Smart lighting delivers more than just illumination: the combination of LED technology and intelligent lighting control systems has significantly lowered energy usage while simultaneously reducing operating expenses and addressing ever-tightening building code requirements.
According to a July 2017 report published by the U.S. Department of Energy, “even though connected lighting controls were installed in less than 0.1% of all U.S. lighting systems in 2016, this technology is pivotal to maximizing future potential energy savings”. It’s clear we are at the early stages of a major industry shift, and the benefits have not been fully realized yet.
The role of LED technology in connected lighting
Technology has transformed the lighting industry. LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lamps, and have a much longer life. Potentially more important, this technology enables lighting to become part of the digital world. It is a natural partner to sensors and digital networks and, when partnered with an intelligent lighting control system, turns everyday lights into smart, connected devices.
By connecting each light point on a digital network, lighting can be centrally managed. Using information from sensors, smart lighting control systems are able to automatically adjust light to appropriate levels based on conditions such as occupancy or daylight availability. This saves on energy usage and contributes to comfort levels in the workplace.
Stand-alone versus networked systems
There are two types of connected lighting control systems: stand-alone and networked. At a fundamental level, both are controllable systems that meet energy codes and offer significant energy savings. Choosing the best system depends heavily on the level of features and functionality needed, business strategy and requirements, allocated support resources, space size and whether an internet connection is required.
Stand-alone systems are best for small- to mid-sized spaces and offer the benefit of simple features with easy-to-use controls and require minimal installation and setup resources. These systems focus on energy savings and meeting code compliance and often can be connected to numerous systems for multi-system management.
One of the primary benefits of a networked system is that it can be managed remotely or by a third party. These systems offer advanced features and functionality, primarily for enterprises and larger spaces. While experienced specification, installation and commissioning resources are required, the focus of networked systems goes beyond energy savings and code compliance to include sophisticated offerings, like data analytics and advanced energy reporting features. Networked systems also allow for building automation system integration.
The future of connected lighting
Choosing a smart lighting solution and understanding terminology, protocols, architectures and more can seem overwhelming. However, fully understanding the options available and examining the benefits they bring to a given installation will make all the difference as the world moves toward
smart connected lighting.
With benefits like significantly reduced energy consumption and related operating expenses—along with increased employee productivity, workplace satisfaction and improved occupant health and wellness — smart connected lighting is here to stay. Examining the unique space and occupant requirements, and identifying potential partners for a given project, will enable a seamless transition to a connected lighting control system.
Argo International Advantage:
At Argo International, we are committed to simplifying the daunting task of finding the best lighting solution for all your applications. While the rest of the lighting industry is increasingly getting more complicated, our approach is to keep it simple. Less time and money spent on lighting means more time to focus on growing your business. Whether your application is retail, commercial office, industrial, warehouse, exterior or all of the above, we have carefully developed a portfolio of lighting suppliers to deliver the best performance at competitive prices. Having difficulty choosing the right lumen output, optics, color temperature, quantities or spacing? Rest assured, our partnership with Optecha lighting designers can easily engineer the best solution for you. Our mission is to deliver the best solution that leads to having your lighting installed on time and on budget.
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