Nail the Spec for Centrally Managed

Multi-Site Parking Lots

Webinar Recap Blog:

Nail the Spec for Centrally Managed Multi-Site Parking Lots

Scaling an operation sometimes comes with an unexpected complication: More sites mean more lights. There was a time when managing multiple parking locations was a unique challenge. Separate time zones, physical distances, and manual inefficiencies took something conceptually simple and turned it into a logistical headache. Modern technology, however, has finally made it an easy task with wireless controls that just work. Facility managers are able to coordinate the daylight schedules, lighting zones, and routine maintenance from a single interface. Watch our recent webinar on the topic here, or read on for more detail. 

Connected Lighting in Real-Life Situations

We’ve found examples of retail property management, national retailers, municipalities, college campuses, and auto dealers where our solution excels at making life easier. 

Real Estate Investment Trusts

In retail property management, organizations known as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) focus on energy optimization, resource management, and theft prevention. We’ve worked with organizations managing hundreds of shopping centers, plazas, and parking lots as they scale up their square footage while reducing recurring costs. The owners of these shopping centers are always looking to limit their energy usage so that the money saved can go toward property improvements. The tenants in the shopping centers are responsible for the interior energy usage, but the REIT pays for the exterior spaces and the common areas. 

Management meticulously tracks monthly energy data to know exactly how much energy they are going to save from a potential controls retrofit. Their stats and charts are gold for us as a controls company. We worked with a particular REIT that established a companywide 10% carbon reduction initiative. By having hundreds of retail parking sites managed in the cloud by SimplySNAP, they are able to use the energy data from our system to measure progress against this benchmark and optimize lighting control performance for additional energy savings. 

Occupancy dimming, astronomical scheduling, and automated maintenance notifications allowed one REIT client to measure a 31% energy savings above the baseline for a particular site. 

Another one of our particularly large corporate property management partners was using a third party to manage the lights for all their parking sites in multiple states. The company’s leadership felt the obvious choice for a lighting upgrade would need the ability to monitor multiple lights, zones, and schedules remotely across multiple locations with an integration into a single interface. SimplySNAP brightly outshined the competition thanks to the built-in multi-site management tools that enabled the third party to seamlessly incorporate the wireless controls, update schedules, and troubleshoot any fault detections from anywhere in the U.S. The software also allows them to manage their own account credentials. If one of their 11 users forgets a password, they can reset it. 

National Retail Chains

While REIT facility managers have much in common with national retail chains, we found another use case where SimplySnap was able to add value. National retailers are concerned with centralized control, scalable commissioning, and wireless coordination with other components within their stores. One national retail chain we work with didn’t have wireless control over their parking lots or street signage. They piloted with other wireless control companies in the industry, but couldn’t get the competitors’ lights to integrate with their management system. After two years of trial and error, management decided to switch to SimplySnap. Our BACnet integration allowed their existing building management software to connect with each of our wireless gateways at their 750 stores. Their master system applies specific scenes based on the local time of day. They can also make macro adjustments for holiday schedules or extended hours without coordinating local labor at the individual stores. 

Smart Cities

As retailers and property managers are largely focused on parking lots and street signage, municipal governments are using wireless controls to illuminate Main Street, U.S.A. City leaders are interested in scalable architecture, 24/7 monitoring, and smart city integration. Municipalities are a good fit for a centrally managed, multi gateway system that is spread out over many square miles. Typically, these projects involve parks, entertainment districts, downtown areas, parking lots, and parking garages. Although most city governments want to start small, they often have a grand vision in mind, making scalability a key benefit. Tight annual budgets may have them start with one block or one park at a time. Many, however, are looking to add additional police stations, corridors, or other infrastructure as time goes on. 

Higher Ed Campuses

College campuses often draw the comparison to mini-municipalities. They often have infrastructure like streets, walkways, gymnasiums, and stadiums. Administrators are looking to manage parking lots and validate installations with an easy-to-use interface. When campus staff are managing these large mixed use projects, they typically have a combination of retrofitted and new installations. 

Keep Your Light Shining

Don’t take wireless communication for granted, because it isn’t all created equal. While other players in the market have struggled with this functionality, it is our specialty. It’s where we shine. 

There have been many instances where remote commissioning teams and troubleshooting have helped improve the overall lighting system in a location. With analog systems, municipal maintenance crews would have to waste gas driving around, or wait for someone to report an outage. Wireless systems, however, can alert staff as soon as a problem is detected. As soon as poles are powered up, the SimplySnap system begins using power data to check for faults. When a fault is detected, the software can send push notifications or emails to let staff know not only that a light is out, but which specific light on a grid. These alerts also include specific details about the outage, so crews can arrive with the correct replacement parts in a timely fashion. 

The software also provides more information about the connected fixtures. While commissioning retrofitted bays, Synapse technicians work remotely with onsite and are able to diagnose additional problems. In one retrofit commissioning project technicians were working on an outdoor fixture with three drivers in one light. While the onsite technician wasn’t able to see the problem during daylight hours, the remote technician was able to identify the faulty driver and provide the electrician with a punch list of updates to complete the retrofit. In another example, the remote technician was able to identify a fault in a loose dimming wire. Both examples were pre-existing issues, but wireless control software installed during the retrofit provided additional data to correct these issues. Otherwise, the client would have to rely on someone reporting an outage to management. 

For more information on this topic, please watch our recent webinar on this topic, available here.