The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming increasingly widespread. Many household items and devices already use it, and both consumers and industrial users are beginning to adopt it on a larger scale. There are now many smart home products available from a variety of vendors, and organizations are looking at how they can use it to save money and improve operations. As the IoT grows, so does demand for and use of smart lighting.
According to a report by The Insight Partners, the global market for smart lighting will grow at a CAGR of over 17% to reach a total value of USD 51 billion by 2025. With adoption rising around the world, there are many opportunities for smart lighting vendors. Here are some recent developments in the market.
Ikea expands compatibility
Ikea recently announced that it would be adding functionality to its smart lighting range that will make it compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. Ikea Home Smart aims to simplify smart home connections and remove the barriers that come from working with devices and software by multiple brands. This upgrade to its smart lighting will allow users to control their home lighting through voice commands, and the product range will be able to interact with other smart home devices such as sensors and locks.
A new standard
Currently, there is no universal standard for IoT-enabled lighting fixtures and how they can be updated and upgraded. A group called the IoT-Ready Alliance is therefore seeking to implement a consistent, easy, inexpensive method for updating indoor lighting without requiring expensive changes. The group suggests standards that will make LED light fixtures “IoT-Ready” and allow for quick and easy installation of IoT sensors.
Smart lighting for retail analytics and customization
LED lighting specialist Aurora is producing AXiO, a line of smart LED luminaires able to gather and analyze data through communications chips, sensors, and cloud computing connections. The company is initially focusing on retail applications, suggesting the products can be used to track customer movement and allow retailers to send personalized information and promotions to customers currently in the store. Other uses include controlling individual lights to emphasize particular items or adjusting lighting levels to suit different situations. Aurora plans to offer these functionalities through a subscription model.
Property management innovations
The University of Oulu in Finland is conducting an IoT experiment around collecting data over 5G networks. Finnish company Helvar has provided the connected indoor lighting system that is being used to help establish how smart LEDs can be used in conjunction with 5G mobile networks to help facility managers better operate their buildings. The trial is using sensors and other technologies to gather information about how occupants use the property. This data can be used to automatically adjust settings such as light and heat levels, or help management decide on room and building allocation. The trial was begun in March this year and will run through May 2018.
Improving passenger experience
British rail operators are currently experimenting with smart lighting columns in some stations in order to improve passenger experience, safety, and traffic management. These interactive columns combine LEDs, cameras, internet connectivity, and charging stations. They not only increase convenience for passengers, but are also able to monitor the area and facilitate communication from station managers. With their ease of installation, low maintenance needs, and multiple functions, these columns could be a valuable addition to rail stations across the country.
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