Lighting Controls, News, Office

Cloud-based control project is a first

FM Conway's new 40,000 square-feet Kent offices aim to harvest daylight

One of the UK’s first cloud-based lighting control installations has been commissioned.

The project – at the Kent offices of infrastructure services company FM Conway – includes occupancy heat mapping, emergency self-test reporting, energy monitoring and reporting across each luminaire. 

The lighting can also provide insight into how the building is used by its occupants, validating the energy savings and giving quantitate data around availability and uptime.

The location is a 40,000-square-feet 1960s building in Kent, which will house FM Conway’s 250 staff.

The firm was initially keen on occupancy and daylight harvesting, but the benefits of a full wireless, cloud-based system meant it could additionally have occupancy heat mapping, emergency self test reporting and energy monitoring and reporting across each luminaire. A wireless network also meant that the data gathering could be delivered without the cost and disruption of control wiring.

There are over 800 luminaires in the network, each connected via a 868Mhz wireless protocol. There are no head end servers or PCs; rather, each luminaire is integrated with a wireless node, a PIR and on each emergency unit, a self-test driver. 

With each fitting having its own profile as part of the lighting scheme, whether as a standalone fitting or part of a group or groups, the lighting controls are resilient and persistent and unlike Zigbee, not reliant on a complicated RF mesh which has problems of scalability as for many other wireless lighting control platforms.

Kent-based business 8point3 supplied and installed the connected lighting system, including the luminaires. It also manages the ongoing provision of data and reporting. The firm says the connected system provided a better return of investment than the supply and installation of switched LED units.

The project has a three-year payback with savings of over 80 per cent from legacy T8 fittings (361,691 kW per year) with a carbon emissions reduction of over 160 tonnes per year. Year one savings are £40,000.

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