Philips Strand Lighting Provides Diurnal Light Cycle for NICU
CDm2 LIGHTWORKS designs innovative solution using A21 Dimming Panels, Contact Relay Panels and Control at Surrey Memorial Hospital
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
by Philips Strand Lighting

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Inside the Neonatal Infant Care Unit (NICU) at Surrey Memorial Hospital, Surrey, B.C., Canada, a complete lighting transformation has taken place to include high-tech incubators, acoustic ceiling tiles, and an adjustable day-night light cycle to help the infant’s transition home. Overseeing the transformation was David Rawlings, CDm2 LIGHTWORKS, who designed the full system using networked A21 Dimming Panels, Contact Relay Panels, and controls from Philips Strand Lighting.

“The objective was to create a diurnal lighting control system for the 48-bed Neonatal Infant Care Unit,” began Rawlings. “The ambient lighting had to be adjustable through a range of 10 to 600 lux and it also had to be independently controlled within each room. We were also asked to give it the ability to be manually adjusted and automatically operated in a diurnally controlled light cycle when selected by the user. Plus, a master ‘off’ control was needed to provide rapid room darkening that de-energized all electric light in the room. Understanding the importance of reliability of the system we wanted to go with a trusted dimming and controls manufacturer and that’s why we chose a complete system from Philips Strand Lighting.”

“Previously in our NICU we had an older light system that was just bright light,” said Brenda Haan, Clinical Lead, NICU, Surrey Memorial Hospital. “Our newborns may spend months in the NICU and they need to start feeling a normal day-night rhythm. With the old system it was all or nothing and we needed better control. So with this new lighting system, we can now set it and forget it and this helps the newborns make a much easier transition on their way home.”

With CDm2 LIGHTWORKS dedication to delivering truly integrated and user-friendly lighting control solutions, Rawlings got to work designing the new diurnal system along with Michael Graham of MMM Group who did the lighting layout. Together they established the lighting levels and certified the Vital, Emergency and normal power requirements. Since the new system would be separate from all other lighting controls in the building, Rawlings chose a touchscreen as the central controller to maintain the diurnal cycle for all 48 patient rooms and then used Vision.Net 6-button keypads into each room that would all be fed with Vital Power to keep the cycles intact during any power interruption. The complete system was then easily installed by Houle Electric.

Rawlings explained further, “The ambient light fixtures in each care unit receive the same control signal from the touchscreen, delivering 12 hours of light starting at 7 am and 12 hours of dark starting at 7 pm. Within each ambient light fixture there are two rows of lamps that are fed from a separate dimmer allowing the system to achieve a 10 lux low level setting from a single lamp. The human interface of the system is controlled via a wall-mounted 8-button keypad. The keypads give each user the ability to leave the diurnal lighting cycle and rejoin as required, fade up or down the ambient lighting luminaires, and then also turn off all lights in the room when needed.”

The control system is a fully integrated lighting management system designed to meet the most demanding lighting environments. Scalable from a single room to large multi-building campuses, its decentralized control approach delivers unparalleled flexibility and maximum reliability. control stations provide a wide range of touchscreen, button and slider stations and any button can be programmed with a multitude of functions. For this application, Philips Strand Lighting also customized the standard keypad to place the raise/lower buttons at the top of the station and then used LED indicators for the back lighting of the buttons.

Rawlings continued, “The Contact Relay Panels provide source voltage control (ON/OFF) for all other luminaires in each care unit, and they are segregated to accommodate Normal, Vital, and Emergency powered lighting loads. These relays are up stream of the local wall mounted line voltage switches in order to meet the master ‘off’ requirement. Having both dimmers and relays that responded to the same software commands made the overall system a cohesive functional unit separate from the building’s general lighting control system. For example during a trans-illumination procedure, a single button press can de-energize all the electric light in a single infant patient room.”

Contact Relay Panels are ideal for a wide range of control and energy management applications and are available in four panel sizes for 12, 24, 36 and 48 relay variants. The system's integrated clock provides full astronomical time control for hundreds of events with full day-of-the-week and calendar scheduling. Plus, the integrated flash warn feature provides visual warning of any time clock control action. Easy to set up and configure, Contact Relay Panels offer a simple walk-around interface for connecting control stations to relays, as well as a computer-based configuration for advanced installations.

“The A21 systems ability to handle fluorescent, incandescent and LED lighting loads was beneficial in reducing the amount of equipment required,” added Rawlings. “The infrastructure now in place allows the NICU or a single Infant Patient Room to adapt to a circadian light cycle in the future by changing the light source.”

A21 dimming systems are designed to be flexible and their modular design allows systems to be configured easily to meet the needs of a wide range of projects. Each cabinet is a pre-wired enclosure that contains the power modules, a control processor module, internal wiring and load, supply and control terminations. Three cabinet sizes are available for 3, 6 or 9 power modules with dual and quad power modules available in a variety of ratings for incandescent/inductive (low voltage, neon and cold cathode), fluorescent and non-dim loads. Additionally, A21 dimming systems are compatible with either SCR and/or IGBT dimmer modules that are simple to install and configure to match differing load sizes and types.

“We are very excited about the new lighting and control system,” concluded Haan. “We are now getting into the educational phase of how it all works and the beauty of the system is that we can now allow the babies to start feeling the normalcy of a day-night transition which is key for their strengthening and development.”

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