An education in wireless lighting control

eyenut-dashboard-tabletThere is no doubt that the university environment can be extremely costly for facilities managers to maintain. Lighting, especially, can have a substantial drain on the financial resources of such institutions, accounting for around 23% of a university’s energy overheads.

A typical campus includes several buildings, spread across multiple sites, all of which have varying lighting requirements, meaning energy costs can soon escalate if lighting isn’t managed effectively. Aiming to address the challenges of illuminating campuses efficiently, universities are embracing the latest technology to help meet energy and carbon reduction targets.

Oxford Brookes University

obu-9As a forward-thinking university, with five campuses and 14 residential sites across Oxford and Swindon, Oxford Brookes University wanted to employ the latest smart lighting technologies to slash energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and gain greater multi-site control of its lighting. The institution also wanted to exploit communication technologies across the campuses by maximising the opportunities provided by the Internet of Things (IoT).

A number of issues had previously prevented the implementation of such a solution. Complex wired systems, employed across areas of the estate had proved extremely problematic to manage, with a requirement for specialist knowledge and training to operate them.

The institution understood the importance of specifying a system, which would be intuitive, flexible, yet less complicated than the wired system employed within other areas of the estate. In addition, the specified system had to compare favourably in terms of costs, when likened to a wired DALI based solution.

obu-4Oxford Brookes University turned to Harvard Technology, a pioneer in smart lighting controls, to improve the quality of lighting for students across campus whilst keeping costs down. The university sought the latest innovations in wireless lighting control technologies, with the stand out solution being EyeNut.

Complete campus control

EyeNut is a cloud-based, remote access, wireless control, monitoring and management system for indoor lighting, which gives users the freedom to commission, configure and completely control lighting with multi-site control from a single hub.

Through the solution’s intuitive Graphic User Interface (GUI) usage patterns are also flagged-up to enable the most effective energy strategy to be implemented. Luminaires can be switched or dimmed collectively, or individually, and scheduled to activate lighting when needed. Information on testing for audit tracking and energy hotspots can also be accessed.

The system installed at Oxford Brookes, comprises a cloud-based EyeNut hub, two Gateways, as well as EyeNut Adapters and 60 occupancy sensors. The solution controls 82 standard and 31 emergency commercial interior luminaires, including recessed modular, recessed downlights, surface linear and surface circular bulkheads; as well as an assortment of emergency exit signs.

The University of light

EyeNut was firstly installed in the Lloyd Building and International Centre, together with new energy efficient LED fixtures. Initial savings reduced the new LED lighting load by 30% in the International Centre alone. The reductions were attained through the implementation of control strategies including daylight dimming and occupancy detection using sensors.

Lighting levels were subsequently reduced to reflect the tasks undertaken within the building, which resulted in further energy savings, equating to a total of 48% of the new LED lighting load, equivalent to £13,000 per annum.

Wattage per square metre in the International Centre was reduced from 5.47 W/m2, with LED lighting without controls, to 2.84 W/m2 with EyeNut and the optimised lighting levels applied – providing significant financial savings for the university.

Equally fundamental to Oxford Brookes were the long-term savings that could be achieved by effectively managing lighting throughout the campuses. Such careful management not only reduces energy costs, but also the associated expenditures for ongoing maintenance.

Diagnostics and fault reporting are delivered remotely by Harvard Technology through the solution’s easy to use GUI, all without the need to attend a particular site. This means users can identify and address luminaire faults in-house, in turn reducing the requirement for engineer call-outs and bringing down the costs associated with such services. For Oxford Brookes, who had experienced high call-out requirements with its previous wired DALI based lighting control system, this was particularly beneficial.

Maintenance savings

The University has also seen a reduction in maintenance costs with monthly emergency on-site tests eradicated due to the installation of the innovative solution. Using EyeNut, Oxford Brookes can help reduce the man hours of site visits across the calendar year which would ordinarily have been spent carrying out functional emergency light inspections and the annual full duration test. Now the electrician only needs to take a quick walk around the building for the visual inspection, helping to reduce costs significantly.

eyenut-white-containerSuch was the success of the initial roll-out of EyeNut, the university is now planning to install the solution in a further three buildings – Sinclair Annex, Sinclair and Clerici. Oxford Brookes is also looking at installing the EyeNut solution across three halls of residence.

Acclaimed as one of the world’s leading wireless lighting control solutions, EyeNut can be purchased with a comprehensive 3rd party finance offering designed to help facilitate investment in innovative wireless lighting control technology in an easy, affordable and flexible way visit

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