Relay and LED luminaire telemanagement: understand this relationship
The relay and LED luminaire remote management are also related devices for a common purpose, known as remote lighting management. That is, from a remote control center, operators can monitor the entire network of lights and make decisions, such as replacement, reducing light intensity, switching off, and so on.
However, this is only possible when you have specific equipment. Among them, a luminaire prepared for remote management, a 7-pin relay base, a controller, management software, and a gateway. This has been widely used in the context of public lighting.
Most Brazilian cities are adopting this management model to reduce energy costs through Public-Private Partnerships. This modernization of infrastructure has intensified since 2014 when a Resolution from the National Electric Energy Agency, Ordinance No. 414, regulated the transfer of assets from energy concessionaires to municipalities.
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How does the relay for LED luminaire remote management work?
Despite this focus on public services, remote management can also be applied in several other locations. For example, it is very interesting for gated communities that have several roads for cars and function as mini-cities. Additionally, the strategy can be applied in factories where there are several yards, warehouses, and assembly lines.
Remote Management Process
The remote management process is straightforward. The operator is in a central location where computers have a complete map of the entire network and know the exact location of each light point. Through digital connections, they receive instant updates with details of each point, such as performance, failures, and thefts.
Thus, network maintenance becomes much faster and more efficient. Without remote management, monitoring depends on patrols and complaints from residents or users, which generates considerable dissatisfaction with the service.
After all, when someone pays for it, they expect it to function adequately, without the need to waste time opening calls to replace equipment.
In addition, you can program periodic scans, in which the system performs a complete diagnosis of the entire network. Thus, in addition to defects, detailed information can be obtained about each energy consumption point to check the energy efficiency issue. This allows the manager to think about measures to improve cost-effectiveness.
So, instead of having a team for patrols, it is possible to invest in a team of technicians on standby to quickly replace luminaires when the remote management system points to a problem. With good software, you can even have a sound and visual alert system that notifies when equipment has abnormalities.
Accuracy in calculations
Remote management also makes the entire management process more precise. Without technology, all calculations of forecast costs with roadway/street lighting energy are made with estimates, considering that each luminaire is on for 11 hours and 52 minutes every day. With remote management, on the other hand, consumption is calculated in real-time and accurately as data arrives in the system.
If you have dimmable LED luminaires, that is, with the functionality of adjusting the light intensity, the operator can even control the level of illumination, reducing emissions in those locations that already have good lighting and intensifying darker regions. Thus, in addition to improving satisfaction with the service, cost-effectiveness becomes even more attractive.
What is the relationship between LED luminaire, relay base, relay, and controller?
When we talk about the relay and remote management of LED luminaires, first, it is important to know the use of these equipment. Relays are electrical devices whose main function is to make control changes in the circuit as certain conditions are reached. There are several situations that can generate a variation in the behavior of a relay:
- Passage of time, among others.
The most common functionality found in LED luminaires is provided by the photoelectric relay, which varies according to the brightness. It performs the switching on and off for lighting when there is no presence of sunlight in the environment — from dusk, for example.
However, this technology is already old and limited to this functionality. With technological advancements, we can already perform many other applications for LED lighting systems, such as total control and remote monitoring.
The base for the relay serves as a socket for the relay insertion. There are three models available on the market. What differentiates them is the pinout, that is, the number of relay pins, which can be three, five, and seven pins.
The three-pin base allows only interconnection for the common driver, that is, the control is limited to on/off. The five-pin base, in addition to interconnection for dimmable drivers, allows connection with controllers that perform control of the light intensity generated by the LED luminaire, instant or programmable on/off.
Finally, the seven-pin base provides, in addition to the possibilities contained in the five-pin relay, a broader range of control and monitoring. More robust controllers can be installed, where it is possible to monitor temperature in the luminaire, energy consumption, current level, among many other pieces of information that can be provided by this type of device.
To use a relay in your lighting system, it is necessary to have a relay base embedded in the luminaire or at the foot of the pole arm. Another important factor in defining the ideal configuration for an LED luminaire suitable for telemanagement is to understand the types of drivers available on the market and their functionalities.
The driver is a device that provides the current, voltage, and power parameters for the LED assembly. The main types of drivers are:
- Common driver: constant and unalterable output parameter, allows only the on/off command for the luminaire;
- 0 — 10VDC driver: in addition to the same functions as the common driver, allows dimming (light intensity) of LED lighting.
Summarizing, to have a system enabled for telegestion technologies, it is necessary that your luminaire has a driver with the 0-10VDC or 1-10DC characteristic for each luminaire and a seven-pin relay base embedded.
In this way, in the future, a telegestion system can be included in these luminaires, adding a controller at each light point, management software, and a communication gateway between the software and the controllers.
You may be wondering, “if I apply a luminaire suitable for telegestion, do I have to purchase the complete telegestion system?” The answer to this question is no. While the system is not acquired, it is possible to use a relay with normal on/off functionality.
If it is not of interest to acquire a telegestion system, a luminaire without a relay base and a common driver or a three-pin relay base and a common driver should be purchased. In this case, an autonomous on/off system can be created.
What are the advantages of LED luminaires integrated into a telemanagement system?
LED luminaires need to have basic and essential characteristics to allow for some level of automation, in addition to the conventional on/off. The advantages of telegestion are practically incomparable to systems that have been used for a long time because they have very comprehensive applicability.
For example, in roadway/stree lighting, information such as the quantity and location of each lighting point that presents a failure is provided in real-time to the management software platform.
This allows for a much more efficient response time for the maintenance of the system as a whole. With telegestion, the range of opportunities is immense, and its advantages are guaranteed.
What are the main practices adopted in the management of public lighting?
Public lighting improves cities by contributing to their image and safety. Crime rates decrease during the night and traffic accidents are prevented by efficient lighting. The management of this sector is crucial to providing quality services to the public.
Usually, municipalities hire companies to provide public lighting services and define what must be fulfilled by the providers. These companies need to meet the minimum requirements of the contract, including deadlines, contracting objectives, efficient service, and good performance of the devices.
The following are the main practices in this sector.
Consider mobile technology
Mobile technology is essential for the work of technical teams that carry out external activities. Employees can use mobile devices connected to the management system to access various features, such as maps, routes, and requests. The system operates without the internet, in offline mode.
Public lighting points must be registered by companies for the use of georeferencing and optimization of services. This avoids duplicate complaints and easily identifies locations that require repairs. Cities with deficiencies in public lighting management systems generate discontent among users.
Improve communication with the population
Improvements in communication with the population are essential for companies that provide these services. Therefore, investments in solution channels need to go beyond an efficient call center. Nowadays, users want convenience and agility, which can be offered through a website, email, application, etc.
Define the main aspects of maintenance
Maintenance requires organization of necessary operations and procedures. Constant monitoring of LED devices saves electricity, reducing costs of unnecessary repairs and replacements. This is facilitated by telegestion technologies, which help to manage this remotely.
Current systems allow programming so that points are automatically turned on and off at the right time. Adjustments to brightness intensity and other functionalities are part of the possibilities offered by responsible companies.
With monitoring, managers can track device performance in real time. This makes it easier to locate faults and defects in equipment, and problem correction can be expedited. Teams have access to this precise information without having to conduct periodic reviews and invest time in dispensable tasks.
Understanding the lighting system components
Specialized professionals who are responsible for public lighting have a duty to understand the lighting system components and to verify what is being executed by the employees. Monitoring work ensures the quality of services and optimal productivity.
There are technological solutions that assist managers in confirming team attendance at points requiring correction. In this way, calls are received and answered through a route planning system for service regions, and those responsible for management can have control over what was actually done.
Implementing indicators to measure energy efficiency
Indicators are being widely used by companies in all market segments. They are useful for identifying, solving, and avoiding bottlenecks in operational processes. Management software is responsible for presenting this information, influencing the quality of service, and increasing the chances of organizational success.
Usually, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are highly recommended for managing requests, storing complaints, and managing priorities to avoid delays. They also generate metrics through process monitoring and performance evaluation, indicators, graphs, and precise reports for deeper analysis.
Inventory management is a strategic sector in companies that requires control and organization. Physical structures for storing equipment and employee operations are also very important. Lighting spare parts take up space and need to be accommodated in a place where they do not interfere with task execution.
On the other hand, the storage location of items must be accessible so that they can be easily located by employees. This significantly increases team productivity. However, inventories cannot be left unprotected from unauthorized access to prevent material theft.
Managers can anticipate user complaints by using the management system and establishing routines. In addition to technology assistance, there is the possibility of organizing rounds to identify defective points before people contact the company. By doing this, the organization’s image is protected, and thousands of people are satisfied.
Rounds are desirable to improve cost-effectiveness by replacing burnt-out LED roadway/street lighting and checking for devices that remain on at inappropriate times. Employees see the points that may cause problems, and corrections are made before the devices are damaged.
This practice generates results and increases the company’s credibility with citizens and the public administration. To ensure the satisfaction of today’s society, it is necessary to provide excellent services. Consequently, future contracts will be won based on quality and efficiency proven by third parties.
Using management software
In Brazil, there are several options for management software, but in this case, a program specific to public lighting should be found. Technological innovations for this area are being used to optimize processes and organize daily tasks. Systems assist in team management, inventory control, and call handling.
Roadway/Street management software is based on point nomenclature and location by longitude and latitude. Duplicate requests are grouped to prevent unnecessary employee travel to the same location.
You now know more about relays and LED luminaire telegestion, and can understand the relationship between these devices. Adopt the practices mentioned here, improve team productivity, and have efficient public lighting management. Don’t forget to use LED luminaires and floodlights, which offer energy savings and durability of up to ten years!
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