The introduction of the new LightRules® Emergency Management Solution is a great opportunity to focus on some of the things we think about every day for our customers. Safety. Productivity. Maintenance. Evolving needs. These are critical priorities for our customers and key criteria for the lighting system that supports those businesses. Here are a few thoughts on how high-quality, intelligent lighting can address these areas:
Safety – Excellent lighting is required for a safe facility. No exceptions. Beyond proper light levels day-to-day, emergency lighting is critical in the event that power is lost, providing illumination to guide employees out of the building. Given that there were 42,000 commercial and industrial fires between 2006 and 2010, responsible for nearly $1 billion in damages, having excellent emergency lighting is a key factor in employees getting safely out of dangerous situations. (ref here)
Productivity – High-quality lighting drives productivity in all environments – from commercial and industrial to educational, office, retail and others. Controlling lighting to maximize employee comfort and enhance their ability to do their work translates into significant business benefits – faster time to task completion, fewer accidents, etc. According to Jessica Morris, Digital Lumens’ Director of Application Engineering, “In the majority of our installations, we simultaneously improve light levels, often doubling or tripling foot candle (lux) levels, while drastically reducing energy use. And, adding the controls to optimize lighting system settings to match facility needs.”
Maintenance – Excellent lighting reduces the maintenance burden in any facility, freeing the team to focus time, resources and employees on projects that are business-critical. Beyond eliminating re-lamping and re-ballasting, which are no longer required with LEDs, intelligent, software-driven lighting with automated life safety testing and reporting capabilities eliminates an onerous and time-consuming chore for facility managers. Being able to schedule and execute automated life-safety tests means that facility managers no longer need to perform tests during off hours, block areas of the facility, or otherwise disrupt operations.
Evolving Needs – One truth of every building is that the way a building is used changes over time. Excellent lighting should be able to adapt to the evolving needs of the building, which is where software-based controls are key. The ability to reconfigure groups of lights for changes in cell layout for contract manufacturing, or change light levels for shift work to support employee requests is essential to flexible facility use. Accordingly, LightRules continues to improve, adding more functionality over time, much as the software in your smartphone is updated and improved. And the data from that network is another lens into the operation.
So, if you are considering updating your lighting system, look beyond the simple ‘speeds and feeds’ (light output, LPW, IP rating). Those are important data points, but there are additional factors that determine whether the choice you make now is a great choice for the long term. For example, can the lighting solution you’re considering:
- Give you peace of mind that your employees are safe?
- Enhance employee productivity and operational excellence?
- Reduce preventave maintenance workload?
- Ensure compliance with life-safety codes?
- Adapt to meet your facility’s evolving needs?
Those are considerations that will ensure that you select a platform will meet your organization’s needs now and in the future.