Union of human touch, tech needed for modern lighting

The confluence of human behaviour and technology is the way forward for more efficient energy management solutions, according to Paul F. Sherbo, International Business Development director of Lighting and Energy Solutions at Leviton.

By Suneeti Ahuja-kohli

Published: Sat 23 Feb 2013, 11:17 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:40 AM

The New York-based lighting major — which is known for the flat low-profile wall switch Decora — is engaging with a lot of companies and working on energy management.

“The work doesn’t simply end with the construction of green buildings. We have to see if the original design of an energy-efficient building is in concert with the way the building is being used. The market is maturing and is fast adopting measurement and verification aspect,” Sherbo said.

Participating at this year’s Middle East Electricity 2013 exhibition, Leviton showcased a range of new products in home automation, aside from commercial and other lighting solutions, in which the firm specialises.

Leviton was founded in 1906 and is the largest privately-held manufacturer of electrical wiring equipment in the US. It produces electrical products such as light sockets, switches, outlets, dimmers, lighting control systems, occupancy sensors, wall plates and other electrical products.

The company has been growing aggressively and recently acquired two firms — HAI, a US-based company that excels in home automation systems; and Quantran, a UK-based lighting firm. Leviton has seamlessly integrated these products with its indigenous offerings, making it a one-stop-shop solution for all lighting needs.

“The complete line of products in home automation [was] on display at the exhibition. It allows users a lot of flexibility, providing a single control for LED lighting, DSI and Dali lighting. It is interesting to note that Dali and DSI lighting didn’t really originate in the US. With this, we are able to provide solutions for technologies that didn’t originate in the US,” Sherbo said.

Leviton also had on display wireless and battery-less devices that obliterate the need of batteries and its careful disposal. “We have incorporated devices that get their power from light energy that is already in a room. Such devices store that power and convert it into electrical energy and use radio frequencies that are powered by the electrical energy that is stored to communicate to devices,” he said.

Talking about the challenges in energy management space, Sherbo cited the unwillingness of owners or developers to spend upfront on energy management solutions. Even though green buildings, which have been around for a number of years, and are outperforming the estimated savings in energy, it is hard for developers to commit investments in this space or convince prospective end buyers of the savings that they will potentially make in the long run.

“People do not want to make upfront investments in a project to pay extra because of some savings in the long term. In such cases, measurement verification can be very important,” he said, adding that he is happy to see some changes happening and that there is no complete disregard to energy management at the time of construction.


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