Why Connected Lighting?
In the past decade, commercial and industrial buildings have utilized smart technology to become more and more efficient. One of the fundamental innovations driving this movement is connected lighting. Connected lighting is a phrase used to describe any kind of lighting equipment that has an element of intelligence or connection to a network, allowing them to send and receive data. From motion- and light-sensing technology to automated lighting schedules, connected lighting is becoming more widespread in businesses and homes across the US, creating a more aware and efficient lighting network.
The big advantage of connected lighting is measurable energy savings and ROI (return on investment). Through smart tasks such as daylight harvesting and motion sensing, lighting-related energy costs can decrease dramatically, with savings up to 90%. And according to TAMCO Group Engineering Manager Tom Wouters, smart lighting uses roughly 30% less energy than that of regular lighting.
Controlling connected lighting is also very simple with apps and computer programs. Apps on your smart device can communicate directly with the sensors on the LED to help you better manage your lighting schedules, and you can even adjust light output based on natural light sources. With sensor-sourced data such as room occupancy, traffic patterns, and more, you can also schedule lights to power on and off automatically based on your preferences.
LED lighting is also shown to be better for the environment. While traditional lights are rather inexpensive to use, they have proven to be harmful to humans and the environment. Traditional incandescent lights can release carbon dioxide from coal that is used to power them, which adds to the growing problem of climate change. The even more cost-effective fluorescent lights consist of mercury, which is highly toxic to humans.
Coming to a City Near You
The Northeast Group, a smart infrastructure market intelligence firm based in Washington, DC, conducted a survey regarding LED streetlights and found that nearly 95% of the cities across the US that use LED streetlights were very satisfied with their quality and efficiency. Law enforcement officials were also very pleased with the installation of these lights as they’re much better for public safety and road visibility.
What makes LED streetlights so efficient and cost-effective is that they’re convenient to power on and off, they have better dimming functions than traditional lights, lower maintenance costs, reduced energy consumption, and they contain remote monitoring features. Most US cities are already looking to switch to smart LED streetlights to reduce overall energy consumption.
On the Horizon
Wouters believes there are a few hurdles that connected lighting has to get over.
“From designers to end users, there’s not enough education on connected lighting,” he said.
Wouters believes the more education and awareness people have on these products, including their capabilities, will incentivize companies and building managers to purchase them.
“More people want to buy on/off switches because they’re cheaper. But they fail to see all of the money they’d save in the long run with connected lighting.”
City Electric Supply has long been a supplier of connected lighting, offering customers products from brands such as TAMLITE LIGHTING, Lutron, and RAB. We’re always on the forefront of new technology and that helps you and your customers save time and money. Visit your local CES branch to learn more about the smart technology we offer.
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