FAQ's

Q

Where and how do I buy Organic Response?


A

Organic Response has formed alliances with some of the largest and most reputable lighting manufacturers in the world. These Strategic Technology Alliance (STA) partners have perfected the integration of the Organic Response technology into numerous ranges of their light fittings. Select any Organic Response Enabled luminaire from one of our partners and place your order.  Check out the ‘Where to Buy’ section of this website to see a list of Organic Response partners.

Q

What is “Distributed Intelligence”?

A

Distributed Intelligence is the way that nature solves problems. For example, a school of fish doesn’t depend on a central brain to coordinate its behaviour. Rather, it relies on each fish’s intelligence and unique sense of its environment and the movement of neighbouring fish to make decentralised decisions that allow the school as a whole of function as a community.  It’s an effective and robust solution that works as elegantly for the school of fish as it does for Organic Response lighting control.

Q

What is the “Occupancy Information Cloud”?


A

Organic Response Sensor Nodes continuously collect and disseminate real time, location-specific occupancy information.

This essentially means each Sensor Node knows exactly how close an occupant is to its location in real time. This information forms the Occupancy Information Cloud, which allows lights to make smarter decisions about whether to be on, off, or partially on.

Q

What environments does Organic Response work in?

A

Organic Response has been engineered for standard, indoor office type environments. It works on ceiling heights up to 3.7m and luminaire spacings up to 3.m.  See the Applications Guide in the Resources section of this website.

 

Q

What is lighting design?

A

Generally speaking, it’s the process of designing a lighting system that can deliver appropriate lighting conditions for a specific space and range of functions.

In an office environment, for example, it’s typically about choosing and laying out the light fittings in order to achieve the minimum illumination required by Australian standards. In this scenario, it’s typically separate from the control strategies, however the control will play a key role in more specialised applications, such as theatrical or seminar rooms with AV equipment.

The process is generally based on computer simulation of the luminaire light output distribution using .IES files and seeing how they interact to meet the standards.

It’s crucial this is as optimal as possible for the lighting system’s overall performance. Lighting designs commonly err on the conservative side – that is, they provide far more than the minimum level required to take into account different office fit-outs, tolerances in the simulation process, and lumen depreciation of lamps over time.  Via an optimisation process, Organic Response provides a unique ability to fine tune a lighting design, essentially allowing the lighting designer to adjust lighting levels in situ to suit the exact environment requirements. Energy savings of up to 30% can be achieved through this process alone, and this is the base building task lighting that Organic Response allows.

Q

What is “Daylight Dimming” (also often referred to as daylight harvesting)?

A

Daylight dimming refers to the luminaire’s ability to automatically reduce the light it emits based on the amount of natural light already present in the space.

For example, a work space next to a window may already have a significant amount of natural light.  The Sensor Node is able to sense the combined natural and artificial light present and reduce the level of artificial light to achieve the minimum required lighting level.  By only adding enough artificial light to achieve optimal levels, Daylight Dimming produces additional energy savings.

 

 

With an Organic Response system, Distributed Intelligence and the use of one Sensor Node per luminaire provides significant benefits to daylight dimming performance. Whereas conventional systems may depend on one sensor to control a bank of lights, each Organic Response Sensor Node is able to provide localised control for daylight dimming. This results in a simple control system that is stable, robust, flexible and comfortable for occupants.

 

Q

What are the costs associated with Organic Response?

A

By utilising Distributed Intelligence, Organic Response eliminates a significant range of costs associated with more complex lighting control systems. The Sensor Node is the only cost in an Organic Response luminaire. Hidden or hard to quantify costs such as engineering specification, schematic design, building wiring, installation of head end equipment in distribution boards, commissioning and maintenance are all removed. Therefore the cost of an Organic Response lighting system is between a quarter and a half of conventional systems – and it still outperforms them on several levels.

Q

If retrofitting Organic Response, would you normally disable the existing lighting control system?

A

Organic Response is best installed in conjunction with a lighting upgrade, as part of a luminaire upgrade.

The Organic Response system requires no external switching or control. Any other switching/control equipment can be bypassed, disabled or removed.  If more specialised control is required, for example in a seminar room with audio-visual equipment, Organic Response can be controlled using its smartphone app or integrated into an audio-visual control system for dimming, etc.

Q

Can Organic Response control CFL down-lights or LED fittings?

A

Organic Response can control any lights that are dimmable via 1-10V or Dali. Controlling fluorescent lights or LED’s represents no challenges.

Q

Can one Sensor Node control more than one fitting?

A

This is possible.  However, the ideal operation of Organic Response is achieved when each luminaire is controlled by its own Sensor Node. Please contact us or own of our Channel Partners if you have specific requirements to control more than one luminaire.

Q

Has Organic Response been independently evaluated?

A

Arup has independently evaluated Organic Response.  They have published an extensive report verifying the claimed behaviour, features, occupancy comfort, and implications for NABERS and Green star ratings. You can read Arup’s report here.

Q

What is task lighting, and what is base building task lighting?

A

Task lighting is the ability to easily adjust the light in an area to suit a task. This can be a system that is flexible enough to be adjusted hour to hour, or a ‘set and forget’ system that automatically responds to provide sufficient light for the task at hand. Task lighting is considered a state-of-the-art approach, yet is still uncommon due to the implementation challenges developers face.

The typical configuration is to have base building  lighting – your typical office ceiling lights, supplemented by desk lamps controlled by occupants. The idea is to provide only background level lighting across the office (for example 160 lux), and supplement these with desk lamps to light only the workplane or task areas with 320 lux, which is what lighting standards require.

The concept is simple, and has great potential for energy savings, however it is rare to see task lighting implemented for a number of reasons:

  • General office lighting is typically owned by the building owner, and often installed without knowledge of which tenant will occupy the space now or in the future. It is a big risk for the building owner to commit to lower base building lighting levels if they are not sure what task lighting the tenant wants for the life of the lights. Building owners rightly wish to avoid this scenario as it may limit the range of suitable tenants and reduce rental demand.
  • How to control (i.e. switch on or off) the desk lamps can also be a problem. Integrating them into an addressable lighting control system can result in a significant cost and complexity increase. Connecting desk lamps to the same lighting circuit as the base building lighting system to a large extent defeats the purpose, and is a significant overhead in the wiring schematic and installation.

Organic Response has the unique ability to easily implement the ‘trimming’ function. This allows the lighting designer to design to 320 lux minimums across the office, have someone come around after the lighting installation, and perform an in-situ lighting design optimisation that sets background light levels to 160lux and workplane light levels to 320lux.

As lights are all base building owned, this feature is the first base building task lighting system. It doesn’t require any programming – just a simple smartphone interface and a light meter. See the Arup report for a detailed description of this scenario and how it relates to task lighting Green star points.

Q

What is base building equipment and energy, and what is tenant equipment and energy?

A

‘Base building’ refers to equipment and energy consumed by equipment owned and maintained by building owner. This typically includes:

  • air conditioning
  • lifts
  • common area lighting
  • other services required for common areas or that operate at the building level.

Tenant energy is owned, maintained and paid for the tenant. This includes plug power for computers, TV’s, fridges etc, as well as ‘supplementary’ air conditioning installed over and above base building air conditioning (eg. to serve a meeting room that may have large and sporadic heat loads in the form of high occupancy levels for meetings or presentations).

The exception to these rules is lights, which typically sit ‘above the ceiling’ (e.g. in a t-bar suspended ceiling covered with ceiling tiles). The building owner owns these, but energy consumption is paid for by the tenant.

NABERS ratings are broken down into ‘base building’, ‘tenant’, or whole building. The energy coverage for each is as per the description above.

Q

What is a troffer and a downlight?

A

A “troffer” is slang for typical office style strip fluorescent luminaires.

They are typically 1.2m by 0.3m in dimension, but can vary to suit application. They provide general space lighting with a wider distribution than more spotlight-like downlights.

There is a big industry push to move from halogen to LED downlights, but there are also many CFL (compact fluorescent) downlights.

Troffers are typically strip fluorescent, with T5 being the modern style of this technology, and T8 being the old technology . The future of troffers seems to be in LED space, with significant amounts of R&D investment and manufacturing looking to solve the problems this technology faces in competing with T5.

Q

What does T5 and T8 refer to?

A

T5 and T8 refer to the diameter of strip fluorescent lamps; 5/8 of an inch and 8/8 of an inch respectively.

T5 are driven exclusively by electronic ballasts, whereas T8’s can be driven by either electromagnetic ballasts or electronic ballasts. The primary benefit of T5 is that the smaller diameter of the lamp allows for more efficient optical efficiency of the fitting by shielding less of the light that comes out of the rear of the lamp that needs to be reflected back out of the fitting.

Q

What is a ballast, driver, and electromagnetic or electronic?

A

A ballast is the module that sits between the mains electricity and the lamp. Its job is to convert mains electricity into the voltages required to drive the lamp. Old-style incandescent lamps were designed to run directly off mains voltage without requiring a ballast.

Different light source technologies require different styles of ballast. An LED ballast is typically called a ‘driver’. It is completely different from a fluorescent ballast and often provides a simpler, lower voltage to drive the LED’s.

As energy efficiency requirements increase, so does R&D investment in, and optimisation of the efficiency of these modules to continually improve performance.

Fluorescent ballasts can be generally categorised as ‘electromagnetic’ or ‘electronic’. The electromagnetic fluorescent ballast is much simpler, however older technology is very inefficient and makes the lights flicker at twice the frequency of mains electricity. This means that in Australia T8 lamps with electromagnetic ballasts actually flicker at 100Hz (100 times per second). Their poor reputation is due to proven negative health implications for those who work under these lights for long periods of time.

Electronic ballasts use ‘switch mode’ architecture, which operates at high frequency (around 40kHz), and results in an essentially constant light output.  This solves many of the problems associated with older style fluorescents. They are also significantly more efficient and allow lights to be dimmed. Organic Response leverages off this technology as each light requires a ‘dimming ballast’ to harness the full power of the system.

Q

Does Organic Response work with downlights?

A

Yes, Organic Response will work with downlights,  Refer to our list of Channel Partners. Many of them have developed ranges of Organic Response Enabled downlights.

Q

My architect has selected a range of light fittings. How do I go about having them fitted with Organic Response lighting control?

A

If the lighting that your architect likes is from one of our Channel Partners, then they should be able to supply an Organic Response Enabled light fitting. If not, and you are committed to Organic Response lighting control, then your architect will have to consider one of the Organic Response Enabled ranges from one of our Channel Partners.  Partners are still being added to the Organic Response family, so please check the Channel Partners section of this website or call us to discuss.

Q

Does Organic Response work with pendant lighting?

A

Our range of products includes a remote sensor mounting accessory. The remote sensor can be mounted in the ceiling adjacent to the pendant. The sensor would be connected to the pendant in the ceiling and would control it in the same way it would any other type of light fitting. Please contact us or one of our Strategic Technology Alliance (STA) partners, or their distributors, if you have any unusual luminaire integration or operational requirements.

Q

Does Organic Response work with track lighting?

A

As with pendant lighting, the sensor node can be remote mounted to control track lighting. Be careful not to switch a load that exceeds the rating of the sensor node. Please call us  or one of our Strategic Technology Alliance (STA) partners if you would like to discuss further.

Q

Does Organic Response just turn off the lights when no motion is detected?

A

No. The system is designed to maintain a light level for a certain period after motion is detected (this is called the “dwell time”).  Once the dwell time expires, the light dims to a lowlight state for a period before turning off completely.  This is a feature of the system designed not to plunge occupants into darkness if they are, for example, sitting in the office by themselves.

If the occupant is sitting very still, then the light will dim to their lowlight setting, which allows any occupant to respond with movement well before the lights turn off completely. However, the sensor is very sensitive to movement and, because there is a sensor in every light fitting, there is often more than one sensor responding to the motion of an individual. A small movement of the arm will be enough in most instances.

Q

What happens with an Organic Response system when the power goes out?

A

The lights go out! However, Organic Response is smart enough to remember the settings of the lights before power was lost, so that when power is restored the lights will work exactly as they did before. Any previous settings will remain and all lights come on. They then look for occupancy and daylight and act accordingly.

Q

Can anyone access the smartphone remote app for Organic Response?

A

At this stage the app is only available on Apple devices, and it’s free to anyone who can access the Apple App Store. Please refer to the App download instructions in the Resources section of this website. Please note that, you’ll also need an Organic Response infrared dongle to attach to the iPhone/iPod/iPad to be able to communicate with the Organic Response Sensor Nodes.  The dongle is available from Organic Response or any Organic Response Strategic Technology Alliance (STA) partner.

 

Q

Can Organic Response be used in carparks?

A

Not in its current form, but a Sensor Node suitable for car parks is in development. Please contact us if you have a car park application.

Q

Can Organic Response be used in warehouses?

A

The use of Organic Response in warehouses will be dependent upon ceiling height. If the ceiling is very high, the infrared communication may not reach the adjacent Sensor Node. Please contact us to discuss your specific warehouse lighting control requirements.

Q

Who installs the Organic Response system?

A

The same person who installs your lights also by default installs Organic Response.   Given that Organic Response is already installed in the light fitting before it is delivered to your site, the installation of Organic Response Enabled fittings into a building is no different to installing a normal light fitting.  Once  the light fitting is installed and powered on, Organic Response starts operating immediately.  There is no additional work required.

Q

Who commissions Organic Response?

A

Organic Response Enabled luminaires work from the moment they are powered up. There is no need for commissioning. However, there are some simple things that can be done to optimise your Organic Response installation. The optimisation process ensures that your energy savings and occupancy comfort are maximised. The optimisation process is very simple and can be carried out either by the installer or the user, using our Remote App on an Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad.  Please refer to the Organic Response User Guide for further information.

Q

What waranties does Organic Response offer?

A

The Organic Response components are warranted as part of the luminaire in which it is installed. Generally you can expect the Organic Response components to have the same warranty length as the luminaire, however you must check this with the particular luminaire manufacturer that you are using.

If you believe you have a problem with one of your Organic Response Sensor Nodes, please contact the luminaire manufacturer.

Q

What happens if an Organic Response Sensor Node fails?

A

In the unlikely event of a Sensor Node failure, the rest of the Organic Response Enabled lighting installation will continue operating as usual. The faulty luminaire will either turn off or revert to 100% on, dependant on the fault that is experienced.

Note that Organic Response lighting control is based on distributed intelligence, with no centralized computer or control software that can crash. This means that the failure of one or more Sensor Nodes will not affect the correct operation of the system as a whole.

Q

What is the power consumption of the Sensor Node when it is in standby mode?

A

The Sensor Node consumes 100 mW of power when in standby mode.