in ongoing processes, either on site or on the go,” explains Sanders. WAGO's WebVisu app is available for iPhone and iPad from Apple's App Store at no charge. An additional version for Android-based smartphones and tables can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free.

Auto Manufacturer with an Efficient Lighting Design

Whereas the WAGO lighting technology helps improve the moods of employees and patients in the Odense Hospital, it reduces costs in manufacturing facilities. At BMW's production facilities, for example, the lights were unnecessarily bright because only then could they verify that the lights satisfied predefined values during scheduled maintenance. WAGO reduced energy consumption at BMW by integrating natural light and movement sensors into the lighting design, as well as intelligent control of the lighting management system. Light values in the halls are now automatically adjusted, the location of a defective light is pinpointed and operating hour counters are reset after replacement.

The foundation for this system is formed by the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 ETHERNET Controllers, which are installed in control cabinets in the production facilities with I/O modules for DALI and EnOcean, as well as standard analog/digital inputs and outputs. Although incredibly high tech, the electricians had no trouble during commissioning. Unlike previous light distributors, the area-oriented software in the WAGO controller could e easily tailored to BMW's specific requirements using an Internet browser.

500 LEDs in Concert

Using DALI brought other advantages — one DALI Master can control a strand of up to 64 devices. The devices can also be united into groups and controlled as virtual spaces using an on-screen WAGO web visualization. This enables adjustments to the lights with a few mouse clicks, for example, if the hall needs to be repurposed for a different function. This allows BMW to save on engineering costs, while reducing energy consumption.

For the same reason, the home improvement chain, toom, relies on WAGO automation technology. By 2022, the company plans to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from their 360 German stores to half of what they were in 2006. At the home improvement store in Nieder-Olm, toom took its first steps toward a greener future: the company installed a 189 kW photovoltaic system on the roof. Sunlight does not just generate electricity; the nine WAGO 750-880 Fieldbus Controllers also account for sunlight levels while controlling the DALI lighting. Twelve domed skylights, which cover 20 % of the sales floor space, are distributed across 5500 m2 of the roof. Depending on the levels of sunlight, 500 individually controllable DALI lighting fixtures can vary their lighting levels to emit more or less light. This conserves up to 30 % of the electrical energy normally consumed, while creating a welcoming atmosphere.

However, a modern lighting controller must be able to do more than simply manage the lights in an energy-efficient manner and create a sense of well-being for occupants. As part of the widespread adoption of LED lighting technology, an important trend has developed for dynamically lighting showrooms and sales areas, as well as creating dazzling light and color displays in prestigious buildings, hotels and convention centers. And DMX (Digital Multiplex) solutions have been developed to suit these complex applications. This digital control protocol enables an extremely fast serial data transmission at a data rate of 250 kbits/s.

WAGO has a solution to fit this need: using a 750-652 RS-232/RS-485 Interface, DMX can be incorporated as easily into the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 as the DALI Master. “DMX enables faster communication than DALI. This speed allows it to fully display its strengths in the realm of RGB color control, for example, when illuminating facades,” explains Sanders, an expert at WAGO. Although lighting management is becoming increasingly complex, WAGO has — and will continue — to adapt to growing demands.

Text: Karl-Heinz Sanders, WAGO
Photo: toom home improvement center,
Sven Hofmann/vor-ort-foto.de, WAGO

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