Key Concepts

Lighting Control Sensor Concepts

Sensor-based automated control makes lighting simple for people using rooms and spaces. By making smart use of your lighting resource, sensor-based control contributes to meeting building performance and environmental targets.

Sensors are most often used to control lighting depending on room occupancy and levels of ambient light (light already present before any additional lighting is added).  This ensures the appropriate level of light is provided at the right time for the expected user experience, and contributes to energy savings. 

As part of a Helvar lighting control solution, lighting control sensors automatically control lighting using three main methods:

ABSENCE DETECTION   |   PRESENCE DETECTION   |   CONSTANT LIGHT (FOR DAYLIGHT HARVESTING)  
 



ABSENCE DETECTIO N

Where people want to control the lights manually but want to make sure the lights are not left on when a room or space is not in use, absence detection is used.


absence-detection.png

Control process:

  1. When someone enters an unlit room, they turn the lights on manually.
  2. If nobody is in the room, lights are dimmed then switched off after a pre-determined time.


Benefits:

  • WELLBEING AND CONVENIENCE: People can manually adjust the lights to their particular needs and preferences.
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: Lights switched on only when needed
  • ENERGY SAVINGS AND PEACE OF MIND: Lights switched off automatically when not needed
  • INTELLIGENT CONTROL: Timeouts and lighting levels programmable to meet the application's requirements


Absence detection is often used in

  • CLASSROOMS — an example: 

When the teacher arrives for the first class of the morning, they turn the lights on manually.  During the lesson, the teacher adjusts the lights to suit different activities, including bright cool white light for a test. After class, the last person out forgets to turn the lights off.  5 minutes later, as the sensor detects that nobody is there, the lights are dimmed low, and two minutes later, the lights are turned off automatically.  Twenty minutes later, the teacher returns to the room to collect a book from the front desk. The sensor, set to absence detection, does not turn the lights on. There is enough light from the corridor and windows, so there is no need to switch the classroom lights on again.

  • MEETING ROOMS — an example: 

    The first person to arrive turns on the lights.  Shortly after the start of the meeting, a presentation is given. One press of a button dims most lights and lowers the blinds. To begin the question and answer session, the presenter presses a button to turn the lights back up and raise the blinds. Later someone manually adjusts the blinds and the lights.

    As people leave after the meeting, nobody turns the lights off.  8 minutes later, as the sensor has detected no movement in the room, the lights are dimmed, and 3 minutes later, the lights go off, and the control system  ensures the blinds are fully raised, to allow in as much daylight as possible.

    With the lights off, people can see, through the window in the meeting room door, that the room is ready and available for the next meeting.

  • OFFICES

  • HOTEL ROOMS


CONTROL PROCESS STEP-THROUGH
Absence detection in a classroom (click the image to open)

absence-detection-infograph.png


Absence detection can be implemented with PIR and microwave sensors. 
      Detection technologies: MORE INFORMATION
      Helvar PIR motion sensors:PRODUCT PAGES
      Helvar microwave motion sensors: PRODUCT PAGES
 



PRESENCE DETECTION

Where people want the lights to come on automatically when they enter a room, and want to make sure the lights are turned off when a room or space is not in use, presence detection is used.


presence-detection-002.png

Control process:

  1. Lights are turned on automatically when someone enters the room.
  2. If nobody is in the room, lights are dimmed then turned off after a pre-determined time.


Benefits:

  • WELLBEING AND CONVENIENCE: Lights switched on automatically
  • SAFETY: Ensure safe levels of lighting in corridors and stairwells whenever someone is there
  • HYGIENE AND SAFETY: No need for staff (e.g. medical staff, cleaners, kitchen staff, production workers) to touch button panels.
  • EASE OF USE: Fully automatic lighting control
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: Lights switched on only when people in the room
  • ENERGY SAVINGS AND PEACE OF MIND: Lights turned off automatically when not needed
  • INTELLIGENT CONTROL: Timeouts and lighting levels programmable to meet the application's requirements

 

Presence detection is often used in

  • OPEN-PLAN OFFICES — an example: 

When the first person arrives early in the morning, the office kitchen lights come on automatically, and so do the lights in the main aisle of the open plan office.  When they've made themselves a drink, they go to their desk, and the lights come on automatically in all the zones they walk through, up to and including their desk area.  As other people arrive at their desks, all the lights in the open-plan office come on.  At the end of the working day, one person is still working at the far end of the office. The lights in the zone around their desk are on, and the lights in the main aisle of the office and in all exit corridors are on, so that anyone still in the office has a well-lit work area and feels safe.  This is an example of presence detection with multiple sensors working together with a feature called 'corridor hold'.

  • STORAGE ROOMS — an example: 

When you open the door to enter the storage room, the lights come on immediately. Without having to find a light switch, it is easy to store or find what you need. Then, when you leave the room, 90 seconds later the lights in the storage room go off automatically. The room is simple to use and you know the lights will not be left on overnight or over the weekend or for longer.

  • CORRIDORS
     
  • STAIRWELLS
     
  • TOILETS
     
  • CIRCULATION AREAS
     
  • KITCHEN AND COFFEE BREAK AREAS

 

CONTROL PROCESS STEP-THROUGH
Presence detection (and absence detection) for security checks in an office building:

presence-detection-infograph.png


Presence detection can be implemented with PIR and microwave sensors.  
      Detection technologies: MORE INFORMATION
      Helvar PIR motion sensors: PRODUCT PAGES
      Helvar microwave motion sensors: PRODUCT PAGES
 



CONSTANT LIGHT (FOR DAYLIGHT HARVESTING)

Modern buildings are expected to maximise use of natural daylight, for people's comfort and wellbeing and to save energy. Daylight Harvesting is often used in rooms and spaces where natural daylight can provide some or all of the light required, and where the electric lights can be adjusted in response to varying ambient light levels.

Helvar's multisensors monitor ambient light levels and via constant light control, adjust electric lighting to maintain the appropriate light level required in the room. In some buildings, the lights and blinds inside are controlled based on readings from a Helvar light sensor outside the building, for example to keep rooms cool in hot sunny locations.
 

daylight-detection.png

Benefits:

  • WELLBEING AND CONVENIENCE: The required level of light is maintained automatically
  • EASE OF USE: Fully automatic lighting control to maintain target light level
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: Electric lights dimmed as natural daylight levels increase
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: Combine with absence and/or presence detection to optimise energy savings
  • INTELLIGENT CONTROL: The rate of light adjustment can be precisely set to meet the application's requirements
  • INTELLIGENT CONTROL: Apply different offsets to various groups/zones of lights to maintain similar light levels throughout a room or space


Constant light is often used in 

  • CLASSROOMS — an example: 

When the teacher arrives for the first class of the morning, they turn the lights on manually.  It is a sunny day, and the light coming in through the windows is almost enough to light the classroom.  The multisensor light level readings enable the lighting control system to dim the electric lights down to a minimum. At lunchtime, the lights are switched off. Late in the afternoon, the lights are switched back on again. As it is quite dark outside, the lighting control system turns the lights up to provide the correct light level for the class, and is it gets darker outside, the lights are gradually turned up to maximum.  This change is so gradual that nobody notices. After the lesson, the mulitsensor detects that nobody is there, and the lights are dimmed low, and two minutes later, the lights are turned off automatically. 

  • OFFICES
     
  • HOSPITAL TREATMENT ROOMS
     
  • EXTERNAL LINKING CORRIDORS
     
  • SPACES WITH SKYLIGHTS or transparet roofs such as in studios and museums


CONTROL PROCESS STEP-THROUGH
Automatic balancing of natural and electric light

constant light-infograph.png

Daylight harvesting can be implemented with light sensors. 
      Detection technologies: MORE INFORMATION
      Helvar multisensor products: PRODUCT PAGES

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