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Talking Lighting Trends and Lighting Controls with Legrand

January 25, 2024


“At Legrand, we understand that our customers’ needs are unique to the business, industry, and market, which is why we design our products with professionals who specify, sell, install, and use our products. Evolving energy codes, transformative lighting technology and high-performance buildings require powerful, flexible solutions. Our products integrate with each other to provide simple, flexible, and scalable solutions. We also offer an outstanding customer support team that offers best-in-class service, making us well positioned to capitalize on a growing commercial and residential lighting controls market.”

“Wattstopper and Encelium paired with Commercial shading hardware offer a comprehensive line of simple, scalable lighting control solutions for commercial applications. Our commercial solutions are designed to go beyond meeting code requirements and enhance each commercial office, healthcare, and education environment for their different needs.”

Legrand was invited by US Lighting Trends to share their take on the future of our industry, the commercial and residential lighting controls market, technologies and trends to watch.

We talked with Andrea Lamieri, Senior VP and General Manager, Building Control Systems (BCS0 – Legrand, North and Central America (LNCA).

How has the control system market changed over the years and what do you see for 2024? Growth potential? Product functionality? Key Markets?

The evolution of the lighting controls market has been driven by energy code requirements, building certifications, a focus on enhancing the occupant experience in a space, and the desire for smart buildings, which will continue to trend as we look to the next five years. Initially controls began as line voltage wall switch sensors and analog power packs with three wire sensors to meet basic energy codes.

As energy codes became more complex and 0-10V dimming became the standard digital controls helped to simplify wiring. Further energy code development then led us to wired networking systems enabling centralized control, building wide scheduling, and automated demand response. End-users began calling for remote connectivity and simple network integration with fire and security alarms.

The future of controls includes technology maturity in areas of security, cloud, wireless communication, and data modeling which are accelerating innovation in the lighting controls space. Network-centric lighting controls will continue to evolve to make buildings more efficient. Growth and innovation to connect lighting controls with other building applications along with intuitive graphical interfaces to aid and improve facility management, providing opportunity for fixture-based controls. Key Growth Markets include Healthcare, Education, Commercial Office and Data Centers.

Why, and where, should a wired vs a wireless controls solution be the appropriate recommendation?

The choice depends on desired goals and outcomes as each solution has its benefits. Aesthetics, time constraints of a project, frequency of space renovations, and security all play a part in selecting the preferred solution for a space. System attributes should be taken into consideration and how devices communicate to one another within a space. Wired solutions are suited for certain spaces, those spaces with large amounts of partitioning or integration with other systems like A/V.

Wireless can provide cost savings during installation especially on retrofit scenarios and beneficial when large amounts of wire would need to be pulled. While wired controls currently dominate the install base for the lighting controls market, there is a noticeable growth trend for wireless controls; market drivers including flexibility, perceived ease of installation & time savings, and scalability.

How does DRC compare to the other applications?

Wattstoppper distributed room controls are set apart by our Plug n Go and Push to Pair technologies. Not only do our devices connect easily with an open-topology CAT5 wiring and/or quick wireless pairing, but once connected the DLM space defaults to the most energy efficient SoO based on the connected devices and loads. The space is not only operational before startup, but requires minimal adjustments during the startup, which may consist of more fine tuning such as creation of scenes.

We know cabling is an expensive part of any lighting controls systems, is the future wireless? When many hear “wireless” they also express concerns about security? How should specifiers address this issue?

Wireless controls are expected to gain share in both residential and commercial segments as result of less complexity and ease of deployment. It’s difficult to say the future is wireless – as we are not seeing trends strong to lend toward this. The future of wireless will likely be a future where both wired & wireless technologies are deployed as solutions that best suit the application.

Wireless primarily favors retrofits in commercial segments by avoiding wear and tear of infrastructure. When considering a wireless solution, it is important to ensure the system comes from a reputable manufacturer that is certified by trusted third parties. When specifying a lighting control solution, it is worth evaluating if wireless meets the needs of the space, stakeholders, and end-users. Evaluating the security of the system is imperative and specifiers should be prepared to have a conversation on system security.

They can build trust by getting to know their manufacturers rep who can provide knowledge and resources. New wireless controls introduced over the last 3-5 years offer device, software, and data security comparable to wired systems.

Legrand’s “Wattstopper product line of Lighting Control Systems and Services positions itself as the most comprehensive line of simple, scalable, and flexible energy-efficient lighting and plug load controls for commercial applications”. How? Why?

Wattstopper has a longstanding history and expertise in the lighting control space – from simple stand-alone devices to fully networked digital lighting controls. Our Wattstopper product line offers that most comprehensive line of simple scalable and energy efficient lighting controls and solutions for commercial applications.

The breadth of product allows us to control a wide variety of loads ranging from fixtures, plug loads, and shade motors and to enable integration with other systems in the building such as HVAC, Fire Alarm, AV, and other solutions. It’s patented and trademarked Plug ‘n Go technology allows the devices in a room to communicate between each other and automatically set up a sequence of operation that is energy efficient. Wattstopper DLM was designed to communicate with BAC net to share data.

Legrand offers both wired and wireless controls enabling the best of both technologies, and the solution that’s best suited for each application, along with in-fixture controls that are fixture agnostic not limiting designers when selecting fixtures. Also, allowing Seamless scalability from single standalone room, small networks, large buildings or a connected campus, enabling the ability to add to the system if and when needed.

We hear flexibility is the new goal to attain in lighting as people are returning to offices. Please share how “flexibility” is applicable to the Wattstopper offering? What is different about Wattstopper?

Wattstopper products allow for flexibility in design, allowing the choice between a wired, wireless, or hybrid solution, which Affords specifiers and stakeholders the ability to choose the appropriate solution for the application, including at the fixture level with Legrand’s fixture agnostic approach to Wattstopper in-fixture controls. Our system is configurable to meet the needs of the space/building as they change over the life of the install.

Wattstopper offer a variety of configurable features like the ability to program switch buttons, adjust schedules, change sensor settings when a space is occupied or unoccupied. Modification of controls design as floor plan evolves, networking can be added at any time, along with a Data Driven Service Contract for collection of energy and consumption data.

Wattstopper’s Digital Lighting Management (DLM) System is frequently promoted for advanced lighting control in commercial buildings. What are its most used features? Efficiency? Security? Adaptability? Describe the right characteristics for the “ideal Wattstopper commercial building”?

The foundation of DLM focuses on the ease of design, install, and use to meet energy codes in a variety of regions. DLM has evolved into a fully networked system over the years to include the addition of secure wireless, remote access support, cloud-based authentication for programming software. The DLM system is ideal for simple standalone rooms all the way up to a full building with utility connected load shed. Integration with a BACnet building management system can be as easy as turning on a feature to share occupancy status with the HVAC system.

Where is the growth market for control solutions such as Wattstopper? What can specifiers, and contractors, do to promote the usage of these systems if they are not initially requested by the client? In other words, how can specifiers / contractors become controls salespeople”!*

The biggest growth opportunity we see are facilities and end-user driven projects that are interested in a fully connected building with a system that collects data and aggregates in a way that provides actionable insights to the facility, including those that are looking to integrate the lighting system with other applications to reduce costs and complexity.

The Wattstopper network lighting control systems offer opportunities to expand the specification under a single manufacturer. A great way to add value is to look for opportunities to integrate the lighting system with other applications to reduce costs and complexity.

A customer may want to integrate shading within a DLM room and have the same wall switch or touchscreen controlling both vs having separate wall switches for lights and shade from multiple vendors which can lead to design and programming complexity. Becoming an advisor can be as easy as working more closely with Legrand to share market needs or request more information about opportunities to include integrated solutions.

What should specifiers know to have confidence that Wattstopper is the right solution for their application?

Wattstopper is a brand that specifiers know and trust to deliver solutions that are reliable and easy to design, install, and program. Wattstopper has teams of factory trained startup technicians and offers a variety of services to assist with design, programming, integration, and post installer services. Wattstopper sales agents or direct sales associate can be engaged early on in the project design to discuss the project goals and ensure the right system is specified to meet these goals.

Energy Code Resources: https://www.legrand.us/solutions/energy-coder

DLM:  Digital Lighting Management Solutions | Wattstopper (legrand.us)

Bio Information

Andrea Lamieri is the Senior VP and General Manager at Building Control Systems (BCS) Division of Legrand North and Central America (LNCA).

Andrea began his career in the Legrand Group in 1995, in Italy, covering different positions in Product Management, Marketing, Sales and Technical Support then moved to the Group headquarter in France in 2009 as Marketing Director for the Electrical Distribution and Industrial Automation (EDIA) Division.

Before joining the US team, he spent 10 years in China: from 2021 to 2021 as General Manager of Legrand Wuxi (Jiansu Province) and from 2016 to 2022 as Country Manager of Legrand Greater China. In the 6 years spent as Country Manager in China, his focus has been organic growth, profitability, M&As front office rationalization and industrial footprint rationalization.

Andrea holds an Electric Engineer and Executive Education Program in Marketing at SDA Bocconi in Milan (Italy). Married with two daughters.

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