You’ve heard the term ‘transformational change’ in every industry and community as it sweeps through the social order, changing how we communicate, collaborate, learn, play and engage with friends, family and colleagues.
It is this transformational change and connectivity that means employees can now collaborate with teams across the globe as effectively as if they were in the same room; and billions of consumers generate incredible amounts of data daily for marketers, advertisers, researchers and others to analyse.
But connectivity doesn’t stop there. We are heading towards smart homes, smart cities and – ultimately – a smart world. From outdoor luminaires to commercial refrigeration, innovation in lighting is a key part of technological progress.
Lighting can also become part of a network, in which luminaires are uniquely identified and seamlessly integrated into the IT network within a building or, on a larger scale, a city; enabling these to share information about their status and operations. Embedded sensors allow each luminaire within the connected lighting system to act as a point of intelligence that can share information on changes in temperature or humidity, as well as activity patterns.
According to Philips, a global leader in lighting systems, consumer usage such as tying in Philips Hue to chosen music makes the bulbs change colours to the tune of the beat while more practical uses like Hue-connected lights that flash when the phone rings alerts hard of hearing or the deaf to see when someone is phoning them.
From a business perspective, companies can integrate wireless communications into the lighting system, allowing them to deliver location-based services and in-context information by way of mobile apps to people in illuminated spaces.
Moreover, organisations can boost staff retention by making office spaces more comfortable for their employees. Office workers can personalise and adjust LED lighting to their preferences and tasks for instance via the connected lighting system, making harsh office lighting a problem of the past. For mobile access, office workers can even use a smartphone app to access other building services through a communications network.
Setting the future ablaze
Future developments in the connected lighting pipeline include Ethernet-powered connected lighting that can transmit data to mobile devices. This is done through light, by way of embedded code. Building owners and facility managers can thus monitor and manage a building’s occupancy patterns, its lighting systems, as well as other important services simply by using intelligent lighting systems.
By analysing information on how spaces are used, managers can simplify business processes, optimise energy efficiency, and gain deep insight into customers’ preferences and tenants’ needs.
When individual users are connected through technology, their ability to do more by using fewer resources is multiplied. When every light point is connected to an intelligent system that delivers high-quality, reliable illumination and acts like a pathway for information and services, the working space and connected lighting system within it is able to allow for even greater levels of performance by employees and teams.
Connected lighting systems allow for the delivery of extraordinary value beyond illumination for companies, employees as well as managers of spaces.