Smart Lighting and Smart Homes: A Perfect Match Made in IoT HeavenOctober 26, 2016
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the prevailing buzzword in the realm of technology, which is making way for the development of next generation “smart” appliances and electronics. These devices are designed to be intelligent in learning and adapting to the specific needs and behavior of its users. Smart lighting has emerged as a gateway for IoT trends to enter into consumer applications in a much broader way, creating what is now called smart or connected homes.
Lighting as part of the IoT movement
The trend of IoT-backed LED lighting has been felt more strongly over the past few years because there have been significant advancements in the field of smart lighting with global manufacturers pushing for technologies that integrate network connectivity, intelligence, and enhanced functionalities into LED luminaires to make them more energy efficient and affordable.
OEMs and major vendors are coming up with innovative smart lighting systems that can be both monitored and controlled via wireless connectivity like the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or via the cloud. According to Gartner, the next steps in smart lighting would constitute the addition of analytics and predictive modelling in order to really make lighting systems smarter. As such, the lighting industry is leading the IoT trend in carrying forward its 'connected' vision into smart and intelligent homes of the future.
Endless possibilities of smart lighting for smart homes
The most visible advantage of smart lighting is obviously its capability to optimize the energy efficiency of a lighting arrangement. By determining the moods and movements of a user, it automatically switches on/off, adjusts the brightness, and sets other essential functionalities.
The introduction of remote access in smart lighting opens up a variety of possibilities for the smart home users, who can create personalized profiles, customize unique lighting themes such as the reading mode, party mode, kaleidoscope mode, strobe mode and so on.
Usually, a plug and play device, smart lighting applications can integrate apps that sync LED bulbs to the music being played by a user, intelligently switching its colors according to the beats of a song. Magical as it may seem, smartly lit LEDs can also provide notifications for incoming SMS, important calls, as well as changes in the weather.
The next level of smart lighting benefit is somewhat subtle. Intelligent lighting, being ubiquitous, allows the best bird’s eye view of what's happening within a facility. For example, the data assembled from a smart lighting system, fitted with a compatible software, can efficiently manage the usage of energy by ascertaining sections of the home that are being over or underutilized.
'Research and Markets' presented an industry study from Accuray Research, which says, the global smart lighting market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth (CAG) rate of 21.9 percent during the next ten years. According to details mentioned in the report, the LED lighting industry is anticipated to touch $21.6 billion by 2025.
While smart lighting hasn’t quite reached the maturity, considering the big picture — especially the not-too-distant reality of hyper-connectedness — it is only sensible for lighting manufacturers and vendors to take steps further in this direction.
Where do you think the future of lighting industry is heading in connection to Smart Homes and IoT? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!