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Article Date: 31st July 2018

TheisCraft Lighting Controls - Single Sourcing - The Sensible Option

Lighting Controls - Emergency Lighting - Modular Wiring - DALI Lighting

TheisCraft - Jon Theis, director at TheisCraft

When it comes to specifying lighting solutions there’s far more choice than ever before in terms of the luminaires, lighting controls, emergency lighting systems and modular wiring that are available. Jon Theis, director at TheisCraft, explains the importance of controlling the lit environment and why procuring lighting technology from a single source supplier can increase value, lower pricing, ensure consistent quality and reduce purchasing workload.

Companies waste a huge amount of money and energy on unnecessary lighting, something that is almost a criminal drain on resources. By utilising lighting control technology to better manage when and where lighting is used, light usage can be accurately monitored and managed and can make use of daylight harvesting, which uses daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to properly light an area. Its use can also enhance comfort conditions, by controlling the colour and intensity of white light to reflect changes in daylight levels.

Lighting control is easier to configure than ever before and most systems utilise the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) protocol, as set out set out in IEC 62386. Throughout the last decade it has cemented its position as the foremost standard in this field, with its ability to interoperate with a range of system components. A DALI lighting control system assigns an address to each luminaire, allowing management of each individual device, and can be as simple as a single luminaire containing a driver and a sensor.

When purchasing any type of lighting product, the old adage ‘if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is’ is well worth bearing in mind and it is important not to make a selection based on price alone. Buying from a reputable manufacturer is the best way to avoid problems but in the event that a product does fail, knowing that a replacement can be sourced, delivered and installed as quickly as possible offers valuable peace of mind.

Under the terms of an advance replacement warranty, the manufacturer immediately delivers a replacement product in the event of a problem. The defective unit is then sent to the manufacturer within a specified time frame, upon which it is tested and repaired if necessary. The upshot is that the time spent without a complete lighting system is vastly reduced.

The world we live in today is filled with choice and the lighting sector is no different. Amongst its many advantages, the internet provides a variety of options in addition to purchasing directly from manufacturers or going through the traditional distribution channel. We are generally conditioned to believe that choice is a good thing – yet there is a growing sense that too much choice leads to confusion and the possibility of making the wrong purchasing decision.

The alternative, contacting numerous lighting equipment suppliers, carrying out lots of product investigations, checking prices, chasing deliveries, receiving deliveries, raising multiple purchase orders, making separate payments and querying invoices can be hugely disruptive and time consuming.

The key is to spend time identifying a single company that can effectively fulfil as many lighting equipment needs as possible. Although this isn’t as easy as it sounds, it’s well worth asking a potential supplier about how it can help add value by, for example, explaining a problem that has been encountered before and asking how it would offer a solution. Furthermore, it is possible to ‘try before you buy’ and work with a company on an initial project to see how things go.

Some lighting equipment manufacturers have a diverse range of quality products that are designed and manufactured to offer seamless interoperability and excellent levels of reliability. Once located, a single source supplier can offer increase value, lower pricing due to consolidation of all requirements, ensure consistent quality and reduce purchasing workload.

Purchasing from a single source supplier can significantly reduce prices through economies of scale and offer more influence, control and purchasing power through the negotiation price and fulfilment, and more profitable long-term contracts. It also enables the benefits of centralised management and expenditure, with the scope to see exactly where money is being spent.

Just as importantly, it drives compliance, makes it much easier to eliminate any rogue spending and, by paying one consolidated invoice, frees up time by eliminating the need to processing multiple payments.

It is also possible reduce waste – and therefore cost – on packaging and transport by batching products together. This can help increase margins and enhances environmental sustainability, something that is increasingly important. In terms of day-to-day operational benefits, just dealing with one dedicated account manager, who can provide a high level of service and ensure that orders are completed and delivered when required and sort out any issues, can prove invaluable.

The temptation to purchase what appears to be a bargain should be resisted until all the facts about testing, lifetime expectation, standards compliance and the scope of any warranty are ascertained. Furthermore, identifying and partnering with a single trusted supplier, whose products can be relied on for quality and performance, and which offers an excellent support service, can address many of these issues.

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