Configure schedules and lighting policies

Modified on Tue, 26 Sep 2023 at 08:38 AM

Configure schedules and lighting policies

There are different types of locations in any smartengine installation. Corridors, office spaces, kitchen, etc. are examples of different types of locations. Depending on their usage, the lighting requirements are different for each location. Similarly, the lighting needs change with the time of the day — during the daytime there are likely more occupants, whereas the night times and weekends may have lesser occupancy. One of the goals with smartengine installation is to conserve energy and reduce costs and so behaviors can be configured for lights to be on for optimal durations based on occupancy. In addition, conference rooms may have different settings for different situations that can be activated by scene selectors (wall controllers).

Lighting Policies

The default configuration for every location assigns a Default policy which provides the following behavior:

  • When space is occupied lights operate at 85% light level
  • If space is not occupied for more than 30 minutes, the lights turn off.

Different behaviors can be set up for different situations — rooms, time of day, etc. — by defining different policies. A lighting policy is assigned a name, and has number of configurable features. You should carefully evaluate the needs to define a policy. You can then define unique policies for each need. The same policy can be applied to different locations under different schedules.

Considerations for lighting policy

  • What is the desired light Level when space is occupied? If there is a plenty of external daylight available, you may consider enabling daylight harvesting.
  • When must light turn on? This may be upon any motion detection, or certain number of sensors seeing motion together, or only after wall controller activation etc.
  • How long must the lights stay on since the last occupancy is seen? During a time when space is less occupied (for example night, or weekends), a shorter occupancy time may be preferred over a longer duration during other times.
  • How fast must the lights turn on or off? The default settings turn the lights on at a fast rate, but turn them off at a much slower rate. In rare situations one may want to adjust these settings also.
  • When space is not occupied, what light levels must the fixtures operate at? Instead of turning the lights off completely, it may be desirable to leave them at a low light level in certain areas like hallways or entrances. There is also the ability to configure duration of time that the lights stay at the lower light level for before shutting off completely.
  • If lighting fixtures are capable of color tuning, what must the color temperatures be and must they automatically adjust based on time of the day to track the color temperature outdoors?

You may view all the configured lighting policies by visiting the Policies tab in the Events and Policies section of the Commission System application. You may also add, edit or remove policies there.

Occupancy Modes

Each policy is assigned an Occupancy Mode. The following are the different occupancy mode options:

  • Occupancy. The space is considered occupied as long any sensor in the space has detected motion within the configured occupancy timeout period. This is the most commonly used mode.
  • Multi-sensor. This mode behaves the same as Occupancy except that the space does not transition to an occupied state unless a configured number of sensors have detected motion within a thirty second period. However, once it is occupied, it remains in that state as long as motion is detected in the same way as the Occupancy mode.
  • Follow Me. The follow me mode turns on individual lights in the location as they see motion, and turn them off after configured time (usually a short time). This is best suited for spaces like corridors so that lights are not at the on levels across the whole space when only a small section may be occupied at any time.
  • Disabled. This mode ignores all motion data and space is considered as occupied all the time.
  • Vacancy. This mode mandates that motion detection is disabled when a space is unoccupied, and requires a wall controller activity for occupancy detection. Once occupied, the space behaves as in Occupancy mode.

Light Levels

The light level is expressed as a percentage of the maximum light output from a fixture. There are two primary light level settings:

  1. On Light Level. Light level of the fixture when the space is occupied. When daylight harvesting is in effect, this fixture light level may be lower since the ambient light in the space (for example sunlight) provides the additional lighting. When daylight harvesting is enabled, the minimum light level can be enforced for each fixture, so that even when the desired light level is available through external daylight, the fixtures will continue to provide that minimum light.
  2. Off Light Level. Light level of the fixture when the space is not occupied. You may set it to a small value (e.g., 10% to 20%) to ensure that space does not become completely dark. Additionally, it is possible to configure an extra timeout after which the space can switch to a light level of 0% if no further motion is seen.

Light levels change smoothly during transitions, and it is possible to configure the time duration over which the change must be completed.

Wall Controller Dimming

A wall controller can be used to dim the lights in a location up or down. When a wall controller down button is depressed, the lights begin to dim down slowly and stop when you release it. Similarly, the lights can be turned up when you press the up button and release it. The lights can change between 0 to 100% range. A single tap action on wall controller up or down buttons results in the lights transitioning to the policy on and off light levels respectively.


A wall controller action stays in effect as long as space is occupied. So if you turn off lights by dimming down, that setting stays in effect till the space becomes unoccupied (as determined by occupancy timeout settings).

Color Tuning

Light fixtures that are capable of color tuning can be adjusted for the color temperature — warm or cold. This is configured by setting a warm percentage parameter, which is set to default of 50%.

Schedules and Events

Every location is associated with a default lighting policy which governs the behavior of the lights in that location. This behavior can be overridden by events that result in activation of a different lighting policy. The events can be one of the following types:

  • Recurring Event that repeats on specific days of the week every week at a specific time for a fixed time duration
  • One time Event on a specific schedule which is active at specific time on a specific day for a fixed duration.
  • Ad hoc or On Demand Event which is activated and deactivated manually through smartmanager or an external system (like API driven mobile application or third party device)

You may configure multiple schedules or events in each location so that each location can have different policies (lighting behaviors) associated with each event. The definitions of the schedules and events are shared across all locations. When a schedule or event becomes active, it is active for every location.

You may view all the configured recurring events in a calendar view by visiting the Recurring Events tab in the Events and Policies section of the Commission System application. The other events can be viewed in the Non Recurring Events tab. You may also add, edit, or remove events there.

Setting up events and policies for locations

Each location can be set up with multiple events (each associated with desired policies) to meet the desired requirements of the location. These events can be used to cover the daily schedules for each week, and any ad hoc events that may be required. In addition to these configured events, every location is potentially set up with two special events:

  1. Override event is used to activate temporary override of policy settings that can be set by non administrative user using the smartmanager.
  2. Scene Controller event is used to activate preset lighting settings (scenes) for the location that may be configured through the smartmanager.

The events configured for the location are ordered by priority (which can be adjusted). When multiple events are active, the highest priority event takes effect and the associated policy is assigned to the location.

You may view the details of the events and policies by selecting the location in the Events and Policies section of Commission System application. This can be viewed in a tabular form or in a calendar based view.


You may configure and set up a location with all policies and events, and then copy the same settings to other locations in the smartengine cluster. For example, you may set up a conference room, and then copy the same settings to all other conference rooms.


You may configure events and policies offline like we discussed for setting up locations. However, the actual scene setup (discussed next) and validations can be performed onsite only.

Setting up scenes in locations

Scenes define a custom preset configuration of individual fixture light levels in a location. A conference room may have different settings for different situations such as a presentation, or a meeting, etc. and have different settings for fixtures for optimal experience. These configurations may be mapped to the different buttons on the scene controllers located in the room. The buttons may be pressed to activate the scenes. The same can be accomplished through the smartmanager, or from external systems which can activate the scenes using APIs.

Configuring Scenes in a location
  • Navigate to the Scenes tab in the Events and Policies section of the Commission System application. Note that you must select a location in the location tree part of the Events and Policies section.
  • You may Add Scenes by launching the dialog by clicking the button for it.
  • You may adjust the fixture light levels as a part of the scene. To do so make sure space is occupied. The process of making the adjustments will activate the scene so that you can experience the actual settings as you make the changes.
  • You may also remove scenes or associate different lighting policies with the scenes.

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