People 'n' Issues

Now for connected lighting

March 10th, 2016
Each day, companies find intuitive ways to connect people and devices, and lighting is no exception. REGGIE NXUMALO, GM at Philips Lighting explains how simple devices like lights can be connected to a network - making them smart and allowing businesses to save money.
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Over the course of the last few years, an avalanche of transformational change has swept through all industries and society at large, forever changing the manner in which we communicate, collaborate, learn, play as well as engage with friends, family and colleagues.

Employees can now collaborate in teams composed of members from different nations as effectively as though they were in the same room, while billions of consumers generate an innumerable amount of data daily for marketers, advertisers, researchers and the like to analyse.

Lighting can also become part of a network, in which luminaires are uniquely identified and seamlessly integrated into the IT network within a building or even on a larger scale like a city, enabling these to share information about their status and operations.

Embedded sensors allows each luminaire within the connected lighting system to act as a point of intelligence that can share information on changes in temperature or humidity, as well as activity patterns.

More uses, less power usage

Connected lighting systems allow for many exciting consumer usage cases such as tying in Philips Hue to your music in order for the bulbs to change colours to the tune of the beat, or more practical uses such as setting up Hue-connected lights to flash when the phone rings, enabling a deaf person to more easily know when someone is phoning them.

From a business perspective, companies can integrate wireless communications into the lighting system, allowing them to deliver location-based services and in-context information by way of mobile apps to people in illuminated spaces.

Moreover, organisations can boost staff retention by making office spaces more comfortable for their employees. Office workers can personalise and adjust LED lighting to their preferences and tasks for instance via the connected lighting system, making harsh office lighting a problem of the past. For mobile access, office workers can even use a smartphone app to access other building services through a communications network.

Future developments in the connected lighting pipeline include Ethernet-powered connected lighting that can transmit data to mobile devices. This is done through light, by way of embedded code. This means that building owners and facility managers can monitor and manage a building’s occupancy patterns, its lighting systems, as well as other important services simply by opting for intelligent lighting systems.

By gathering information on how spaces are being used, managers can simplify business processes, optimise energy efficiency, and gain deep insight into customers’ preferences and their tenants’ needs.

When individual users are connected through technology their ability to do more by utilising less resources is multiplied. When every light point is connected to an intelligent system that delivers high-quality, reliable illumination and acts like a pathway for information and services, the working space and connected lighting system within it is able to allow for even greater levels of performance by employees and teams.

Connected lighting systems allow for the delivery of extraordinary value beyond illumination for companies, employees as well as managers of spaces.

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