EC&M Magazine recently ran an article about the value of sensors, IoT, and Smart Lighting Data. Energy ROI is an obvious benefit of advanced controls, but is often insufficient to justify the costs, after LED lighting has already slashed lighting energy use by more than 50%. In some places, lighting controls are installed to meet local code requirements.

Advanced lighting control systems go beyond just controlling the lights by allowing the gathering of data, bringing 10 to 100 times more value to the end-user. The easiest and most well-known solutions to achieve this are with occupancy sensors and daylight sensors. But what if one can get such data for an entire floor, building, or campus of buildings? This might be data that can tell how often a room is entered or how many cars are currently on a parking garage floor. How many customers went into the store today, and what portion of the parking lot is used at night? And is anyone still in the local park when it’s closed? This valuable data can be collected, analyzed, and communicated to learn much more about a site.

Since lighting is everywhere, when grouped under a network, it can then be used as a conduit from end-users to devices for valuable information. Asset tracking, contact tracing, and wayfinding are a few examples of how advanced lighting control systems are being used beyond controlling the lights. As an example, a building’s HVAC, fire alarm, and lighting system can use the same signal to turn off air intake and turn on all lights when the fire alarm is activated. The benefit of such information/signals gets even more valuable when shared with other manufacturers.

For example, you can share control of a room’s temperature using lighting control wall stations, or a demand response signal can be set up from the local electric utility to dim lights. This type of system will not only provide additional energy savings, but more importantly in some locations, it also satisfies a requirement to be code compliant. Such an ecosystem provides manufacturers’ and industries’ IoT products a backbone for advanced data and information at the heart of IoT. Air quality, structure vibration, and space utilization heatmaps are some examples of IoT applications.

Read the full article here.