Earlier this year, I trained a facilities department on a lighting control system they recently purchased. We reviewed the system, I presented the Operations Manual, and they were satisfied that it was working properly. The training ended and we parted ways but I was not 100 percent convinced that the owner would remember how to access the system and make adjustments if necessary. As I drove home from the training, I thought about how I could improve my trainings to equip owners with all the tools to most efficiently operate their new lighting control system.
A week later, I was completing a lighting control installation at a car dealership and it struck me that I could I model my owner training session after driving a car off the lot for the first time. Before you can drive a car off of a lot, a salesperson walks you through some key pieces of technical information. This equips you with the essential information and resources necessary to access and service your vehicle.
Think about your car. I know the following about my own vehicle:
- I have a 2018 Ford Explorer
- It’s in my driveway
- I have the keys to start the car
- I can check the fluids for standard maintenance, and I know where the nearest Ford Dealer is for advanced maintenance.
The basic information that everyone knows about their car is the same kind of information an owner needs to know to get the most value from their lighting control system.
A lighting control system training should leave the customer with the ability to easily answer these 4 questions.
- What system do I have?
- Where do I connect to it?
- Can I connect to it remotely?
- If I want to service the system, how would I do it or who would I call?
What system do I have? This should be listed in the Operations Manual provided for you by the manufacturer. It should be circled and highlighted with the manufacturer and the system name. Just knowing the manufacturer is not enough. For instance, I have a 2018 Ford Explorer. Not just a Ford. Each control system, like each car’s year/make/model, is unique. Knowing exactly what you own is fundamental.
Where do I connect to it? Knowing this is essential because, in most cases, half of a lighting control system’s equipment is above ceiling tiles or in a locked electrical room or closet. Know where the access point to the system is so that you do not waste time if you need to service the system.
Can I connect to it remotely? Does your system require a tablet, laptop, or some handheld remote to connect to it? Do you have the password to your device as well as the password to the actual lighting system?
If I want to service the system, how would I do it or who would I call? Once you connect to the system, it may be a good time to call the manufacturer’s 24/7 tech support line. You can also use the screen guides within the system to troubleshoot and make changes. If you decide a visit from a technician is best, knowing the answers to the first three questions will expedite the visit and make efficient use of the technician’s time.
Knowing these simple answers about your lighting control system will set you up for success. The system owner’s manual may have 100 pages or more, just like the manual for a car. If you keep the answers to these four questions clearly written on a Word document or in a notes application, you can access your system without having to read the entire manual.
If you have a lighting control system and cannot answer the four questions, reach out to Synergy Electrical Sales. We can help you answer these questions and schedule a training session to demonstrate in more detail.