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Architen Lighting Uses KNX to Manage Emergency Lighting in Welsh College

The Ebbw Vale Learning Zone is a new GB£33m state-of-the-art college in Wales. It has taken full advantage of KNX Partner Architen Lighting’s intelligent building control systems to save energy and save money, and has integrated emergency lighting into the building’s control system.

The scale of the works include 1,200 emergency lights that are located throughout four blocks of buildings on four different floors on over 400 rooms. All 1,200 emergency lights are fed through 70 DALI gateways which run along a KNX bus and are fed to a central source via IP. Here, the source is an iPad and a PC. The iPad allows the Facilities Manager to view data on the go while moving throughout the building attending to other pressing tasks.


The system constantly monitors and tests the emergency lights throughout the buildings, reporting back failures/faults and the location of the issue on a detailed plan (e.g. light 1, building 2, hall 3, floor 4). This level of reporting allows failures to be corrected quickly and efficiently by being able to go direct to the source of the problem.

Energy Savings

With over 400 rooms and over 2,500 luminaires, the Learning Zone had a dilemma that many new office buildings and colleges face – how to reduce their power bill, while maintaining adequate lighting levels. In the case of the Learning Zone, the requirement was room by room light control and an ability to regulate CO2 levels.

With the building constructed of sustainably-sourced materials, it was important for the Learning Zone to continue its Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). Besides sustainable materials, another way of achieving this was by reducing the need for unnecessary lights being left on when rooms are not in use, and when they are on, only using as much as is needed.

Intelligent building control systems are all encompassing, and the following is what Architen Lighting was able to provide the Learning Zone in order to achieve its CRC target, while maintain light levels and reducing its power consumption:

Daylight-responsive dimming with absence detection.
Individually controlled luminaires throughout.
Monitoring, testing & feedback for all emergency light fittings.

Climate Control
A/C units and trench heating valves.
Control of windows to passively regulate temperature and CO2 levels.

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