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April 2, 2018

Commercial Lighting Systems and Internet of Things

The lighting industry is witnessing a paradigm shift ever since the introduction of LED lights in the market. The research on new possibilities for lighting automation is getting its due traction, and there are LED light manufacturers that are taking an active stance in innovating the lighting industry.

Today, LED lights have become the lighting choice for all commercial activities. In addition to them being highly energy-efficient, they are made of semiconductors which inherently enables them to support a plethora of applications.

What is Lighting Systems?

Ever since the innovations started unfolding in the lighting industry, many LED light manufacturers have come up with various lighting automation devices. These devices are designed to control LED lights and can turn off these luminaires when not in use. This enables minimum human intervention and maximum automation. LED lights and IoT are different sides of the same coin that go hand-in-hand.

What is IoT?

IoT or Internet of Things is an ecosystem where physical devices are connected to each other and are accessible through the web. The network is then used to leverage data which is gathered by embedded sensors in all smart and intelligent devices including light systems.

Internet of Things is a comprehensive environment that can enable a host of applications. It is the underlying framework for smart cities and buildings. Here are few highlights of IoT:

  • Content is in the form of data which is primarily generated by a device (i.e. a thing) such as a lighting control system, LED lights and so on
  • The data transfer is mainly between devices (with sensors) and a central system that collects and organises data
  • IoT enables timely communication and action based on data, as it is detected

Commercial Smart Lighting Systems and Internet of Things

IoT is a large environment that extends to many areas and applications, many of them are still being researched. In commercial real estate (CRE), IoT has a vital role to play where applications are automated and hence simplified.

Lighting control systems such as PIR (Passive InfraRed) sensors detect the presence or absence of humans to turn the lights on and off respectively. The data collected from PIR sensors is transferred to a central system that organises it and then sends the notification (a call to action) to the LED lights. The date then helps to turn the lights on or off depending on the presence or absence of people.

Even though it is true that such applications of IoT and commercial lighting systems will be cost-effective in the long term, many other benefits including convenience cannot be overlooked. According to an article by Deloitte, IoT has a massive impact on the commercial real estate industry. IoT applications enable more dramatic building operations including creating new revenue generation opportunities. Another study by Gartner estimates more than 20,000 million IoT units to be installed by 2020. It is no doubt that IoT is known as the next industrial revolution by leaders around the globe.

Smart Lighting and IoT

LED lights are enabling smart lighting and are at the forefront of unlocking the real potential of IoT and smart cities. It is the perfect way to collect a building’s data. The sensors when paired with LED lights act as data node, making every light a point from which data can be collected.

Reasons behind the sudden surge in adoption of smart lighting systems:

Energy Saving

IoT and commercial lighting systems extend beyond just dimming or shutting off LED lights. However, this application is a sure shot way of turning operations profitable by making the processes more energy efficient.

Health and Well-Being

Lighting has a significant impact on mood and well-being of an employee. LED lights have a higher level of controllability when embedded with an IoT lighting system. Not only can this process help improve the productivity of the employees, but it can also enhance mood and help them focus more. LED light manufacturers like Wipro Lighting offer smart and connected solutions empowering corporates to create agile workspaces for improved employee well-being and optimise lighting for the task at hand. All this is possible while providing considerable insights into workspace utility to enable optimisation of processes.

Building Efficiency

The digitalisation of a building is possible with IoT and commercial lighting systems. This digital version of a building can help streamline several processes including the ones outside of lighting. Data coming from different applications such as lighting, HVAC, parking, waste, energy, occupancy monitors, elevators and more can be bundled and analysed for a detailed overview of a building.

There is no question that lighting is the foundation for Internet of Things infrastructure which can enable processes that may seem impossible right now. However, the synergy between LED lights and IoT is ubiquitous which will transform commercial real estate. It is the stepping stone towards true smart cities that are automated and highly environmentally friendly too.

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