by Brianna Crandall — December 6, 2021 — For buildings, homes and cities seeking to become more energy efficient and cost conscious in the upcoming year, smart lighting design and implementation can offer a big boost. Given recent innovations that have brought the technology to a new level and incentives that have made it more affordable than ever, this is an important time to reflect on the future of smart lighting and its impact on a wide range of stakeholders.
1/ Smart lighting delivers first steps toward smart cities
With more global incentives and investments in place around sustainability, we can expect to see governments and local municipalities make a concerted effort to develop smart buildings, and ultimately, smart cities in the coming year.
However, since the government is known to be a slow technology adopter, placing initial bets on smart lighting as a retrofit as the first step (whether for buildings or streetlights) will get corporate real estate (CRE) executives and government officials closer to their goals more quickly with immediate returns on energy efficiency.
This is especially true when the LEDs are easy to install, can be integrated with existing systems, and offer scalability to build out the network of lighting and devices even further. Starting with smart lighting first will be the key to improving the quality and optimization of buildings and cities, as well as reducing costs, and getting closer to each parties’ sustainability goals.
2/ LEDs light the way for smarter tech solutions for smaller businesses
As the many advantages of smart light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are made more accessible, including energy efficiency, lighting customization, and control, we can expect to see smart technology usage skyrocket in the coming year, especially among small and medium-sized businesses.
For instance, photographers are turning to LED luminaires for continuous lighting because of their high quality, low battery use and cooler temperatures. Additionally, photographers can customize the lighting through smart sensors and controls to meet the many different demands of their studio work, including dimming and/or turning off their lights throughout the studio without disruptions.
Horticulture lighting is another area we can expect to see smart lighting activity in the coming year not only for energy efficiency purposes but also due to its ability to improve growing performance for plants using selected LED output wavelengths, while also offering customization and control of lighting to farmers/horticulturists, remotely and in real time.
3/ Smarter buildings take on smarter security measures
With increased demand for connected buildings that use Internet of Things (IoT)-powered lighting, remote devices and monitoring, the next step will be connecting to third-party devices such as security systems.
Newer smart building solutions can connect with thousands of devices on a single network within a secure environment via an encrypted Bluetooth low-energy mesh network and have the power to extend geolocation services outside the physical walls of buildings.
In one example, using Beacon technology, hospitals can search for and track down missing equipment, such as transport monitors, cardiac defibrillators, and wheelchairs, which are used by multiple departments and staff members and frequently misplaced or sometimes stolen.
4/ No tech system is an island: Interoperability becomes “must have” for smart building success
Organizations will turn to smart technologies to efficiently manage their facilities in 2022, but they must ensure these solutions are easily integrated into their existing infrastructure.
To manage this, old and new technologies must be able to “talk” to each other to provide a seamless, scalable solution that can be built upon in the future.
Smart building technologies that are free from proprietary software will prove the smarter choice, helping businesses prevent integration roadblocks from the start.
5/ From the classroom to the conference room, smart lighting will have a wide-ranging impact
Now that smart lighting technology is both innovative (think AI & ML technology, optimized controllers, etc.) and affordable, expect to see it implemented in a wide range of areas.
For instance, there is increased demand for parking garages to be safe, well-lit, and efficient. By using smart lighting technology to optimize timing and brightness, these parking garages will save up to 60% of lighting energy consumption.
Additionally, with students finally returning to the classroom, schools are another area where smart lighting tech will have an outsized impact by controlling the brightness as needed (brighter when students need to focus or dimmer for things like quiet reading time), and being more energy efficient and cost-effective than traditional lighting.
6/ Data analytics will lead to happier and healthier building management
While energy efficiency is typically the top driver for using smart building technology, building owners can take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to capitalize on maintenance, service and efficiency opportunities.
A truly smart building combines a building management system with data analytics to gain insights on air quality and temperature for optimal performance from room to room and building to building.
It’s through these insights that building owners and managers can create a healthier, more comfortable environment for tenants, while also delivering energy and cost savings in line with sustainability goals.
More information about smart lighting technology and applications is available on the Toggled website.