Technology has had transformative effects on the world, and in the lighting industry, it has brought about revolutionary changes. The push for technology has been propelled by the need for efficient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable sources of energy for the rapidly expanding limits of cities that now accommodate around 55 percent of the world’s population — which is set to rise to 68 percent over the coming decades. Smart lighting systems can play an important role in reducing the energy consumption level of the vast multitudes of urbanites, making energy sources accessible, harmless, cost-beneficial, and acceptable for masses.
In a smart lighting system, multiple devices and sensors are required to design an effective lighting environment where all the luminaires, controls, and sensors can freely connect and communicate with one another.
Smart lighting optimizes the existing controls and lighting equipment for reducing energy consumption with higher lighting quality. Newer technology with high-efficiency fixtures and automated controls provide the people remote access of all lighting fixtures, thus resulting in the ease, comfort, and saving of household energy.
Smart homes, with the help of daylight-linked automated response systems, also utilize natural light from the sun to further reduce the consumption of man-made lighting.
Below we take a close look at the emerging technology trends that are redefining the lighting industry, globally:
As opposed to the traditional wired architecture system of lighting where the signals communicate via wires, in the wireless lighting system, radio-frequency (RF) waves replace the need for wires. Apart from RF-based systems, technologies such as power-line communication use mains power lines to carry data to and from the fittings without any cabled connectivity. Everything is controlled and regulated by wireless forces using different devices.
Wireless lighting technology leads to much higher efficiency than its wired counterpart and is also useful in preserving the environment. It can even regulate itself according to the requirement. For instance, sensors and dimmers attached with LED bulbs can switch on, dim, or shut off the light as per the presence or absence of humans in the room with the advanced digital connectivity. Sensors consisting of a motion detector, an electronic control unit, and a controllable switch/relay, sense motion and determine whether there are occupants in the space.
Even in public places such as streets, shopping malls, government offices, and any other public place, lights can be automatically adjusted according to the presence of people, resulting in the considerable saving of energy sources.
Smart lighting system also contributes to making the streets safer as energy-efficient white light used on the streets resembling sunlight provides more visibility to the pedestrians and motorists to easily travel in the dark of night, unlike the traditional yellow street light that consumes considerably more energy and won’t provide clear visibility.
Among wireless protocols, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) offers 1-Mbps bandwidth and a range of up to 100 meters. In contrast, Wi-Fi protocol offers higher bandwidth but at a more expensive rate and greater consumption level. In this system, people can remotely regulate their lighting fixtures using the Internet of Things (IoT). They can switch on and off lights from anywhere with their smartphone or computer.
It is possible to achieve energy savings of 40 percent by switching to energy-efficient lighting technologies such as light-emitting diode (LED), an electronic device that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it. As these lights consume less electricity, they eventually result in the reduction of energy bills.
The benefits of LED lighting fixtures range from environmental to personal health. As they produce 90 percent less carbon dioxide and heat as compared to regular bulbs, they help protect the environment as well as provide a healthy ambiance to people at homes and workplaces. According to one estimate, increasing the use of LED can help eliminate nine billion greenhouse gases from the earth per annum — equivalent to removing 800,000 cars from the road.
LED technology has led to a new lighting trend: built-in lighting sources. As LED lights don’t require frequent replacements, manufacturers are fittings lights inside the walls and ceiling to make them look seamless. Building designs today are integrated with suitable lighting fixtures.
Modern technology allows you to use efficient lighting fixtures of low wattage at your home. By going for them will help you save energy as well as enjoy a cool environment to sustain your life.
Visible Light Communications, a type of wireless communication technology, uses visible light between the intensity of 400-800 THz. VLC uses fluorescent light to transmit signals at 10 kbit/s and LED lights to transmit 500 Mbit/s over the small distance.
VLC is used for lighting devices such as lamps, TVs, traffic signs, commercial billboards, and headlights that are present everywhere. As humans can perceive it, visible light is more convenient and less dangerous to use for high power applications.
In trade and commerce, VLC is used to attract customers who are directed to visit the place where the merchandise that they are looking for is located. Merchants can rely on VLC to highlight the products that they want to promote and draw the attention of the customers as soon as they step into the store.
VLC enables retail store owners to accomplish numerous tasks with the flick of their finger. By way of example, they can change the prices and roll out discounted prices across stores countrywide from a central location. They can also record the merchandise movement quickly enough to update their stocks.
VLC is a highly useful technology for commercial lighting. Under the controlled environment, it can transmit over 100 Gbps. VLC helps businesses establish a secure environment for their merchandise and customers. Unlike Wi-Fi, it is easier to maintain and control network security.
As an LED is used to transmit data under VLC, it reduces the energy consumption level and makes the business efficient by reducing electricity bills. And because LEDs don’t emit any harmful RF waves, VLC doesn’t harm the health of customers and employees in commercial spaces. Thus, this technology maintains high-end health safety.
In the wake of climate change, the need for environmental conservation has acquired acute urgency. A traditional 100W light bulb at your home produces enough carbon dioxide to fill up two balloons. Smart lighting fixtures, whether bulbs, tube lights, chandeliers, or electric appliances, help in the reduction of carbon index level and go a long way in making the environment cleaner and providing energy at affordable rates to everyone.