Is your lighting smart enough to give you the control you need?

An upgrade to efficient lighting is the logical first step in beginning to connect a facility’s systems. Smart lighting, Internet of Things (IoT), and Building Energy Management Systems are all terms floating around when it comes to reducing energy costs, but what does that mean and what can they actually do?

The purpose for networking lighting is to receive data from all areas of a facility. The information gathered is used to increase the efficiency of the facility’s systems. On average, lighting accounts for nearly 40% of a commercial building’s electrical consumption. Therefore, it is an area that offers the largest opportunity for saving energy and the associated operating costs. By utilizing lighting in a network, each light becomes an instrument of acquiring data that can be used in an efficiency plan. Lighting becomes the base platform for your IoT.

“Smart lighting” has gone far beyond motion sensors that turn on or off the lights depending on a room’s occupancy. A facility’s lighting can now be used in ways that may have been hard to imagine just a few years ago. LEDs respond to controls to be switched on and off with motion sensors, dimmed for brightness automatically or according to preference, and even adjusted for color and color temperature. Each location and room can be specifically tailored to the changing needs of the facility and the controls can be accessed at any time.

Cisco is one example of a company at the forefront of the smart lighting technology. They have already implemented IoT connected lighting in its San Jose headquarters and regional center in Toronto. Its UK headquarters in London will soon follow, while the Berlin-based, 100 person office has no light switches; instead thousands of sensors control the lighting and climate (Source). Some of the results Cisco has seen include a potential $2 million gain in annual productivity from better lighting and temperature controls, 78% of occupants reporting a better sense of well-being and comfort, and over $150,000 annual savings in conference room energy alone! (Source)

A connected smart lighting system provides the flexibility to deliver control based on the demands of each individual location in a facility. Building managers can reassess the spaces and make them function efficiently for today’s work environments. They can respond to real-time information and take a proactive approach to managing the facility.

Bottom line? Smart, connected lighting provides the data needed to make actionable decisions, as well as the capabilities to execute them at any time. It allows every opportunity for efficiency to be utilized. The sensors in your lighting can be used to collect information for other connected systems. In short, smart lighting gives you control.

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