What to look for in lighting controls, shading and building systems in 2018, according to Legrand

by Brianna Crandall — February 9, 2018 — The start of every New Year is a time for building owners and managers to make improvements or upgrades they’ve been considering for weeks, months, or maybe even since last New Year, points out Legrand, a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. In 2017, lighting controls, shading, and building systems technologies made great strides in areas of human-centric lighting (HCL), user experience, mobility, integrated shading and lighting, and more, says the company.

With 2018 as a fresh start, many spaces from classroom to conference room can benefit from the latest solutions designed by Legrand’s Building Control Systems (BCS) division, comprised of QMotion, Solarfective, Vantage Controls, and Wattstopper products, to make sure their resolutions are realized, says the company.

Precise command of lighting — both artificial and natural — in spaces is a critical function that can drastically improve the efficiency, comfort, and desirability of a building.

Legrand lists below its view of the biggest trends in shading and lighting controls from 2017, which the company says come to greater realization this year. Legrand also lists products that the company feels FMs, building owners and specifiers can use to align their buildings with these trends.

Digital lighting advancements — Last year, major developments in advanced digital lighting capabilities such as human-centric lighting (HCL) and wireless lighting controls were announced. In 2017, HCL solutions were introduced from Legrand with the promise to make it simpler to control lighting, including dynamic white and color temperature using circadian or custom schedules and preferences in commercial and residential environments. As the science and technology around human-centric lighting develop, the focus today is delivering the highest quality tunable color lighting for visual comfort.

Legrand also released a wireless networking solution for the Wattstopper digital lighting management (DLM) platform allowing contractors to network DLM rooms together without the need for segment network wire (MS/TP), simplifying room-to-room connectivity and installation.

Integrated lighting and shading — Optimized lighting means being able to provide the right amount of light to help people accomplish their tasks, keep energized, or be more relaxed and comfortable, which is why integrated lighting control and shading solutions have become important. Shades are a big part of daylighting strategies too, not only helping to improve occupant comfort but increasing energy savings by reducing the use of generated lighting in spaces.

Legrand’s lighting and shading solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly. Combining Solarfective commercial shading systems with Wattstopper’s architectural dimming platform can ensure commissioning is done quickly and easily, providing greater efficiency and time savings on commercial projects.

Future-proofing buildings — Legrand products are developed with the purpose of meeting or exceeding code requirements and meeting lighting trends such as high-performance building initiatives. In the area of codes, Michigan and Florida in 2017 were among the states to update commercial lighting code requirements. More changes are on the horizon across the country. When updating facilities this year, Legrand says to be sure to work with a lighting engineer, specifier, and manufacturer to make sure that all new products are not only code compliant now, but are flexible to adapt to code changes in the future.

Solutions such as the EasyTouch II Universal Dimming Station are designed to simplify the integration of various load types in lighting projects and enable the dimming of any forward- or reverse-phase LED lighting sources, which had previously been difficult to achieve, says Legrand.

User experience — Throughout the major phases of any lighting project — from design, project mobilization and installation to first use — bringing great user experiences to everyone involved in the project through great products, services, resources is an imperative. Trends in user experience include lighting-as-a-service (LaaS) and development of intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces in the commercial space.

Last year, Legrand launched Connected Services, a secure, remote support service that employs hardware and software technology for DLM-networked projects. It includes access to dedicated system experts who can address programming, configuration, and troubleshooting issues remotely. This service supports electrical contractors with installation and startup, and delivers a positive first-year experience to facility directors and building owners, and provides assurance of high levels of customer satisfaction to specifiers, says the company.

In addition, Legrand released its Commercial Equinox User Interface solution for the Wattstopper architectural dimming platform, which comes installed on Equinox touchscreens and is downloadable as an app on mobile devices. It provides the simplicity end-users (building owners, FMs and occupants) want, and can scale and adapt to changing needs for any space.

For more information about the products mentioned above, visit the Legrand Web site. The company’s brands and product lines include AFCO Systems, C2G, Cablofil, Chief, Da-Lite, Electrorack, Finelite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic Products, Nuvo, OCL, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Pinnacle, QMotion, Quiktron, Raritan, Sanus, Solarfective, Vaddio, Vantage, Wattstopper and Wiremold.