The value of LEDs in the Internet of Things

The adoption of LED technology has grown significantly in the last decade, driven by lower prices of lights and potential energy savings. By 2020, it is estimated that 6 out of 10 lightbulbs will be LED.

The technology is expected to save as much as $20 billion a year in electricity expenditures and will also reduce CO2 emissions drastically (Goldman Sachs, 2015). Combined with the Internet of Things, LED lighting systems are projected to increase in efficiency and performance by controlling how, when and where they are used.

Efficient lighting systems

Imagine being able to connect and control lights and devices at home and at your business. The crock pot switches on and dinner is being prepared while the individual commutes. Heating is adjusted automatically at a comfort level at night and during the day, it is set at the bare minimum.

Smart lights switch on when dusk falls lighting pathways and driveways. With LED lights incorporated in the IoT, efficient lighting systems are developed which allow homeowners greater flexibility to control illumination whether at home or away.

Proficient business lighting systems

For business, the Internet of Things allows LEDs to work efficiently by controlling the amount of light provided to parts of an office or blocks of buildings. Using a centralised switch, lights are scheduled according to needs. They may be dimmed or brightened based on purpose. Integrating this function allows illumination to be used in the best way possible, switching off those that are redundant and increasing brightness where it is needed such as entry points and the back door for security.

Intelligent street lighting

LED-based lighting has a big potential to enhance visibility on the roads and at the same time, reduce costs for local governments and councils. With the integration of IoT in street lighting, control of the lighting system is evident. This would enable local authorities to determine when extra illumination is needed due to an event or where it needs brightening to be visible to vehicle and human traffic. Each light can have independent sensors and sources of energy.

Effective public lighting

Another useful application of IoT is public lighting where a central system controls different brightness levels in various neighbourhoods and areas. Adjusting lights for the benefit of wildlife in parks as well as dimming lamps in residential areas are examples of applications that demonstrate the flexibility of IoT on LED lighting systems.

Zone lighting is another possibility taking into consideration the wishes of the business community, motorists and residents. Areas where brighter lights are needed include business areas, high-risk parts of roads (roundabouts, junctions), car parks and busy areas.

Spaces where lower levels of light are suitable include historic sites, residential districts and parks.

Safety improvement at emergency sites

Perhaps, the most useful application of IoT is during unplanned events and disasters such as crashes or fires prompting immediate response. Controlled lighting enables local authorities to adjust or provide lights where needed to enable first responders to attend to victims safely and efficiently.

Transformation of lighting systems

LED lights in conjunction with IoT improve the efficiency and quality of municipal lighting, thus, making them accessible to more people due to their affordability. Solar power efficiency is anticipated to increase making it accessible to poorer areas and remote places across the globe.

In parallel, LED lighting products are expected to grow and improve cost efficacy where operating expenses are negligible using inexpensive energy. This transformation in lighting systems not only improves performance, but also empowers more communities in the future. More importantly, IoT enables gathering of valuable data across lighting systems to understand better how it works, where and how it can be improved.

The author of this blog is Jocelyn Brown, a professional freelancer writer.

About the author:

Jocelyn Brown is a professional freelancer writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelancing and the versatility it allows her in covering many different topics and themes. When not at work she enjoys running, hikes in the country and making the most of family time.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

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