The topic of going green is heating up as way to ease the environmental impact of energy consumption. Fortunately, you can also save money in the process. Smart lighting uses technology to optimize usage and reduce waste.
In this article, we’ll take a look at smart lighting controls and how it can reduce your energy usage and start lowering your utility bill. You can start saving now … while preparing for a smarter future.
Smart lighting is automation that brings efficiency to illumination. It helps save energy by remotely or automatically controlling lights though smart technology. The concept applies to other electrical devices too–but lighting is a major cost area, so it’s a great place to start.
According to data compiled from the US Department of Energy, lighting makes up 25% of commercial energy use. In 2017, electrical power generation caused 34% of US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. There are definitely savings to be had.
By some estimates, as much as 75% of residential energy is spent while electrical devices are turned off. Though innovation promises to reduce electrical consumption per appliance, the potential for savings already exists.
Types of Smart Lighting Control
Through different approaches, it is possible to customize a solution to fit your needs.
- Programming – One basic control is managing an interconnected system of lights using a computer. This was among the first uses of computerized environmental control, and remains a key element. Setting automation to turn lights on and off according to available daylight and hours of operation is a no-brainer for saving electricity. Establishing this system is good place to start, because it provides a control structure to build upon.
- Motion-sensing – A second potential component of a smart lighting control system is simple motion-detection: activating lights only when activity requires it. It isn’t as useful in a sedentary office setting, but motion-sensitive lighting can effectively manage low-traffic areas.
- Remote – Wireless lighting control works best as part of a larger plan, because it must integrate with an established system. Remote smart lighting control allows for offsite management to save monitoring expense, and offers timely control for unexpected events.
- Embedded Technology – The newest area of smart lighting uses the Internet of Things (IoT) networking concept, whereby individual appliances are connected to the internet and can communicate online. These “smart” appliances can respond in real-time to individualized events, bringing optimization to a granular level.
- Product Innovation – Innovative light sources matter too, and LED is now replacing fluorescent and incandescent fixtures. LED still costs more to install, but it’s cheaper to use and lasts longer.
Smart lighting control isn’t the cutting edge anymore—but the technology has proven its worth and is becoming more accessible. With the right mix of controls, most spaces can benefit from smart lighting. The future is coming and it looks to be bright: but only when it needs to be.