An IoT-based emergency lighting system that is flexible at every stage

Text: Antti Leikas | Photos: Skanska

Lippulaiva (Flagship) sails for Espoonlahti

The construction of the Lippulaiva shopping centre began in 2020 and will be completed in 2022. The property will contain over 100 different types of business premises and the new Espoonlahti regional library. In addition, a commuter bus terminal and Espoonlahti’s new metro station (to be completed in 2023) will be located underneath the shopping centre. Lippulaiva’s yearly visitor count is estimated to be 8 million people once the property is completed, which, on average, is equivalent to over 20 thousand visitors per day. In an emergency, all visitors need to be guided safely out of the property.

A wireless solution leaves more space

I have designed the emergency lights of Pasila’s “Mall of Tripla” in which the traditional system was used where you could connect 100 luminaires to the control centre. In order to preserve flexibility, only 70 luminaires were used, because there had to be reserves in case of any changes”, says Hyvönen. “The emergency lighting system for Lippulaiva is EXIoT. In EXIoT, the data is transferred wirelessly between luminaires. In addition, the chosen luminaires have battery units, so it is straightforward to design their wiring.”

An IoT-based system does not set any upper limit to the number of luminaires, so in practice, the system can essentially be enlarged endlessly. “A solution like this is the most optimal for a shopping centre”, says Reijo Hyvönen. “The flexibility of the system is retained even if the layout is changed. There will not be a situation where it is necessary to add a new switchboard.”

The contractor approves the system

If the system is not flexible, the contractor always blames the designer for that”, says Hyvönen. “This has not happened with EXIoT. First, a simple wiring scheme and luminaires are installed. When the luminaire is turned on, this will be indicated on the computer screen.”

The same length as the container ship “Ever Given”

Espoo’s Lippulaiva is the length of the container ship “Ever Given” (the 400-metre-long ship that recently blocked the Suez Canal). The length is challenging for wireless networks, but an advantage of EXIoT in this kind of large property is a mesh network, which is independently formed between luminaires. It means that the network reaches as far as there are luminaires. Luminaires with battery units notify themselves when there is a need for maintenance or when the battery is running out, so the only property maintenance task is to react to the notifications. “Monitoring can be carried out from anywhere, in a centralised way”, says Palle Rökman from EXIoT. By contrast, “a system implemented with traditional technology can have tens of control centres.”

Initialisation is also done in stages

Everything can be done in stages in a wireless IoT-based system; design, installation, as well as initialisation. The system is completely neutral to the addition of new luminaires. After the system has been installed, connecting new luminaires is simply done by turning them on”, says Rökman. “I know that this sounds almost too easy, but this is how it works.”