Commercial lighting controls consultants are the unsung heroes who keep the lights on when no one else can. But what exactly do they do? Let’s shine a light on the key roles they play and when you might need them.
What is a Commercial Lighting Controls Consultant?
A commercial lighting controls consultant is an expert who understands everything there is to know about a lighting control system. They have the necessary training and credentials to provide various lighting services in any commercial environment, including:
Commercial Lighting Controls Consultants vs. Everyone Else
What makes a commercial lighting controls consultant different from other third-party lighting consultants? The main distinction is their relationship with the manufacturer of your lighting system.
For example, let’s say you own a Lutron lighting control system that needs repairs. You want someone who can fix your system the right way with minimal disruption. You can try your luck with a regular lighting consultant who may have little experience with Lutron systems, or you can hire an authorized independent Lutron consultant who knows your system inside and out. The latter can get your lighting controls back in working order quickly or help you upgrade to an entirely new system if necessary.
Lighting controls consultants will also often work with other third-party vendors, including electricians and contractors, to service a system. As the lighting experts who are often called in to solve the most complex lighting problems, they have to be able to collaborate with other lighting professionals to get a job done safely and efficiently.
But the job is more than just fixing systems. Let’s take a look at six roles every commercial lighting controls consultant plays – and when you would need hire one.
6 Main Duties of a Commercial Lighting Controls Consultant
1. Lighting Controls Design
Lighting affects how we live. It has the power to make office employees motivated and productive, and it can turn any room into a welcoming oasis. Because lighting is so important to a commercial space, it’s critical to design the right lighting control solution for your needs. It requires an artful approach that leaves your lighting functional and aesthetically pleasing.
A commercial lighting controls consultant has the skills and mindset to design a space that truly shines. They understand the codes and standards that keep your lighting energy efficient and safe while ensuring your vision is met. The ideal consultant will also figure out the right color temperature and rendering for your building before they touch any wires or remove any panels.
When to hire one: It’s common to contact a lighting controls consultant when you’re looking to design a new building or renovate an existing space. And once they get a satisfactory design into your hands, they can begin the installation stage.
2. System Installation
Every commercial building is unique, and so is its lighting control system. That’s why it helps to have a consultant who can design and install your solution for you. They will have a better understanding of your space than an installer who is new to your project.
And the ideal consultant will be trained and certified by the manufacturer of your system, so you can have confidence knowing they are familiar with your equipment. This makes it much easier for them to not only install your lighting controls but also program them.
When to hire one: Whether you need to replace an obsolete dimming system or install a brand-new lighting control solution, a commercial lighting controls consultant will help ensure the job is done safely and efficiently. In many cases, they can re-use your existing wiring, infrastructure, and hardware, which saves you time, money and headaches.
3. Programming & Automation
Lighting a commercial building, like an office or hotel, is challenging because you want a solution that conserves energy and saves money. That’s why proper programming for your lighting is so essential. A programmed lighting control system allows you to automate various functions:
- Turn the lights on and off
- Adjust lighting output
- Alter the light source color
- Generate data
But programming and automation require a certain level of expertise and knowledge of systems. Lighting controls consultants can work with a broad range of equipment, including:
- Centralized control systems
- Automated timers
- Occupancy sensors
- Demand response and load shedding
- Daylight controls
- Shading solutions
When to hire one: A lighting controls consultant that knows programming can help you create a welcoming environment that keeps your employees and guests happy at any time of day. They can also help train your staff on how to use the controls and further optimize automation possibilities.
4. Training Your Team
Today’s lighting controls are complex systems that can be hard for customers to understand on their own. While they can look up how-to videos online, customers are better off receiving hands-on learning from a controls consultant who can answer their questions in detail and provide insights into how and why the system operates the way it does.
When to hire one: The right trainer can teach your staff how to set up your lighting control system and make appropriate adjustments when needed. They can also be available when questions arise and customers need a timely response. And if problems occur that can’t be resolved, the consultant can conduct a site visit to troubleshoot the issue.
5. Expert Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting a commercial lighting control system involves identifying, planning, and resolving the root cause of the problem. From there, the consultant can repair the system back to its optimal condition.
When to hire one: Not all consultants are equal. You want an expert who understands the intricacies of your system so that no wire is left unchecked during the troubleshooting process. That’s the main difference between choosing a manufacturer-certified, trained consultant and a regular third-party consultant. A consultant who fully understands your system knows what to look for and has a direct line to the manufacturer if they need to order parts for a repair.
6. Fixing Stuff
Unfortunately, no lighting control system is completely foolproof. Most systems need repair or upgrade work during their lifetime, and every facility manager should have a controls consultant’s phone number readily available. Once they troubleshoot the system and assess the situation, they can determine whether it’s best to repair, replace or upgrade.
When to hire one: If repairs are in order, the consultant will handle everything necessary to get your system back up and running. Think of them as your one-stop shop for lighting controls. They can cover everything your other lighting and electrical partners don’t, and will often reuse existing materials and wiring whenever possible to reduce time and expense.
What If I’m Not Sure Who to Call?
Whenever you need work done on your lighting control system, call a commercial lighting controls consultant. This includes before, during and after new construction. Lighting systems are complex, so it helps to get a consultant involved early to help figure out what needs to be done.
Commercial lighting controls consultants are experts in their craft. This allows them to perform various jobs to make sure a lighting system is optimized, efficient, and environmentally sound. If your commercial lighting system requires design, installation, programming, troubleshooting and/or repair or upgrades of any kind, a lighting controls consultant should be your first call.
Paratus Service Group is a commercial lighting controls consultant based in Morrisville, NC. As the leading Lutron lighting consultant in the U.S., we help offices and hospitality businesses with all their lighting needs. Get in touch today to talk with one of our lighting solutions experts.