Smart Lighting in the Internet of Things

April 7, 2020
By Nathan Holmer

Internet of Things, or IoT for short, has received a lot of attention in recent years. Typical IoT applications are smartwatches and home security systems that can collect data and connect to the Internet; but smart lighting plays a role in IoT as well. Lighting is found everywhere throughout buildings and is connected to a source of power. Therefore, lighting can be the perfect channel for collecting data in a building.   

Specifically, IoT lighting systems can be utilized via smart lighting and motion sensors, as they can collect data on light emissions that affect people’s everyday lives. Lighting sensors can detect ambient light and adjust brightness for more efficient energy usage, and motion sensors detect whether someone is active in the room. Lighting codes, such as Title 24 for California, are more commonly requiring basics such as motion sensors for building standards.   

Due to the fact that smart lighting systems are everywhere in buildings, they can generate a multitude of data for managing the building’s operations, as well how to manage other IoT solutions. This makes smart lighting a fundamental IoT solution.   

Having an IoT Environment   
In order to set up a lighting system as an IoT solution, there are many fundamental things to consider. First, the building in which you operate needs to be able to support such a system and be able to scale to your hardware needs. Rather than having to change the building to fit the lighting, a building should already be optimized for growth in smart lighting features.   

Furthermore, having a flexible facility helps with this continued-growth system that supports the best luminaires for a particular infrastructure. This also requires flexible management in order to best assess the application for the given space.   

Beyond having the space for an IoT smart lighting system, having a wireless or hybrid system that supports both wired and wireless lighting is needed to make lighting systems smart. Wireless technology is leading the future of IoT applications and technology in general. Wireless lighting can collect data smarter and faster and improve the overall connectivity of the facility.   

Along with wireless smart technology, an IoT lighting solution needs the capability of cloud connectivity in order to store data and to be a SaaS (software-as-a-service) application. A SaaS application will provide the best possible utilization of a facility’s space in accompaniment with the lighting system.   

Once the lighting system is installed and connected, it needs to be user-friendly. Advancements in technology make life easier for the end-user, and is the ultimate goal to reach. IoT technology was specifically invented to make life easier for consumers and businesses, as it mixes everyday technology with smart technology to make the best solution possible. A smart lighting system should be no different and should ultimately make life simpler for the individuals in the space.