In a move to help accelerate LED adoption, while helping customers reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs, Cree Inc. has developed a wireless lighting control system that addresses the industry's need for ease of design, installation, and setup of lighting control systems. Claimed as the first self-programming wireless lighting control system, Cree's SmartCast Technology is said to reduce energy consumption by more than 70 percent (compared to traditional fluorescent luminaires) at half the cost of traditional lighting controls.
“Building owners and managers, who are accustomed to the idea of centrally monitoring and managing their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, are beginning to expect the same level of control from lighting systems,” stated Jesse Foote, research analyst with Navigant Research, in a recent report. “To meet this growing demand, a number of different types of vendors – including pure-play startup companies and traditional lighting vendors – are moving aggressively into the lighting controls market.”
The worldwide market for networked lighting controls is forecast to grow from $1.7 billion in 2013 to more than $5.3 billion by 2020, according to the latest research from Navigant Research. Beyond networked lighting control, the market research firm also forecasts good growth rates for a variety of lighting control equipment including occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and dimming.
The SmartCast Technology is designed to remove the initial and ongoing complexity associated with lighting controls, enabling customers to achieve the full cost savings potential of lighting controls, said Cree. Luminaires enabled by the new technology are said to require less design time, wires, and setup time related to the control systems.
Wireless controls as they become less expensive and more widely adopted will have a big impact on existing buildings, representing huge opportunities in the lighting market, according to the Navigant Research report. "Retrofitting with wireless communications can often save a great deal of money compared to running new wires through existing walls and ceilings."
SmartCast Technology features Cree's OneButton Setup, allowing customers to create their own secure network, learn about their environment, and form groups with a single button. The technology is currently available in CR Series LED troffers, CS Series linear luminaires and KR Series downlights, as well as via a 0-10V interface for control of existing dimmable LED luminaires.
"Commercial lighting customers have resisted installing traditional lighting controls because of excess cost and complexity, and the majority of those who have installed controls stop using them as intended after the first year because they’re difficult to maintain,” said Norbert Hiller, Cree executive vice president, lighting, in a statement. “Cree SmartCast Technology eliminates these barriers to adoption and delivers the enormous benefit of significantly greater energy cost savings, allowing customers to finally realize the promise of lighting controls.”
The SmartCast Technology is sold through Cree lighting sales channels throughout the United States and Canada. Watch the real installation video to see how the SmartCast Technology works.