Why your retrofit projects should include the EnOcean X Casambi ensemble

For lighting refurbishment projects, where cost and environmental consciousness often collide, the combination of Casambi and EnOcean technologies is a game-changer. This powerful alliance not only redefines how lighting systems are installed and controlled but also establishes a benchmark for sustainability and efficiency in the realm of design and architecture.

A finger press that powers greener lighting

EnOcean is a leading innovator in energy-harvesting wireless technology, offering sustainable solutions that eliminate the need for traditional batteries in IoT devices and are particularly well-suited for lighting and automation systems. Matthias Kassner, VP of Product Marketing at EnOcean GmbH, explains their switching technology: 

“EnOcean’s energy-harvesting switches utilize an electro-magnetic harvester that transforms the mechanical energy generated by a simple finger press into electrical energy used to power the entire device functionality. This approach eliminates the need for batteries, reducing maintenance and environmental concerns. By harnessing the power of human touch, our switches offer a sustainable and efficient solution for powering lighting systems,” he explains.

This innovative approach not only ensures a greener footprint but also addresses the financial challenges associated with battery replacements. He adds: “The cost and maintenance headache associated with battery replacement is quite problematic and can be inhibitive to implementing a smarter system in refurbishment and indeed in new projects.”

According to Matthias, batteries need to be replaced every few years and such replacements require suitable personnel, access to the location of the device, access to the battery in the device, exchange of the battery, disposal of the old battery and documentation of the whole process. As result, a single battery replacement can cost up to 250€. This impact is further compounded when considering the volume of wireless devices deployed in large facilities which can contain tens of thousands of wireless devices.  

EnOcean devices adapt to any environment

One of the key strengths of EnOcean switches lies in their unmatched versatility. “EnOcean switches boast unparalleled flexibility in terms of installation locations and repositioning capabilities. In modern offices with adaptable layouts and flexible walls, the elimination of wiring to EnOcean devices significantly streamlines the installation process,” notes Matthias.

This adaptability has proven instrumental in lighting refurbishment projects, ensuring seamless integration with evolving office spaces. From the Design Offices in Germany to large-scale retrofit projects like the BBC’s UK-wide rollout, EnOcean energy-harvesting switches have become the backbone of Casambi-controlled projects, showcasing their adaptability in diverse environments.

EnOcean’s ascendance in retrofit and new-build projects

Matthias explains that EnOcean energy-harvesting devices have witnessed a surge in popularity in both retrofit and new-build projects, which is down to their ability to overcome challenges, providing a reliable and cost-effective alternative in scenarios where traditional solutions fall short:

“In retrofit scenarios, the elimination of costly rewiring during refurbishment proves particularly advantageous, especially in protected buildings and landmarks. And in modern buildings, where spaces are designed for maximum flexibility, EnOcean’s solution aligns. Our devices can be placed, and replaced anywhere at any time,” he says.

Streamlining the installation process with NFC

EnOcean devices are connected to a Casambi network using NFC technology. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless technology that enables communication between devices in close proximity, typically within a few centimeters. It allows two devices equipped with NFC capabilities to establish a connection by bringing them close together, triggering the exchange of data. It’s commonly used for making contactless payments.

The integration of EnOcean devices into the Casambi network via NFC adds a layer of simplicity to lighting installations. “With requirements for simplicity, speed, and accuracy in mind, NFC technology meets all three criteria. Simple: You do not need to be highly qualified to set it up. Quick: You can greatly optimize installation time. First-time right: You don’t need to revisit a site to correct any parameters. And feedback from the market has indicated a positive response to the ease of integrating EnOcean switches into lighting projects,” states Matthias.

Doubling power for broader applications

The latest generation of energy-harvesting switches from EnOcean more than doubles the radio transmission power. Matthias shares, “This new enhancement enables control of high-bay lighting, expanding the application areas to include warehouses and architectural projects with high ceilings.”

In combination with Casambi’s new long-range modules, which can achieve ranges of up to approximately 200 meters (650 feet) in real-world applications, the two technology providers can cater to more demanding space types, be they vast new-builds or complex refurbishments.  

For more information on why lighting refurbishment projects love Casambi.