This guide details how to install Advanced Workplace Sensors and seeks to demonstrate the evident savings and simplicity of installing these solutions beyond their functional advantages and benefits.
It does not seek to put any hard figures to these numbers as each stakeholder in the construction industry has its own margins and models to be profitable.
Nonetheless, the detail provided here will enable electrical contractors, builders, property developers and tenants, the ability to run their own calculations and understand the time, labour, materials and maintenance benefits associated with Advanced workplace sensors and to run their own comparative calculations.
Advanced workplace sensors are a new category of commercial building intelligence which replaces wired lighting control systems with wireless-mesh and adds additional functionality across 5 core competencies. Climate, security, utilisation, safety and lighting control.
Yes Advanced Workplace Sensors are a wireless mesh, but there are some wires.
Fundamentally, Advanced Workplace sensors create a constellation of meshed sensors – a digital ceiling if you like – whether or not a traditional ‘suspended- ceiling’ is installed/ being installed or not.
Using the lighting infrastructure is a logical approach to install multiple intelligent building utilities with the plug and play simplicity of connecting a single light point.
Lighting already needs to be installed, and by embedding additional functionality for each light point and also providing lighting controls provides evidence of the basic installation process.
These sensors are typically installed in 3 ways:
- Embedded in lighting fixtures – troffers, linear extrusion – delivered by SAL Commercial to site ready to go.
- Mounted adjacent to lighting fixtures – downlights, architectural fixtures
- Mounted remotely – environmental monitoring and grouped lighting circuit control.
As these light points receive mains power, 240volt, that’s the wiring needed and that has to be installed anyway to power the lighting.
What Functions Will the System Perform?
The final thing to consider before we dive into the simple installation process is to understand what functions the Advanced Workplace Sensor solution is going to provide.
With a range of different functionality deliverable its possible to mix and match sensor hardware and capability to deliver any combination of the functions detailed below.
- Lighting Control only
- Utilisation + Lighting Control
- Utilisation + Tracking + Lighting Control
- Utilisation + Tracking + Environmental + Lighting Control
When designed correctly, all of those services can be activated or deactivated without ever touching the ceiling space again, providing ultimate flexibility and value to meet tenants needs, maximising rental yield opportunities through data transparency and capability.
If one tenant vacates 1 or more office floors and multiple new tenants desire more or less functionality on each floor or space, its simply a matter of updating the system via the unified cloud platform. No need to touch any hardware on site.
Lighting Upgrade, Healthy Building Upgrade, New Build or Retrofit?
The final consideration is understanding the works to be done – that is the type of installation.
Healthy Building Retrofit – No Lighting Upgrade Needed
Consider an existing office space that is not in need of a lighting upgrade but the tenant or building owner/manager has a desire to introduce space utilisation and occupancy capability as well as climate and environmental monitoring with a Dashboard in the lobby for employees to understand the health of their building.
Lighting Upgrade + Beyond Lighting
Or maybe a lighting upgrade that would have been expensive due to re-cabling requirements with older legacy lighting-control-only systems, can now proceed as a result of a significant reduction in wiring, re-use of the existing power circuits and the value beyond just lighting control can be delivered with space occupancy and utilization data, increase in safety and indoor air quality and accurate asset tracking.
The goods news is, using Advanced Workplace Sensors, the installation process is the same for any combination.
3 Main Powered Components
These are the 3 main hardware components required to deliver an Advanced Workplace Sensor solution.
This is a tool-less installation process
Luminaire Embedded or Adjacent Mount Sensor
DALI2 drivers now provide an additional output from which the Advanced workplace sensor embedded in the luminaire is powered by.
These ‘Euclid’ sensors provide full lighting control capability (motion, light level, scheduling), utilisation, and tracking capability.
Luminaires are provided to site with the sensor pre-mounted.
The electrical contractor provides 240volt power for each lighting point, as they already do – whether that is structured cabling or otherwise – and the provided remote mount driver is plugged into 240v with 2 plug-in-connections from the driver – 1 for the fixture and 1 for the sensor.
Adjacent mount is identical with the exception that the luminaire does not have the sensor embedded and the electrical contractor needs to mount the sensor either through the ceiling tile, from a catenary system or booker rod suspension – it’s their choice.
The same DALI2 driver setup is provided, needing just 240v and the 2 connections so no separate power supply to the adjacent sensor is needed.
Remote Mount Sensor
These sensors provide full environmental monitoring, tracking, utilisation and lighting control. The installation process for adding lighting control has an additional step.
The remote mount, ‘Hilbert’ sensor is provided with a 240v ‘driver-like’ (the LaPlace) plug pack with a flex and plug. The contractor plugs this into their 240v rail and connects the sensor through a CAT5/6 patch-cable which is plug and play via RJ12 connections on each end of the patch providing 12V DC SELV output power to the attached sensor.
If the remote sensor was not controlling lighting, that would complete the installation and provide full environmental monitoring capability, utilisation and tracking from that device.
For lighting control, a single DALI driver is connected to the DALI output on the LaPlace, or alternatively a circuit of lighting being switched on/off up to 500watts can be connected directly, whereby the LaPlace manages the load control of that connected circuit.
Up to 4 LaPlace devices can be interconnected to each other so that a single remote Hilbert can control up to 4 DALI drivers and/or up to 2000watts of lighting depending on the in-rush.
This interconnection is done with CAT5/6 patch cables no longer than 50 metres.
Gateways provide edge compute power and a persistent bi-directional connection to the cloud platform for real-time control and data collection.
The quantity and location of the Gateway depend on how many embedded, adjacent and remote sensors are installed and what operating parameters they are providing.
Gateways require 2 things to operate – Power and Ethernet. The contractors run a 240v feed and an Ethernet feed to their mounting locations.
Essentially just as the electrical contractor would do when installing WAP’s for office connectivity.
Typically these are installed in the ceiling space in the NLA, but they can be rack installed as they also provide additional connections to serial and USB if data export and integration is needed through a method other than IP.
Depending on the applications – say a new build with an ICN or a single tenancy in an existing installation, what the Ethernet connections are connected to are different.
In some cases this has been permanent 4G modems mounted in comms cabinets as tenants did not want to connect to the buildings ethernet infrastructure.
Compare the Savings
Now compare that to installing any lighting control system with distribution boards full of equipment, bus cabling between all devices, bus cabling between all luminaires.
Tool-less installation of luminaires with embedded sensors, no bus cabling between luminaires, primarily 240volt cabling that has to be installed anyway to power the lighting and the whole system meshed together through basic gateway installation.
“Nothing Beats a Piece of Copper” is B.S. today for Communication.
Wireless communication provided by Wirepas provides massive I.o.T scalability beyond what has been available to date. From 16million to 4billion devices in a network with 99.99% guaranteed operation of device constellation greater than 100,000
When considering even a very large office building, it is highly unlikely you would approach 100,000 individually controllable light points as just 1 example of where these solutions provide an order of magnitude labour and time benefit.
Looking at these solutions holistically, costs and savings is only 1 small part of an evaluation. The value of the data, insights, maintenance and flexibility are all advantages of the installation in addition to what will be evident as significant savings and necessary to create healthier, more intelligent buildings.