Guiding Light – LG14 overview

The Society of Light and Lighting has published its latest guidance on controls – LG14. Sophie Parry, SLL technical committee chair, summarises the new document


Following an introduction in Chapter 1, there is an overview of the terminology used in lighting controls in Chapter 2, covering:

  • Frequently encountered acronyms, with brief explanations
  • Modes of operation, such as manual control, presence detection, absence detection, photo cells and scene setting
  • Design features, including daylight linking and contact illuminance control
  • Dimming and regulation

Chapter 3 looks at the approach to designing and developing a lighting controls specification by understanding: the space; client preferences/expectations; and the development of the lighting scheme. It concludes with a list of key aspects that need to be considered, discussed and noted to manage the project expectation, and apply the resultant brief to the lighting design.

Chapter 4 offers food for thought on human interaction with lighting controls, which is a subject often neglected. There is useful informiaton on how lighting controls can be applied by end users in a space, rather than accepting a set operating configuration that – in many cases – is totally automated, with no scope for localised manual control or adjustment.

Chapter 5 covers lighting for visual effect and comfort – a part of design that most people don’t instinctively associate with lighting controls, because not all controls applications are designed with the prime purpose of conserving lighting energy. The main areas covered include:

  • Lighting for architectural enhancement and effect: the artistic side of control
  • Presentation spaces – such as classrooms and lecture theatres – in which wall-screen glare can create a poor and inefficient learning experience for students
  • Circadian lighting, where a compatible control system is used to shift the colour of white electric light to emulate the colour changes of daylight, serving the emerging benefits of lighting for health and wellbeing.

Chapter 6 examines energy reduction through lighting control. This is probably the main – and only – reason most people believe lighting controls are a project requirement. Well-designed automatic lighting controls can contribute significantly to lighting energy reduction; however putting this chapter more than halfway through the guide emphasises that the subject of controls is more than just about efficiency.

Chapter 7 is concerned with integrated systems, and looks at the interfacing of lighting control devices through a dedicated network. Also covered is the subsequent information-sharing with other networks, such as building management systems. Another application for consideration is the incorporation of automatic testing/monitoring of emergency lighting through a lighting control system. The chapter concludes with a few notes on the emerging subjects or Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting and controls, and the use of the internet as a communications pathway.

Chapter 8 examines system commissioning and handover. It explores the – often overlooked – requirement to ensure that lighting controls are optimised for energy reduction where this is a design requirement. It also goes through the project handover process to ensure the end user understands the process behind – and the benefit of – the installed lighting controls.

The Society of Light and Lighting guide concludes with several case studies for common lighting-control applications, such as place of worship, classrooms, offices and highways lighting.

  • Download Lighting Guide 14 (LG14): Control of Electric Lighting at
  • Sophie Parry is key accounts manager at Zumtobel Group, and chair of the SLL technical and publications committee