What is IoT?
The internet of things (IoT) has become one of the most familiar expressions across business and technology, and perhaps the most hyped. The IoT is viewed as the solution to solve a myriad of energy, IT, security, and business problems. The “things” in IoT are typically devices. These devices communicate with each other, transfer information all without the need for human interaction. This is IoT.
What is Lighting Based IoT?
Lighting based IoT platforms serve as a foundation for smart buildings. This sensory network resides in the buildings lighting system. IoT sensors collect real time data, such as, temperature, light level, motion, and energy consumption. IoT sensors are equipped with Bluetooth technology that enables the IoT system to provide location-based services. IoT sensors are smart and are provided with on-board digital signal processing, which enables edge analysis and optimized data communication. The light fixtures are utilized as a host for the IoT platform. This is not a lighting control system, but rather, it is an IT platform which has vast capabilities. One of the applications of this system is lighting control. This is a key distinction. Lighting based IoT is a scalable technology platform collecting high-value data in real time and saving the data over the cloud. This allows you to have granular control over the lighting system, as well as, beneficial SaaS-based (software-as-a-service) applications such as space utilization, asset tracking, space mapping, conference room and desk bookings, and more. On the other hand, since the real time data will be stored, building owners and facility managers can go back to the historical data and make business decisions or can analyze the historical data to implement changes or apply adjustments in the lighting system, HVAC control, space utilization, … etc. to achieve greater energy saving, higher efficiencies in building operation, and solving business problems with the power of information.
Why Should You Consider Lighting Based IoT?
When planning a lighting modernization project, one must analyze the cost/benefit of incorporating IoT sensors. Most organizations are not aware of and/or do not realize the potential benefits of a lighting based IoT system. They rush to simple LED lighting upgrades focused only on lighting related energy consumption with a focus on first cost. This is a short- sighted approach and a significant missed opportunity.
The IoT sensory network is upgradable via remote software updates. It is open source allowing for custom applications to be written. The energy savings of a lighting modernization project can help to offset the cost of an IoT sensory network. This is the opportunity that must not be missed. The lighting control application of the IoT network provides an additional energy savings of 15-35%+ above a LED conversion alone. The occupancy data can be used for other applications such as controlling HVAC in real time vs on a schedule based. The occupancy data can be fed directly to the building management system which in turn can instruct the HVAC. HVAC integration can provide additional energy benefits of 10-30%+. Non-energy benefits can often outweigh savings of energy from applications such as space utilization, process improvement, asset tracking, business intelligence, and many more.