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Galaxy: Setting the standards for connected emergency lighting systems

We often take emergency lighting for granted. It is there in case something goes wrong with the regular lighting, and as such it is a service that ideally will rarely or never actually be required. Nevertheless, in a genuine emergency situation, it might make the difference between life and death. As such, it needs to be intrinsically dependable in design, easy to install, and simple to reconfigure to meet changing building requirements over time. It should also be intuitive to test and maintain to ensure its reliable operation in an emergency situation.

AS/NZS 2293.2—the standard for maintenance of emergency lighting—states that each emergency lighting point should be tested every six months. However, this infrequent nature means that testing will rarely become second nature for a facility manager, who will also have many other services within the building to test, each with their own software and testing protocols. Consequently, it would not be difficult for a facility manager to conduct the testing incorrectly. Not only will this contravene the standard, but it might result in faults not being identified and rectified, and may even mean that the emergency lighting does not work when lives actually depend on it.

Mindful of these issues, Legrand has sought to develop an emergency lighting solution that is cost effective, straightforward to install, adaptable to change, versatile, reliable, and intuitive to operate. Released to the market this year, the outcome is Galaxy Connected Emergency Lighting System, an emergency lighting solution that sets a new standard for the industry.

What is GALAXY?

Put simply, Galaxy is a state of the art Emergency Lighting monitoring system for smart buildings. Manufactured in Australia, it is specifically designed to streamline the process of testing Emergency Lighting. From specifying and installation, through to day-to-day monitoring and testing, Galaxy creates one simple solution.

Ease of installation

Galaxy uses numerous innovations to deliver cost-effective installations in terms of hardware, ease of implementation and ongoing operability. For example, installation, commissioning and testing are all expedited through Galaxy’s smart-device connectivity, graphical software, incorporated mapping features, and the integrated logbook capability. Moreover, Galaxy significantly reduces new infrastructure costs through its compatibility with Power over Ethernet and its ability to utilise existing IT networks, and is compatible with Building Management Systems.

With all required ports embedded as standard, Galaxy connects to existing IT infrastructures without difficulty. This overcomes many of the traditional operational issues experienced by older emergency lighting systems that rely on a dedicated backbone with cumbersome connections to add-on accessories. As well as being engineered to utilise existing IT services, Galaxy implements RF technology that further reduces the overall system hardware requirements, avoiding the need to upgrade, duplicate or otherwise interfere with existing building infrastructures.

The plug-and-play elegance of Galaxy saves time, costs and disruption in delivering a solution that allows for greater long-term versatility. The adoption of web-based software in its design further streamlines Galaxy’s ability to adapt to any operating system and any web browser without the need for restrictive third-party software.

It is a quick process to upload building schematics into the software and allocate lights onto the plan—with instinctive backup and restore facilities adding to the usability—and the inclusion of a mapping function into the software then greatly simplifies the Facility Manager’s ability to identify the location of each emergency light within a facility. Once integrated into the facilities network, the complete range of Galaxy functions can be accessed from anywhere within the customer’s network.

Robust and responsive

Integrating the latest lithium battery technology, Galaxy is a more robust product than most competing systems, while the fast and dependable communication capability between different elements of the system makes it extremely responsive. For example, Galaxy uses Tri-Wireless technology: Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) for reliable and cost-effective long-range and deep-indoor infiltration; Bluetooth Low Energy for near-field communication and smart device connectivity for commissioning; and Wifi for ease of connectivity.

The Galaxy stations themselves are linked to the host network server via standard IP connections, with end devices using single-hop, bi-directional and interference-free wireless communication. Galaxy has been engineered for multiple site applications, with remote monitoring as standard. This is facilitated by its star topology and two-way communications capabilities, which deliver fast transmission speeds and give Galaxy a range up to 2km coverage in line-of-sight applications, plus an ability to infiltrate deep within a building, even penetrating below ground level in structures like underground carparks.

With embedded Bluetooth functionality in every emergency light fixture, Galaxy streamlines the ability to communicate directly with any individual light fitting via a smart device. Testing of the emergency lighting is simplified through the ability to check lighting groups using the software’s filter function, and the software allows test results to be effortlessly exported and emailed. The integrated logbook and spare-parts generator further ensures that any issues identified through testing can be recorded, addressed and rectified intelligently.

The result of these features is a system that is cost-effective and easy to install, intrinsically robust and reliable in design, and intuitive to operate, maintain and test through a range of smart devices. Galaxy is poised to prove its worth in a number of successful applications—including hospitals, offices, and education facilities—where it will provide something more important than cutting-edge emergency lighting solutions: it will deliver peace of mind for the end user.

Tags: Building, commercial projects., Connected Emergency Lighting System, Emergency Lighting, Galaxy, Internet of Things, IoT, lighting