industry updates

DALI-2 Within Emergency Lighting

David Allcock, Mackwell’s Technical Manager, looks at the advancement of DALI-2 to cover DALI Emergency, and the benefits this offers to the emergency lighting sector. 

The use of DALI protocol to automatically test and monitor emergency lighting is well-established across the globe. It is internationally recognised as a reliable and robust solution that meets the safety critical requirements of the sector.  


Recently, the DALI Alliance extended its DALI-2 certification program to include DALI Emergency. This further extends the interoperability of devices and opens up the potential for integration into building management systems. This in turn brings a number of benefits. 


Path to DALI-2 Emergency 

DALI emergency lighting has been in operation for many years, offering a great deal of advantages with regards to testing and monitoring. While DALI-2 has been operational for general lighting, it is only now that DALI-2 Emergency is being introduced. It will be released in 2 stages across 2022-2023. DALI-2 Ed. 1 (2022), which is now open for registrations, will cover test sequences for improved interoperability. And, due for release in 2023, DALI-2 Ed.2 will include a range of advanced functions including diagnostics, data, reliability features, and more. 

Benefits of DALI-2 

DALI-2 offers improved compatibility between different manufacturers’ products, thanks to mandatory certification. In today’s technology, advanced systems for managing charge through embedded software – which also include diagnostics – are already available. These will be developed into a standard range of features in DALI-2 Ed.2. 

This is a significant step forward in the adoption of DALI-2 as the protocol of choice for smart emergency systems, and consequently even smarter buildings. Ultimately, DALI-2 Emergency raises the bar for emergency lighting systems, providing facilities managers with the confidence that technologies will work together seamlessly now and in the future, and for the lifetime of the system. 

Overall, DALI-2 provides seamless integration of these products and will assist greatly with the future safety of occupants of a building. This is undoubtedly a change to be welcomed and embraced across the emergency lighting sector. 

industry updates

Ely Cathedral shines bright with Pharos

Ely Cathedral is located in the picturesque city of Ely in East Cambridgeshire. The site can be dated back to AD 763, when it began its life as an abbey church built by St Etheldreda. The current building dates from 1083, and Ely was raised to cathedral status in 1109.

As part of the Church of England, Ely Cathedral is committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. To help achieve this, the lighting at Ely Cathedral is currently being upgraded to a more energy-efficient and sustainable system.

While the Cathedral is primarily a place of worship, it is also an important heritage attraction, a venue for music and events, and an occasional location for filming. It was therefore key to ensure that any new lighting scheme was capable of showing the architecture off to its full potential, while supporting a range of uses and enhancing the Cathedral’s daily round of worship. The new system will reveal more of the detail and beauty of the building while being less visually intrusive.

The work has been split into phases, with phase 1 focusing on the exterior of the Cathedral’s Octagon Tower.

Light Perceptions, specialist lighting consultants for historic buildings, were appointed to the project. Their brief was to remove the existing flood lighting and design a scheme that was flexible and controllable while offering higher levels of energy efficiency.

The flexibility of the external system is important as it allows the Cathedral to use colours and dynamic lighting to mark special occasions or events, such as red, white and blue for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, or the colours of the liturgical calendar. The previous lighting allowed for only a single colour. In addition, the new system has removed the need for someone to change the lighting manually when required, which incurred time and cost.

Light Perceptions worked exceptionally well with the Cathedral to obtain the permissions needed. These are especially exacting for a Grade I listed building governed by the Church of England’s regulatory system.

To deliver the control aspect of the exterior lighting design, Pharos Architectural Controls was selected by Light Perceptions. A Pharos TPC (Touch Panel Controller) is now used by the Cathedral, offering a customisable 4.3” touch screen with a single Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) network connection. The touch screen interface allows Ely Cathedral to create multiple pages of controls and configure their appearance to provide immediate visual feedback.

The advanced technology of the Pharos TPC allows for control of lighting levels and playbacks that can gracefully transition between scenes, timelines, effects and pixel-mapped media.

To bolster the system further, a Pharos EXT has also been used. The EXT is an extension for the Pharos TPC and together they form a standalone, mains-powered lighting control system with flexible output and show control options. In addition, the EXT provides local DMX and DALI output for the TPC, as well as power and other hardware interfaces.

Tim Edwards, Director of Operations for Pharos Architectural Controls commented: Ely Cathedral is a beautiful structure, and it is hoped that the new lighting will allow visitors to appreciate its rich architecture, especially once all phases are completed.  

It’s great to see the Cathedral to now have flexible system from Pharos that allows it to use the lighting for special occasions and other celebrations.  

Bruce Kirk, Director at Light Perceptions said: “Ely Cathedral is visited by thousands of people every year, which makes us incredibly proud to know we have contributed to the new lighting system now that phase one is complete. It’s another hugely successful project to add to our strong portfolio as we celebrate our company’s 20th anniversary. 

“The outdated lighting was no longer fit for purpose, using high levels of energy and therefore costing far too much. The new lighting system will give the Cathedral the ability to control the lighting easily, and embrace this to its full potential. Light Perceptions has worked with Pharos on a number of projects and, as always, their contribution and market-leading technology has completed the lighting scheme perfectly.” 

The Very Revd Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely, added: “The effect of the new lighting on the exterior at Ely Cathedral is superb. Not only are we reducing our energy use, the beauty of the fourteenth-century Octagon Tower is more fully revealed at night.  

“It is wonderful that the exterior of the Cathedral can now mark occasions and events through more flexible and controllable lighting. Using the lighting to show support for the people of Ukraine was a poignant moment for us.” 

industry updates

Shining A Light on Residential Security

Ansell Lighting unveils new compact security light

With twin adjustable heads providing wider coverage and performance, Zeker is the latest security light to be unveiled by Ansell Lighting.

Suitable for residential settings, the compact floodlight emits light at a 90-degree angle and is the ideal luminaire for illuminating doorways, patios and gardens spaces.

Available with and without the option of PIR technology, Zeker offers complete flexibility, providing either a constant source of light or alternatively, illumination only when presence is detected. Conveniently, the PIR version does also have an 8hr manual override facility giving users the best of both worlds when required.

Constructed from a robust aluminium the luminaire is IP65 rated and comes complete with a two-year warranty for added peace of mind.

CCT selectable between 3000k, 4000k and 6000k, Zeker is non dimmable and has an LED Lifetime of L70 54,000 hours.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting said: “Utilising years of insight and expertise, our design team has strived to create a discreet yet effective security light for the residential market.

“As a result, Zeker is a highly flexible luminaire that can act as both a constant outdoor light source and a motion reactive security light. Available in both white and black finishes, it is a stylish addition to any home and will complement a variety of property designs.”

industry updates

Ansell Lighting Launches £5k Community Campaign

Installers & wholesalers encouraged to nominate projects to win lighting installation

Ansell Lighting has launched a new campaign to recognise and reward the work of community projects across the country.

The Ansell Shine A Light campaign will highlight projects and initiatives, many of which have provided vital support and services in the last couple of years, with the winner receiving a lighting installation worth up to £5,000 to help them improve their facilities.

And Ansell is calling on its customers and partners, from wholesalers to installers and end-users, to support the campaign by nominating their local projects and spreading the word about the competition.

Whether it is a grass roots sports club that needs pitch-side lighting to extend its usable hours, a foodbank that needs better lighting for its storage and distribution areas or a community village hall that needs smart lighting to suit everything from a toddler group to a counselling session – the campaign is open to all.

The prize will include lighting consultation and design, products and a contribution of up to £2,000 towards installation by an approved electrician.

Nominations are open now, until Friday September 2nd. Judges will then compile a shortlist, which will be out to a public vote, with the winner announced in October.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting, said: “In our 30th birthday year we wanted to give something back to communities. The last couple of years have been tough on everyone and community projects have done an amazing job in providing support, entertainment and leisure activities to people who needed them.

“The prize is intended to help the winning project to transform its premises in order to continue and expand its good work. We hope our customers and partners will join us and put forward projects and initiatives to be considered for this campaign and in doing so shine a light on some of the fabulous work that goes on in our communities.”

Projects and initiatives should be owned, developed and led by the communities they serve. Nominations can come from the project or initiative itself or from other members of the community. For full details, terms and conditions and to compete a nomination go to

industry updates

amBX supports ESG scores through their digital twin lighting software Inbox

Smart software experts amBX acknowledge the rise of the ESG metric and how their smart software can enable smart buildings with the use of digital twins to assist with this.

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) disclosure provides companies with a way to identify and understand key issues that aren’t typically accounted for on a traditional balance sheet yet have a critical impact on a company’s expenditures and expenses. It is a measurement that industry professionals, particularly investors, are beginning to look at to understand company value and long-term sustainability. They want to invest in companies with strong ESG scores as they are viewed as low-risk and more equipped to take advantage of opportunities.

An ESG score is a measure of a company’s exposure to long-term environmental, social, and governance risks that are often overlooked during traditional financial analyses. These risks include things like energy efficiency, worker safety, and board diversity, all of which can have significant financial consequences.

ESG has gained a greater deal of traction and awareness over the last decade. It is increasingly a focus for building owners and operators of large commercial buildings as they face pressure to make their buildings more environmentally friendly and remain competitive. There is a need to maintain tenants and hit criteria around strong corporate management to satisfy shareholders.

According to CBRE’s 2021 Global Investor Intentions Survey, over 60% of respondents say they have already adopted ESG criteria within their investment strategies, with the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific all leading the way with a stronger focus on ESG-related issues than in previous years.

In the UK, new compliance will state that many buildings have to present an ESG score in the not-so-distant future. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has made it mandatory for premium listed companies to disclose in alignment with TCFD for the fiscal year 2021.

This score will review aspects such as energy, Co2, water, wellbeing, and reporting. However, many large corporate businesses are yet to implement an ESG strategy and have no way of being able to collect all this data into one single source where a score can be generated. They are turning to their BMS providers, IoT software solutions and building/engineering consultants to ask for a solution. They know data is being collected throughout their building but need to figure out a way to capture the relevant data, pull it into a single source and create an accurate picture of current performance. This will lead them to understand where they need to improve.

Whilst some building management software platforms are starting to offer this service; they struggle to access data from the lighting system; therefore, they lack a full holistic picture. Lighting is the second-biggest consumer of energy in a building, accounting for approximately 40% of total usage; hence it is important this data is included for an accurate ESG score to be generated.

amBX has digital twin architecture that allows for physical spaces to be replicated in the virtual world. Lighting could be simulated and role-played to gain an understanding of the best energy strategy before applying it to the physical asset. Usage values, energy, efficiency, and carbon emissions for lighting can be extracted to support detailed ESG reporting. This can be used by software platforms and combined with data they have also collected to create an accurate report.

The result is that the client will then have data which correctly models how their current buildings are running. Adjustments to the digital models can also be used to predict improvements on each of their buildings to enable accurate future target reporting across their entire portfolio. All this knowledge and projections can potentially be achieved without any hardware being deployed in any of their buildings.

amBX SmartCore technology will inevitably help buildings to keep on top of their energy usage and help to improve their ESG score, which is paramount for the future of smart buildings, and their investors.