A Comparison: Low-voltage and Overlay Lighting Control Systems

How efficiently are you deploying lighting in your environment? Here's a comparison: low-voltage and overlay lighting control systems.

Bill Kleyman

September 18, 2014

2 Min Read
A Comparison: Low-voltage and Overlay Lighting Control Systems

Owners and lessors of U.S. offices typically spend over 40 percent of their total electricity bill on lighting. It is now possible to achieve up to an 80 percent reduction in those costs through advanced lighting control systems and LED lighting technology.

Almost every lighting control system available today is an overlay system. An overlay system uses either a wireless or wired network to control ac line voltage powered lights. These systems are called overlay systems because the control network is overlaid on top of the existing ac lighting power infrastructure.

In contrast, low-voltage lighting control systems supply an intelligent low-voltage network that both powers and controls LED light fixtures in a single system, in addition to providing building intelligence. 

This whitepaper from CommScope compares low-voltage lighting platforms to overlay systems and demonstrates their higher energy savings (averaging 75 percent), lower installation cost, flexibility to offer a broader range of functionality, and their enhanced ability to scale in larger deployments.

Many trends have recently emerged that are resulting in the increased availability and adoption of lighting control systems in office spaces. Lighting control systems for offices have been available for over a decade, but it wasn't until recent years that the number of available solutions began to rise. This marked increase is due in part to the following trends:

  • Increasingly stringent building codes

  • Utility incentives

  • Rising electricity costs

  • Growing environmental awareness

  • LED lighting

Download this whitepaper today to learn how low-voltage control systems have superior benefits for commercial spaces being newly constructed or those that are undergoing renovations and desire a reliable, highly energy efficient controls solution. Low-voltage benefits include:

  • Installation and commissioning costs

  • Reliability

  • Performance considerations

  • Capabilities

  • Measuring energy savings

Low-voltage and wired overlay solutions are better suited for environments that are sensitive to noise, those that have high security safeguards, or those where lighting is mission critical to the tasks being performed. On the other hand, wireless overlay may be suitable for smaller, non mission-critical areas or for applications where accessing wiring spaces is cost prohibitive. The key is understanding the differences between low-voltage and overlay control systems.

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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