Tue, 4 February 2020

Let's shed some light on HCL - Human Centric Lighting - and home automation

In a service of the tertiary sector, lighting plays a very important role; first it must meet the basic visual requirements within the building, ensure correct illuminance of the workstations and avoid glare. Lighting is also used to enhance the building's internal and external architectural features. However, light also has emotional and biological effects and the most recent studies show that lighting has an impact on people's mood and health with particular resonance on emotions, well-being and productivity in the workplace. This could be quite understood if we think about the effects of the reduction of light hours during the winter: periods of biological darkness for most of the day near the change of season are associated with lack of energy, bad mood and irritability. This is because light has always been a regulator of the internal clock of living beings.

Studies have found that the natural colour of daylight stimulates the production of melatonin and serotonin that regulate physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow an hourly cycle of about 24 hours, responding primarily to moments of light and darkness of a person or their circadian rhythm. Human Centric Lighting (HCL), starts from this aspect and puts people at the centre of the building lighting project. The aim is to get as close as possible to the effects of natural light indoors as well, integrating it as required with artificial light of appropriate intensity and colour. The natural circadian rhythm of a person can be supported by using warmer (relaxing) light with lower intensity in the morning and evening and cooler (energizing) light during a typical working day. So basically, by controlling the lighting inside our buildings we can create a tailor-made lighting solution for a human being even during winter and anywhere in the world. Translating the HCL principle into a real lighting system for the tertiary sector is now possible and convenient, thanks to the availability of light sources adjustable in intensity and colour, such as the latest generation LEDs, and control devices for building automation. In this way, artificial light best supports the biological rhythm of those who spend the entire day inside buildings, improves their well-being and health and promotes concentration at work.

What is lighting control?

The term lighting control is often used to describe autonomous lighting control within a space. An automatic lighting control system is an intelligent network-based solution that incorporates communication between the various input and output modules using central devices to calculate and manage variables. These devices can include relays, presence sensors, switches or touch screens and signals from other systems in the building, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The system is controlled from both local devices and the central system via software programs or other interface devices. Lighting control systems are already widely used today in both indoor and outdoor commercial space lighting to provide the right amount of light where and when it is needed. In addition, this type of system is often used to maximize energy savings in accordance with recent building regulations to reduce emissions and consumption in buildings.

Lighting control standards

One of the most popular standards available on the market today for lighting control is the DALI standard. First drafted as a standard in 2000, DALI is a data protocol and transmission mechanism that was jointly developed and specified by several producers of luminaires. DALI lamps are intelligent, 100% dimmable and can all be controlled and monitored using the IEC 62386 communication protocol: standard, open and universally recognised. DALI has recently updated its standard to offer greater support for light colour control, covering both RGB and colour temperature. This gives architects many more options on how to control the heat of light in each room of a building using DALI luminaires. Using an effective lighting control system, it is possible to create spaces with multiple uses and functions. Automatic dimming and colour control can be used to change the atmosphere of a room and the dynamics of a zone or group of zones according to purpose, time of day, outdoor daylight, occupancy use or other factors. Such controls can also significantly reduce the energy consumption of the lighting system.

DALI - KNX Gateway Ekinex


Device working as a gateway (protocol conversion) between a DALI network and a KNX (TP) network. Mounting in distribution board on EN 60715 rail (2 modular units, each 18 mm). To be used in KNX installations for home and building automation.

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