The Ulster Hospital Acute Services Block, a newly constructed eight-story building with over 31,000m2 of floor space, was recently completed. A prime objective from the start was better patient wellbeing. The Casambi wireless, Bluetooth-based lighting control plays an integral role in meeting this goal.
From the outset, there were two key objectives in the project brief. Estates Facility Services Manager for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Sam Greer, says, “We wanted a wireless solution, which we saw as advantageous in changing lighting controls and lighting strategies, with minimal disruption to the occupants and the daily activities. This was in the interest of improving patient wellbeing.”
During the design phase, the Trust was convinced that the new building should have less of a traditionally clinical feel of hospitals and more that of a welcoming hotel – to make a suitable environment for patients to get better. This meant that such things as the luminaires needed to be inconspicuous in size and with the ability to program appropriate lighting scenes. The system also needed to be highly resilient, meaning that there would be minimal disruptions in a power failure event.
Chris McAnearney of Cundall adds, “The project was highly versatile, with many different areas and with different requirements, so we needed a solution that was easy to use, and with the ability to make necessary adjustments, as per the clients’ wishes.” The Casambi wireless lighting control met all the project scope requirements in functionality, scalability throughout the building, and interoperability between all elements such as switches, sensors, and light fixtures.
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Commissioning the lighting control system was done quickly. All of the luminaires are automatically detected on the app and easily paired to the network, with visual programming functionality via tablet, making the process significantly simplified. “A key benefit for us is that all significant lighting manufactures have bought into the Casambi solution, so we don’t need to be tied to a specific, single manufacturer or light fitting,” Sam Greer adds. The Casambi control solution covers all the hospital lighting, namely the bedrooms, nurses’ stations, corridors, plant rooms, offices, and all exterior lightings around the perimeter and the roof.
A particular function that Casambi provides is in the patients’ bedroom, where several sensors monitor such things as “out of bed movement” (alerting nurses if a patient is out of bed) and daylight, which in turn adjusts the lighting accordingly. The bedrooms’ lights can also be controlled from the nurse’s station in such events as an emergency. Additionally, many of the bedrooms’ scenes provide, via a bedside handset, different scenes for such things as reading or watching TV.
“The most exciting part of the design has been technology progress, even within the project timeframe. When we started the design, we designed enclosures for the lighting and sensors, but since then, the Casambi unit’s concept design has become integrated into the sensors,” adds Chris McAnearney.