28 Sep 2017
Images illustrating a blog around the connection between LED lighting, lighting for businesses and the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is about how we, the objects we use and the things that surround us are changing the way we’re living our lives. It’s to do with the interactivity of more and more of what we rely on, from home heating systems to the infrastructure that underpins, and runs, buildings and cities.

Where once this interactivity might have come across as a bit of a gimmick, it’s now taking on new forms, and increasingly, offering different ways to be efficient through smart technology.

We’re now seeing this in the world of lighting. The Internet of Things is broadening the scope of lighting, transforming something we all take for granted and giving it exciting new possibilities.

As specialists in commercial, industrial and domestic lighting services, we’re tremendously excited about a smart future for lighting, and for our customers.

What is the Internet of Things?

This is one of those phrases that’s increasingly used in a way that takes for granted that people know what it is. However, the IoT has such a wide range of possibilities, and applications, that it’s easy to overlook what it really means.

Essentially, it’s the way the internet is becoming integral to everyday objects and products, so that they can send and receive data.

At one time, the internet meant interconnectivity through computers only. Then it extended to smartphones and other mobile devices. Now it can encompass things like the thermostat in your home, wearable fitness devices and more general smart home devices – such as Amazon Echo with its voice-assisted functions.

As this interconnectedness increases, so will the number of apps that can use it to offer different functions and services to their users.

Because much of this is in the everyday realm, it can feel less remarkable than it truly is, because we easily adapt these things to our daily lives, whether at home or in the workplace.

In fact, it’s the next industrial revolution, creating an entire ecosystem of components that will bring consumers, businesses and governments into an interconnected world of networks, data and functionality.

As such, the Internet of Things is set to accelerate the changes in how we all live in the 21st century.

What Changes will IoT Bring?

The Internet of Things will make things more convenient, but it will also result in a greater exchange of data.

This is crucial for businesses and their customers, because it means smart devices will record and track consumer behaviour patterns, making it easier for companies to recommend things to them – improved products, upgrades, new services and support.

Data gives insight, helping to personalise the experiences people have as consumers or customers. And this can just as easily apply to B2B as it can B2C relationships.

It will also make it much more efficient for businesses to track inventory and maximise their customer relations management (CRM).

IoT is likely to shorten buying cycles, as customers will have near-instantaneous ordering and feedback processes. For businesses, they will be able to both respond to demand faster, and be more proactive in their sales and promotional activity.

What Does It Mean for Lighting?

Lighting is becoming much more than providing illumination. Already, the big leaps and bounds in LED technology have meant that it is both an energy efficient and adaptable option in a diverse range of settings, from streetlights, warehouses and offices to dedicated automotive lighting solutions.

With IoT, lighting will be able to do other things too. So, for example, street lighting could include sensors to monitor urban air quality, and because it would be part of an IoT device, it would transmit this data back to urban controllers.

Similarly, there is already smart lighting at some airports that can monitor the movement of vehicles and people.

This monitoring function is key to how LED lighting is set to help transform both public and private spaces, working as part of the Internet of Things.

Integrating LEDs with microcontrollers means that they can then include applications beyond illumination. In a domestic setting, for example, LED lights might have built-in chips for boosting wi-fi connectivity, or for syncing with apps on mobile devices.

On a wider scale, commercial lighting systems for offices, shopping malls, hospitals, schools and other public buildings will have a multi-functional role in improving energy efficiency and putting in place lighting automation, but also providing a means of monitoring people and information-gathering.

LED systems can incorporate motion sensors to alter lighting according to the number of people at any time occupying a specific space. They can work to alert shoppers who pass by them about items on sale; or to let people know of car parking space availability.

This aspect of smart lighting is known as visual-light communication, or VLC. This allows the LEDs to carry signals of up to 500 megabits per second to registered apps.

LED Lighting, the Internet of Things and You

The advance in LED development, together with the spread of the Internet of Things, means that future is now.

Already we’re seeing how you can gain significant energy and efficiency savings using LED lighting. With these systems evolving into smart lighting, businesses across sectors will be able to take advantage of this enabling technology.

We can retrofit or replace commercial lighting systems straightforwardly with LEDs and their technology is scalable – we can adapt their functionality for your business needs.

This means you’ll be able to adapt your lighting for data-gathering or customer relations purposes; to enhance your security arrangements; or to improve the efficiency of your business by helping you better utilise your office space.

Ultimately, this makes LED lighting an excellent investment. You’re able to see immediate returns through its energy-saving capability, while planning for the future by adding additional functions to it.

 Get In Touch

We specialise in LED lighting for a whole range of workplaces, including offices, industrial and commercial spaces. LEDs provide adaptable solutions to help you transform your business.

Discover how we can work with you to make your business better lit, and more energy efficient. Email enquiry@idesuk.com or call 08432 894645. We’re ready for the future of lighting, are you?

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