Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

Nov 19, 2018

Steve Mesh

Networked lighting control systems (NLCs) are really computer networks — they just happen to control luminaires, occupancy sensors, photosensors and light switches. The paradigm shift for lighting control systems has occurred at lightning-fast speed in recent years.

It is absolutely possible for you to specify, install and operate a networked lighting control system that is completely standalone, meaning that nothing whatsoever interacts with the NLC system in your (or your client’s) building. However, many systems are now being installed using an existing IT network to connect components of the NLC. A common example is when a central server must connect via wires (typically Ethernet cable) to wireless gateways. The central server is often located in an electrical closet or IT room in the core of the building. The gateways are usually located in the occupied space. To connect these components, cable must be run from the core out to the finished space. If an existing network is available, it’s usually possible to connect the server to the gateways using that network. The commissioning agent simply needs to know the IP addresses of the gateways and tell the server to look for them on the network.

Sounds simple, right? And in the process, you can save money because you don’t have to puncture core walls and run additional Ethernet cable. However, once you decide to piggyback onto an existing IT network, you are in the domain of the IT staff who work for the building’s owner. The IT staff have two main responsibilities:

1. Make sure that the IT networks are up-and-running and work 24/7.

2. Protect the owner from hacking/intrusions/problems.

Unless you’ve been living on Saturn for the past five years, you know that hacking into existing networks has become a huge concern in our society. Arguably, the second responsibility — protecting the owner from hacking — is a much more critical task for any IT professional than initially getting the networks up and running. This gives the IT staff enormous power and allows them to wield enormous influence.

What are some best practices for dealing with the IT staff when you use an NLC that will be integrated with existing network infrastructure? Here’s a partial list:

1. Talk with the IT staff early and often. Not only is this important from a “political” viewpoint (to get buy-in), but the IT staff may also have specific requirements, restrictions or prohibitions that will impact your choice of a recommended NLC. For example, a particular building owner might consider installing an NLC, but only if it’s wired and not wireless. They may have concerns about interference with existing wireless networks if another wireless system is installed in the same spaces. Needless to say, that’s a major issue, and you’d want to know about this as early in the process as possible.

2. Don’t fight with IT professionals! Because of the sensitivity of their job — in protecting the owner’s existing networks and information — these folks wield substantial power, at least when it comes to the IT infrastructure. One word from an IT staff person can shut down the possibility of installing an NLC in an existing building (or even a new building for that matter). Even if you don’t like the IT person’s personality or how he or she interacts with you, make it a point to think of them as part of the team that will help you specify and deploy an NLC that the owner will like and will benefit from. Just like anyone else, IT staff people may come across as prickly — maybe more so considering how critical their job function is. Do not let that sour your interaction with these folks. That is an enormous mistake.

3. Realize that the IT staff probably don’t know much about lighting and lighting controls. Considering the advances in IoT, increasing numbers of IT professionals may understand more about lighting going forward. Keep in mind, however, that lighting and lighting controls have only recently entered the “digital age” — where luminaires, sensors and switches are now connected devices on a computer network. An IT staff person with whom you are working may or may not know much about luminaires or lighting control devices, and they may or may not care about that either. What they do care about, however, is the IT aspect of what you may be recommending. If you are working with an IT staff person who is interested in learning more about the lighting aspect of the NLC deployment, by all means educate him or her about that. If not, be content to stick with the IT issues when talking with that person.

4. Listen to and carefully consider their advice about NLC system architecture and equipment. Many NLC systems allow you to install and connect components in a variety of ways. If an IT professional asks about or suggests connecting things in very specific ways, there may be a very good reason for that. If what they are asking for absolutely cannot be done using the NLC system you are considering, you are welcome to explain that. However, make sure it is a respectful conversation involving give and take. There may be extremely important reasons why they are asking about, strongly suggesting, or even requiring a specific architecture for the system.

5. Security, security and security! Just as “location, location and location” are the three most important things in real estate, security is far and away the most sensitive and critical aspect of the IT staff’s job. Do not assume that whatever methods of security are available in the system(s) you may propose are acceptable to the IT staff. They may have much higher standards about things like encryption, modes of access, and lots more. For example, it’s fairly standard these days for manufacturers to build in 128-bit AES encryption into their system’s software. What if the IT staff require 256-bit AES encryption? Here’s another example. You may want to propose an NLC system that allows for remote access, perhaps by building engineers to check and fix problems in the system even if they are not on site at the time. Many systems allow remote access as long as the NLC is connected to the Internet. This is a potential security problem. The IT staff may be okay with this, but only if the user is required to access the server remotely using a VPN, or only if there is a robust login/password methodology. If not, then this may not work. It’s really essential to make these kinds of determinations as early in the process as possible.

6. Make sure that you communicate with the IT staff throughout the deployment process. Don’t assume that because you had an initial conversation at the outset of the project, the IT staff now have buy-in to every aspect of the NLC selection and deployment. Do make sure that you inform them every step of the way. It’s likely that you will need assistance from the IT staff at various points throughout the process. For example, during commissioning, you may need them to assist you by assigning static IP addresses for specific equipment that you connect to their network. That’s not the kind of thing that a commissioning agent would typically do on their own, nor should they.

7. Make a point of learning more about IT over time. Computer and IT technology are not things that most lighting designers, electrical engineers, distributors and lighting salespeople study in school. This is new stuff to a lot of people in the lighting industry. Do not let that stop you from learning more about IT issues. Be a lifelong learner! So the paradigm has shifted — so what? Things change. The more you can learn about IT and how networks operate, the easier your job will be of interfacing with IT staff and successfully deploying an NLC on your next project.

This article was first published at lightingcontrolsassociation.org/2018/09/10/steve-mesh-on-talking-to-it-departments-about-connected-lighting/.


Steven Mesh is an award-winning lighting designer who has designed lighting and control systems for a variety of project types (commercial, museums, schools, residential, restaurants, retail, historic, healthcare, etc.). As an educator, he has taught classes and given presentations about lighting and controls across North America and internationally. One of his is developing lighting and lighting controls courses that rely on hands-on and/or interactive content. He has been a repeat speaker at LightFair for eight years.

 


Salex Announces Promotion of Paul Manson to GTA Sales Manager     

Paul MansonJanuary 26, 2021 – Salex, a facilitator of commercial lighting installations and control systems for Canada’s architectural lighting community, is excited to announce the promotion of Paul Manson to GTA Sales Manager. Paul joined Salex back in 2015, and has over 25 years of invaluable industry experience.

Dedicated to the education and promotion of quality, high-efficiency lighting and controls, Manson’s extensive background in on-site electrical installation, national accounts, relationship building, manufacturers, and sales team management at Philips Lighting, will provide valuable experience to fulfill his new role.

Read More


 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
 EWEL has announced the plan to move its Sherwood Park branch into a brand-new facility at ...
Energy Savings for Business supports local skilled trades, contractors, and suppliers such as HVAC ...
Eaton has signed an agreement to acquire Tripp Lite, a supplier of power quality products and ...
Rexel announced it has acquired the Canadian Utility business of WESCO International (WESCO Canada ...
This questionnaire is designed for people who work in the electrical industry as part of a project ...
Organizers behind the MEET (Mechanical Electrical Electronic Technology) Show have announced its ...
Be sure not to miss your opportunity to participate at EDIST 2021 The Power of Resiliency, January ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated and FLIR Systems, Inc.jointly announced that they have entered ...
In today's ever changing Canadian work environment, an organization that wants to succeed at ...
B.C.’s building-sector businesses can tap into an additional $8 million for projects to ...


 

www.liteline.com

 

 

 

 


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

electrical apprentice1 400The Canadian government is making targeted investments, so that key groups facing barriers—like women, newcomers, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and Black and racialized Canadians—can better find work in the skilled trades through projects led by unions and their partner organizations.

The investment will be $63.5 million, over five years, for 68 projects as part of the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) 2020 call for proposals. The aim is to help certify skilled tradespeople and prepare them to fill available jobs as the economy restarts. Minister Qualtrough made the announcement during a virtual event hosted by one of the funding recipients, the UA Piping Industry College of British Columbia, in Delta, B.C.

Read More


 



LightingBy Steve Mesh

Are you an electrical contractor? Are you new to the world of Networked Lighting Controls (NLCs)? Are you looking for new opportunities to strengthen your business in these uncertain times?

If you answered yes to all three of these questions, read on. NLCs are a (relatively) new introduction to the lighting industry. I say “relatively” because, in point of fact, some networked control systems have been available for decades. If you haven’t had any prior experience with installing NLCs, then you might think these are fancy and highfalutin. 

Read More


 

CEW EWEL Sherwood 400EWEL has announced the plan to move its Sherwood Park branch into a brand-new facility at #130 3001 Buckingham Drive, Sherwood Park, Alberta. Relocation has proceeded in staged phases since late summer 2020 and will conclude by late February 2021.

The new unit space is approximately 9,500 square feet with a 4,500 square foot yard, which makes it nearly three times larger than the previous location. The expansion stems from EWEL’s steady growth over the last four decades, necessitating space for increased inventory, more comfortable spaces for employees, and for more streamlined warehousing processes.

Read More

 


 

Product News

  • Prev
Champion Strut is a fiberglass non-metallic channel framing system that includes a complete ...
The PowPak 20 A Relay Receptacle Control Module is a radio-frequency (RF), receptacle switching ...
Occupancy sensor turns ON in low light only and when motion is detected. Turns off after 1 minute ...
Innovative Design for Versatile Applications. Easy to lock horizontally into place with a ...
NightFox Pro Series Photocontrols offer protection to typical, enhanced, or extreme electrical ...
The UHB LED is a round high bay luminaire designed for a variety of mounting heights and customer ...
When designing lighting for a space, why not consider a luminaire that can also solve an often ...
MaxLite expands their RCF Series with wattage and CCT selectable models that enable installers to ...
The Lithonia Lighting® TWX LED family has been re-invented from the ground up, delivering ...
LBR is everything you need in a retrofit downlight at an affordable price. Whether it’s the ...

 

Milwaukee 2Milwaukee HOLE DOZER Bi-Metal Hole Saws new 3.5 TPI tooth design offers you longer life in metal applications. The Bi-Metal Hole Saws also feature Lifetime Tooth Break Warranty and can take on all general-purpose applications.

The ALL-ACCESS SLOTS solve the frustration of plug removal, making you more productive with less downtime between holes.

 

 

 

 

Read More


 

SATCO CCT Selectable Wall PacksSATCO continues to expand its wall pack selection with options that make installation flexible and stock versatile. The latest additions in the line include the CCT Selectable Small Wall Pack and the CCT Selectable Compact Round Wall Pack.

 
The Small Wall Pack is perfect for light commercial uses such a smaller storage units and municipal lighting, as well as commercial Main Street buildings. As with all of the fixtures in this exterior family, these wall packs offer advanced features, are built durable and are able to withstand harsh, all-weather conditions.

 

Read More


 

 

Leviton Mini-Meter Power Meters in Indoor EnclosureVerifEye™ 0.5% Mini Meter Kits offer a fully integrated, line-powered wireless Automated Meter Readings (AMR) solution with 0.5% accuracy for multi-tenant applications.

Designed to provide a simple and effective energy monitoring solution, the 0.5% Mini Meter Kits accurately capture measurements of power consumption and meet the rigorous requirements of ANSI C12.20 (0.5) Code for Electricity Metering. The 0.5% Mini Meters offer an all-in-one, low cost bundled solution for tenant billing applications, new construction and retrofits.

 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. ...
As an advanced networked lighting controls company serving the industrial and large commercial ...
Trilliant, an international provider of utility solutions for advanced metering and smart grid ...
For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...
Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry ...
Dee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador ...
ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC). Their inaugural ...
At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in ...
Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and ...


Libra Smart MeterBy Blake Marchand

Trilliant, an international provider of utility solutions for advanced metering and smart grid systems, recently announced a custom-made product for the North American market with the release of its Trilliant Libra Series Edge-Ready Smart Electric Meter.


The meter’s technology will allow utilities to enter the connectivity sphere by providing peer-to-peer data acquisition and analytics, while enabling new energy management features that benefit both customer and utility. 

 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil