Lighting has never been so smart: In the last two years, experts have noticed a significant upswing in the availability and use of smart lighting solutions—in homes, businesses, commercially, and in public and government buildings. Read: everywhere.
So, what makes it so smart? The latest innovations use energy saving LED lights to reduce cost—but the added benefit is that LED is compatible with sensors and wireless technologies. In recent years, we’ve seen the use of LED lights grow significantly as technologies have allowed for greater color options and more user-friendly advancements (with market penetration expected to hit 52% by the end of 2017). When you travel, you may notice that most areas of Europe and Asia predominantly use LED.
What does that mean for you? A lot. For example, you may notice that the lights are dim in your hotel room at 8am, when the sun is brightest, but they get increasingly brighter as the sun wanes through the window. That’s thank to daylight sensors attached to the lighting system. Similarly, your office place may dim the lights based on the movements detected within the space, conserving energy when most workers have left. These advancements, combined with the sustainability of the bulbs make for solutions that are only getting smarter.
The best part is, these technologies are attainable everywhere, even in your home. Today, you can control your lighting from anywhere, even when you’re not there. LED lights and apps make it possible to switch, dim, and adjust right from your smartphone. LED lighting can be switched and dimmed frequently without a noticeable effect on its service life. Fluorescent and HID lighting fail very fast if switched constantly.
The cooldown period of HID is a major limitation to make it "smart." If you turn then off, you have to wait out the cooldown. LED lighting can restart instantly if needed.
What other trends can you look for? LED Horticulture lighting is making its move, with a market that reached about $690 million in 2017. What exactly is it? It’s the use of light in farming. For example, how light affects a chicken’s life cycle: How will it procreate, relax, produce eggs better? It’s similar to Human Centric Lighting but with animals. (The reverberating effects are fascinating: Keep an eye out for a greater demand for meat as a result of greater product quality.)
Finally, keep your eyes on the street: Experts predict that global LED street lighting penetration will reach an astounding 65% in 2018, while general commercial lighting continues to grow rapidly.