Energy costs can be reduced by at least 90 percent by implementing smart lighting systems, according to recent research from Gartner. This tremendous cost savings, which is expected to drive greater adoption, opens up big opportunities for component manufacturers – including makers of LEDs, sensors & controls, and interconnects. These component vendors can extend their reach into new markets and gain market share in the growing Internet of Things (IoT) space if they are willing to collaborate with other vendors to bring complete intelligent lighting solutions to market.
Gartner attributes the rapid move to smart lighting technology to Internet of Things (IoT) architectures, which is forecast to grow from 46 million units in 2015 to 2.54 billion units in 2020. In addition, Gartner expects the estimated 300 to 500-million-square-feet of commercial space worldwide with intelligent or smart lighting in 2014 to double this year.
Think about it – a smart lighting system includes the LED lighting (LEDs & associated components – drivers, connectors, PCBs, heat sinks, thermal protection, etc.), sensors and controls, connectivity, intelligence, and the emerging analytics and cloud pieces. One of the challenges is that many LED lighting designers don’t have a lot of experience on the electronics side for things like power, PCB design/layout and thermal design. Now add connectivity, intelligence, and analytics layers on top of the design, and it’s becoming a bigger challenge for them.
According to Gartner’s report "Market Trends: The Five Phases That Smart Lighting Providers Must Address to Be Successful in the Internet of Things," in order to get the biggest cost savings in addition to meeting security and safety concerns, lighting product managers and service providers need to implement five key phases of smart lighting.
"Smart solid-state lighting in office buildings and industrial installations has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90 percent; however, achieving these costs takes more than just installing light-emitting diode (LED) lighting," said Dean Freeman, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "To successfully achieve the lowest electricity cost, in addition to achieving safety and security and enhancing the office environment, lighting product managers at technology and service providers will need to implement five key strategic phases of smart lighting: (1) LED lighting, (2) sensors and controls, (3) connectivity, (4) analytics and (5) intelligence."
But this pertains to more than lighting product managers and service providers. The entire supply chain needs to be involved to advance smart lighting adoption. Component manufacturers that have a play in smart lighting need to think about collaboration to deliver complete solutions to mutual end customers. It is becoming a bigger issue now particularly as LED lighting designers, who often don’t have a lot of electronics expertise, need to design and deliver intelligent lighting systems.
It goes without saying that compatibility issues rank high in the design of these smart lighting systems. Suppliers throughout the lighting supply chain need to do a better job of working with each other to deliver the final system. For example, LED manufacturers should be working with third-party suppliers on the non-LED portion of the design such as sensor & control manufacturers to ensure that their lighting designer customers get the help they need to develop intelligent lighting systems. Once the wireless portion is added there needs to be further collaboration on selecting and adding a wireless module and other advanced intelligence and analytics.
Freeman added: “Implementing all five phases will ensure the highest level of success in reducing lighting costs and accelerating the adoption of smart lighting solutions. With these solutions, smart lighting providers will be able to leverage the impact of sensor data and analytics on the IoT.”
Component suppliers have already started to collaborate on the IoT particularly around data collection and the cloud, which will play important roles in the adoption of IoT overall. As examples, Texas Instruments introduced a third-party ecosystem of IoT cloud service providers last year, and Qualcomm recently added six new cloud service providers that are now integrated with its QCA4002 Wi-Fi solution and related development platform. Samsung is now partnering with Temboo to incorporate its technology stack to support Samsung’s newly launched ARTIK IoT platform.
What do you think? Do component manufacturers and other vendors involved in smart lighting need to work together to help their LED lighting customers deliver complete, compatible smart lighting systems? You can email me at email@example.com or post a comment.