Questions to ask if you're going wireless in lighting


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Whether you are connecting to Bluetooth headphones, sending a text message, or opening a garage door, you are already familiar with the benefits of wireless technologies. While most of us readily adopt and benefit from wireless technologies in our personal lives, fully embracing wireless solutions in business can be daunting and complicated. As you consider going wireless with systems like Luminaire Level Lighting Controls, it's important to ask yourself a range of questions and understand whether wireless technology can work as well for your business as it does for your personal life.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Following Questions

Everyone understands the value of comparison shopping, but getting an apples-to-apples comparison with networked lighting systems can be tricky. Potential system owners and facility operators can use the following outline to document their own system needs—and better understand the capabilities of competing products.

  • Does this system require a gateway for desired capabilities?
  • Does this system offer configuration with an app-based device?
  • If the system is based on an open protocol, is it developed on the latest standard?
  • Will multiple users be able to access and maintain the system on multiple devices?
  • What is the rated battery life for the wireless devices and does the system offer low-battery alerts?
  • What capabilities are available remotely and which are limited to onsite?

Are you ready for wireless?

It’s not unusual for the wired or wireless decision to be determined by a single individual’s input during a single meeting. The ramifications of wired vs. wireless are significant, so businesses thinking about purchasing a new lighting system should proactively align on their needs and potential concerns for manufacturers’ reps to address. Capital planning managers, facility operators, and IT professionals should work together to consider the following questions:

  • What specifically (if any) are your concerns with wireless?
  • Do you anticipate the likelihood of spaces being reconfigured with different lighting zones (i.e., value in future system flexibility)?
  • Do you need wireless capabilities beyond room-based systems?
  • What is your team’s preference for maintaining a system based on wireless protocols (e.g., remote control, app-based device, push ‘n connect)?

Cyber What?

Don’t let the tail wag the dog! Owners’ representatives need to ensure their IT professionals are at the table to document security requirements and system performance expectations before product specification occurs. IT professionals should consider and document the following questions:

  • Should building control networks be physically separate from the corporate LANs?
  • What cybersecurity credentials or certificates do you require?
  • What levels of user-based security are appropriate for your facility?
  • What requirements are in place for other platforms connected to the building management system?
To learn more, read our wireless learning guide, which can help with facilitating the conversation between building owners, developers, lighting designers, and the broader lighting supply chain. Wireless lighting systems need to be reliable by nature, secure by design, and compatible by scale. To achieve that reality, wireless technology must be understood in a way that eliminates confusion and helps drive alignment.
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