Internet of Things (IoT) architectures are rapidly driving smart lighting technology, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner predicts that smart lighting installed base is projected to grow from 46 million units in 2015 to 2.54 billion units in 2020. In 2014, 300 million to 500 million square feet of commercial space worldwide could be considered to have intelligent or smart lighting. This space is expected to double in 2015, based on the rapid growth in the smart lighting market.
Gartner defines smart lighting as a lighting system that is connected to a network and can be both monitored and controlled from a centralized system or via the cloud.
“Smart solid-state lighting in office buildings and industrial installations has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90 percent; however, achieving these costs takes more than just installing light-emitting diode (LED) lighting,” said Dean Freeman, research vice president at Gartner. “To successfully achieve the lowest electricity cost, in addition to achieving safety and security and enhancing the office environment, lighting product managers at technology and service providers will need to implement five key strategic phases of smart lighting: (1) LED lighting, (2) sensors and controls, (3) connectivity, (4) analytics and (5) intelligence.”
Implementing all five phases will ensure the highest level of success in reducing lighting costs and accelerating the adoption of smart lighting solutions. With these solutions, smart lighting providers will be able to leverage the impact of sensor data and analytics on the IoT.
“Smart solid-state lighting (SSL) costs are now at a point at which it is compelling to implement just the lighting,” said Mr. Freeman. “Energy savings of up to 50 percent have been well-documented in many installations, and they are difficult to resist when replacing incandescent or high-intensity discharge systems in a warehouse. In a fluorescent installation, energy cost savings of up to 25 percent can be achieved, along with considerable savings in lighting maintenance.”
However, most new lighting installations require some form of sensor controls, which drive some automation of the system. Connecting the controls and the lighting via a network enables the lighting to be operated through a centralized dashboard, which begins to give the building owner the ability to analyze lighting patterns and further improve lighting costs. Most installations are stopping at this stage. If the lighting provider permits the building owner to stop at Phase 3, the value of implementing analytics and learning is lost.
If the lighting provider is able to persuade the building owner to move to Phase 4 with the dashboard in the cloud, building managers can potentially operate multiple lighting operations from a central point, comparing energy use over time and between buildings. If analytics are added to the system, product managers can demonstrate lighting usage compared with occupancy and, consequently, can recommend to their clients lighting programs that can reduce costs based on building utilization, yet enhance the security and ambience for occupants.
In many cases, a smart lighting implementation will end at Phase 4, whereby either a human or a computer will look at the data being generated by the sensors and controls and identify anomalies in the energy pattern. The ultimate in smart lighting would be a result of the analytic system looking at the data and creating some predictive models that would enable the lighting system to learn and become even more intelligent. Additionally, setting up lighting as a service (LaaS) would enable the lighting provider to maintain the system and keep it up to date, while minimizing the cash outlay for the smart lighting system. Gartner expects that as smart lighting continues to emerge, LaaS providers will begin to emerge.
Regional growth of smart lighting is varied, and implementation of a true smart lighting system is driven mostly by government regulations around energy savings and bulb recycling laws. In North America and Europe, new lighting installations are driving smart lighting with remote efficient management of the fixtures and the bulbs. While SSL alone might accommodate most of the government regulations, the requirements of daylight harvesting and occupancy sensing drive the need for considerable controls in most lighting systems. Once sensors and controls are involved, then networked systems are the next step and are becoming commonplace for most new installations.