Let’s find out how IoT technology can be used for lighting control systems—we’re covering LEDs, sensors, and more!

Building automation is one of the most popular trends for recent developments and retrofits. In both the commercial and residential sectors, buyers and tenants want to take advantage of the intuitive advantages that come with building automation. One way that properties can start introducing automation elements is by installing devices connected to an Internet of Things.

An Internet of Things (IoT) is a control system that includes different devices all connected over WiFi. Each device in the system has a unique identifier, which allows the system to communicate with each specific device address. Today, we are going to be talking about a few of the ways that developers for commercial and residential properties can take advantage of IoT technology to create unique and intuitive lighting landscapes. If you want to learn more about all of the advantages associated with using IoT for commercial control systems and in residential developments—keep reading!

How Does IoT for Lighting Work?

Using IoT as a lighting control system allows each lighting fixture to communicate with other devices

IoT is an interconnected system of WIFi capable devices that are able to communicate with each other. These devices can include processors, sensors, and other output devices. The devices are able to communicate via the WiFi connection to operate without any human intervention. Today, we are going to be speaking specifically about how IoT lighting works. So, in this case the output device will be an LED light fixture.

LED lights are key for making IoT lighting possible. The reason for this is that LED lights are the only type of lights with the ability to receive commands. In the past, lighting control systems relied on fluorescent or incandescent bulbs paired with timers, dimmers, and switches. While these devices worked fine for many years, they are unable to offer the kind of lighting control available with LEDs.

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how IoT lighting works, let’s find how this type of lighting control system leads to superior performance.

What Are the Advantages of Using IoT?

Properties that use IoT as their lighting control system are able to achieve higher quality lighting while saving energy

Depending on the type of development, there are different benefits that can be accessed using IoT and LED lighting. To give you a general overview of the types of for benefits developers, managers, and tenants, we’ve compiled some of the most common advantages that come with using IoT:

Better Quality Lighting – LEDs are able to provide brighter light and lighting that mimics natural light. LEDs are also able to produce a wide range of colors.

Energy Saving – Automation capabilities prevent properties from wasting money on lighting costs due to human error.

Data – IoT devices can collect data for reports that building managers can use to further optimize operations.

Improved Tenant Experience – When you provide your tenants with superior lighting quality and added features, your property becomes more appealing.

With all of these benefits, it is easy to see why so many industries are upgrading from outdated lighting controls to IoT.

How is IoT Used for Lighting Design Across Industries?

The benefits of using IoT over other lighting systems are applicable in a number of different industries

Due to the versatility of the IoT and LED pairing, many different industries are able to take advantage of this superior lighting technology. Let’s take a look at a few industries that have benefitted:

Warehouses

Often used for manufacturing and shipping purposes, warehouses require very bright lights to ensure safety. Using LED high bay lights equipped with IoT, these industrial centers can save money and provide employees with better lighting.

Indoor Farming

Using an IoT control system, farmers can manage the amount of light that plants receive in an indoor facility. The lighting can be automated to mimic natural daylight. Additionally, large indoor farms can save money on cooling costs as LED lights produce very little heat compared to other lighting methods.

Schools

Many educational institutions have limited budgets to spend on things like retrofitting old buildings. Because of this, IoT is the perfect solution. Since all of the devices are connected wirelessly, schools won’t have to deal with hard-wiring new lighting fixtures—which is often a complicated and invasive process.

Healthcare Facilities

It has been proven over and over again that lighting can drastically affect our mood. In addition to providing high quality LED lighting, IoT controls can also create comfortable lighting landscapes that put patients and family members at ease.

Retail

Using sensors placed in strategic locations, retail stores can use adaptive lighting to promote sales. When certain products are lit correctly, they become more appealing to the customer. As the outdoor light changes throughout the day, the sensors will automatically adjust the lighting so no area of the store is ever overlit or underlit.

Residential Homes

Smart homes and smart accessories are more popular than ever. Something that many people don’t realize as they are purchasing smart technology is that they are actually establishing their own IoT. Smart light bulbs, switches, plugs, and smart speakers are able to communicate wirelessly and gather information on energy usage. These automation capabilities both make homeowner’s lives easier and help them save money on lighting costs.

Are There Any Disadvantages to IoT Lighting Controls?

While IoT and LED lighting setups have a lot of benefits, there are still some areas for advancement

While wireless connection is one of the main perks of using IoT for lighting and other devices, it is also the control system’s biggest drawback. In order to make sure all of the IoT devices will work correctly, any retrofit will likely need to increase their wireless capacity in order to make sure all devices can communicate without error. In some cases, it can be expensive to upgrade a WiFi network for a large property—like a college or an industrial park.

Another drawback of using wireless connection to control your lighting is that wireless networks are more vulnerable to cyber attacks. For very large properties, there can sometimes be thousands of IoT capable devices that are constantly sending and receiving data. Should there be an attack on your wireless network, it is likely that every device will be affected.

Overall, using IoT as a lighting control system is an excellent way to upgrade your lighting and allow for automation across a wide array of industries. Not only do LEDs provide far superior lighting capabilities in terms of brightness, hue and color, they also require far less energy to operate—which creates savings for any organization. Less energy consumption also means that these installations can help companies reach their environmental sustainability goals. Additionally, IoT technology works well on a much smaller scale in residential homes. If you are thinking about upgrading to IoT controls and LED lights, now is the time! You’ll be benefitting from all of the features we’ve listed after easy installation of the IoT devices.

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