How many times have you finally managed to successfully arrange your electrical equipment to fit in the electrical closet, only to get a call from the architect saying you need to reduce closet space by another 20%?
Now your electrical hardware doesn’t fit and it’s back to the drawing board. The tug-of-war between lighting control equipment and available space is such a pervasive issue that Derek Buondelmonte, Senior Associate at AMA Consulting Engineers, recently told us that closet space is one of the biggest problems he deals with.
We asked Doug Kafka, Director of Specifications at Lutron, to talk with The Frequency about different options for lighting system design and how they might help alleviate shrinking-closet-space problems. Major lighting control strategies – distributed panels (e.g., ESN), centralized panels (e.g., Athena DIN Rail panel), and individual-fixture control – have different impacts on electrical closet space and total installed costs.
There are pros and cons to each option beyond space requirements, but when space is the primary constraint, the differences are pronounced. Now, Lutron has introduced the Athena Wireless Node, an RF individual fixture control product that nearly eliminates the need to mount lighting control equipment in the closet. The best thing about this solution is that it can work in almost any fixture with a DALI-2 or 0-10 V electronic-off driver.
Athena wireless node is an ultra-small, individual, wireless fixture control packed with technology to ensure you can easily and quickly adjust light settings by fixture, zone, or a combination of both. With this new option, the Athena system can be wired and/or wireless and controlled with granularity down to the individual fixture. In contrast, 0-10V control equipment requires power and control home runs to each lighting zone.
Let’s make this real by looking at lighting control strategies for a large (26,000 sq. ft.) office space. In the following example, we compare two control strategies and their respective impact on material cost and required closet space.