The Internet of Lights – IoT’s Perfect Partner
Lights provide the perfect infrastructure for a complete IoT system. Lights are everywhere in and around a building. They’ve been installed with built-in power sources attached. Previous light bulbs presented problems due to high temperatures, electromagnetic interference, and had a limited bulb life which made them a difficult option for integrating electronics into their configuration. With the switch to energy efficient LED bulbs, these issues are resolved. LEDs run at a low temperature and are themselves semiconductor components. Their signature low-voltage allows LEDs to share the same power supply as electronic components used for communication, controls and sensors. The Internet of Lights is possible because of these characteristics of the LED bulb.
There are different ways to connect an Internet of Lights system. Sensors and controls can be directly attached to the lights and IoT network, wireless or Bluetooth smart radio options. Attaching the sensors and radios directly to the light system means they are connected to the electrical grid as well. They will have constant power, and being connected, even open the option to be connected to a solar power system.
“Today, when we think of buying a phone, we don’t think of a landline phone. By default, we think of a mobile or a smartphone. We anticipate that over the next 5-10 years — closer to five years — potentially, when people think of upgrading their existing lights or installing new ones, they would install lights or lighting systems which are smart,” Harshvardhan Chitale, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India, has predicted. (Source)
A recent research study says that the global smart lighting marketing will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.9 percent during the next ten years. It will reach a value of approximately $21.6 billion by 2025, the report says. (Source)
The physical locations and characteristics of our lights alone provide us with the perfect setup to incorporate smart lighting options. Businesses are now taking advantage of the ability to connect their systems through their existing lighting setup and benefitting from cost and performance efficiencies. However, in the future, the Internet of Lights along with the Internet of Things could have the ability to connect with systems far beyond the walls of just one building.