How light influences our lives

Intelligent lighting control not only creates a pleasant ambiance, but also affects our bio rhythms

Only the right light can transform your home into an oasis of good feeling. Whether you are eating breakfast, doing homework at the kitchen table or relaxing on the sofa after a stressful day at work, the right lighting ensures your comfort. Lighting technology has taken on new dimensions in the last ten years. LED lighting in particular has become enormously important and has set new standards in the industry. In coming years, the light-emitting diode will continue to replace conventional lamps such as incandescent and energy-saving bulbs on the market.

LEDs are cutting-edge lamps that open up virtually unlimited possibilities when it comes to electronic control. They can also be used anywhere thanks to their small size. As a result, LEDs are considered the perfect light source for our digital world. LEDs are redefining lighting, and even more impressively, they consume just one-fifth of the energy needed by conventional luminaires.

Just how important perfect illumination is has been underlined by a survey sponsored by the German government on the ‘future of home lighting’ in Germany. Almost 90 percent of respondents confirmed that lighting in the home was important for well-being. Over 60 percent of respondents want lighting that adjusts automatically, but can be changed manually if desired.

Rotary actuators, switches or mobile end devices – intelligent control elements make controlling lighting easy

A pleasantly subdued, comfortable ambiance is crucial: if the dining table is where the family finds themselves most often, a versatile, controllable lighting scene is needed there to ensure comfort in the home. Remote-controlled LED dimmers regulate color temperature and brightness, because smoothly adjusting lighting is more than choosing between bright and dark – it is the nuances that create a lighting scene that promotes a sense of well-being. The innovative and elegant Busch-Dimmer® from Busch-Jaeger, a member of the ABB Group, softly reduces lighting to create an intimate, comfortable ambiance. It provides the option to produce exactly the right amount of light depending on the scene and the situation at hand. Busch-Jaeger teamed up with Philips – the world’s market leader in LED lamps – to develop innovative dimmers that are perfectly in sync with these efficient light sources.

The optimally coordinated LED dimmers control the brightness in the room with the same smoothness and consistency that you have come to expect from previous dimmers for incandescent lamps. Utilize all of the many facets of natural white light, from cool, energizing light to relaxing, warm-white light and create a pleasant ambiance, with different nuances of white for everyday situations – or an interplay of colors for an intensive entertainment experience. Even day-to-day lighting can be transformed into extraordinary scenes: experimenting with colors or synchronizing the luminaires with music, the television and computer console games allows you to immerse yourself in whatever is happening around you. The possibilities are endless. The scenes are controlled with intelligent systems, such as KNX, the global standard in building automation, or the ABB-free@home® smart home system.

ABB provides the option of retrofitting new colored lamps in existing lighting systems. For example, the luminaires, lamps and light strips from the Philips Hue or Osram Lightify System can be combined with ABB components. Busch-Jaeger’s product range includes special wireless switches for retrofitting. Just like the lamps, these switches work to the ZigBee Light Link wireless standard. The multiple control elements also allow additional configured states to be saved as lighting scenes. The system can be operated from a tablet or smartphone as well.

The spectral color of a lamp is expressed using the color temperature in kelvin (K). Warm-white light is perceived to be comfortable and relaxing, neutral-white light creates a more practical scene and daylight is especially suitable for achieving lighting that influences our biological rhythm. Within the white light range, spectral color and brightness can be smoothly adjusted between warm-white (below 3300 kelvin), neutral-white (3300 to 5300 kelvin) and daylight (above 5300 kelvin).

In private homes, lighting should provide cozy ambiance and therefore comfort. In commercial and public buildings, energy efficiency is the main motivator for choosing modern lighting systems. Perfect illumination provides real added value in both cases. Plus, intelligent home and room lighting control will be able to provide many more options in future other than just switching the light on and off. The smart home detects people in the building and identifies the lighting scenes adapted for their needs. The non-visual effect takes on particular importance here: through special receptors in our eyes, the lighting controls our circadian rhythm, strongly influencing our sense of well-being and our health. Intelligent lighting therefore not only provides a pleasant home environment, but also supports our natural biological rhythm.

On the left the rotary dimmer from the future® linear switch range by Busch-Jaeger and on the right the ZigBee Light Link control elements open up a wide range of options.
On the left the rotary dimmer from the future® linear switch range by Busch-Jaeger and on the right the ZigBee Light Link control elements, which open up a wide range of options
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About the author

Olaf Stutzenberger

I’m the global Marketing and Communications Manager for Building Automation. For the last 16 years I have held various management positions at ABB / Busch-Jaeger. This gives me the opportunity to gain experience in different departments like Sales, Training and Marketing & Communications. I do enjoy working in a Business Unit that creates cutting-edge technology for smart buildings, to make our world a better place. In my spare time you’ll find me running, swimming and mainly spending time with my wife and children, often together in the same sports.
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