Exploring this trend with a critical eye
Wireless Technologies: Limits
In this new digital age, wireless technologies can’t help but sound sexy. Where would you be now if you had to plug your computer into an Ethernet cord every time you wanted to watch a movie on Netflix? But while there are extremely useful consumer applications for wireless technologies, building automation systems are not always one of them.
Before even touching a wireless controller, a designer/installer should understand the benefits and still consider the negative possibilities of using the technology in any application, but particularly a lighting application. Working with wireless technologies requires a very specific working knowledge and understanding of the limits of such technologies like distance, obstructions, and installation. With these limitations come increased costs as work-arounds frequently become necessary and project timelines get extended.
Lighting can be very tricky, because there are certain places where you just can’t risk a lighting application not working properly, like in a parking lot – the liability is too great. A less prickly place to start might be with HVAC units for wireless technologies (but you still have to consider the aspects of the building structure that might interfere with, and thereby limit, the signal strength).
Despite these limitations, we do see more and more clients asking about wireless solutions. This is good because as the user becomes more aware of the technology, the manufacturer will continue improving the product. And we’ll keep gathering experiences with all the new technologies to provide real hands-on expertise to clients [Read more...]