The Future of Tunable Light

May 10, 2018

The benefits of daylighting on employee productivity and wellness are not yet fully understood. Yet, the consensus seems to be that the more exposure employees have to nature, the better. Simply bringing in natural daylight can be tricky, however. It’s hard to direct enough daylight into the core of the building without having to supplement it with artificial lighting. Bad weather can interfere with your daylighting plans as well, especially in areas of the country where winter may bring more than a week straight of dull, gray days. Enter tunable lighting.

Tunable Lighting Offers More

Tunable lighting offers the ability change the color temperature and can help. But manual adjustments to light colors are time-consuming and the jury is still out on which color temperature is optimal. However, a new tunable lighting system by Crestron that automates part of this process could make daylighting simpler and more even.

SolarSync automatically adjusts the color temperature of the color changing lamps indoors to match the ambient light temperature outside. Users can bring the benefits of outside light inside without manual adjustments or retrofits to redirect natural light.

“There are a lot of reasons why you would want color tuning, including circadian rhythm management, worker productivity improvement and decorative reasons,” explains Evan Ackmann, Technology Manager, Lighting and Energy Management, for Crestron. “This system uses a sensor that mounts to the roof to measure the intensity and color temperature of sunlight, then uses the data to drive the lights inside to match the outside.”

IP67 Rated

The sensor is IP67 rated, which means that its housing fully protects the technology inside against water and dust. It can melt snow off itself to ensure that it keeps working even in winter.

For gray days and evenings, the system offers a manual override and an inclement weather dead band setting so that the office or retail floor feels like a sunny afternoon even when the outside is anything but.

“Everyone feels better when they have natural light,” Ackmann says. “When you look up and see ugly light that doesn’t match what’s outside, it makes you feel less happy. The intangibles are so important.”

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About the author
Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with a special emphasis on covering facilities management. She aims to deliver practical, actionable content for facilities professionals.