Is the future Smart LED Lighting and Controls?

January 14, 2020
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Most people do not realize that the light bulb had not changed their basic design since Thomas Edison’s updated version in 1879. The problem with older light bulbs is that they generate light by heating a thin filament of wire to very high temperatures. Luckily, throughout the years, there have been innovative updates such as incandescent, halogen, CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs), LED (light-emitting diode) lights and now Smart LED lighting.  Smart LED lighting is set to become the next phase in the constant evolution of energy efficiency in the age of IOT (The internet of Things).

So, what exactly is Smart LED lighting and controls?

Smart lighting bulbs are LEDs, which draws much less power than traditional incandescent light bulbs. A typical smart bulb is 9.5W or 5.5W for spotlights and candle bulbs. That’s roughly equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulb and a 50W spotlight bulb respectively. Lighting controls have become very popular in the last 5 years.  A huge plus is that you can control the function of the lights from an app, usually on your Apple or Android phone. When you connect wirelessly you open capabilities and possibilities that may amaze some as well as making your life a bit more simple.

Light bulbs have grown exponentially smarter in recent years. You can now replace your standard incandescent bulb with a variety of connected solutions you can control with just a few taps on your smartphone or tablet.  A few basic features of smart bulbs are dimmability, controls, and sleep to name a few. Imagine that you can dim a bulb without having to install dimmer switches in your home. Another plus, these bulbs can be controlled from anywhere. Some smart bulbs have scheduling features which let you control your lights when you aren’t at home or the office. This is an excellent security option for when you’re on vacation. It also means you can come home/office to a lit building without leaving your lights on and wasting unnecessary electricity. Finally, Smart bulbs can even help you sleep better. For example, The C-Sleep emits several color temperatures that are designed to help regulate natural melatonin production in the body. Its light settings help suppress your melatonin levels during the day and increase melatonin as you get near bedtime. Pretty amazing right?

Think about driving to work every day. How many streetlights do you see between your driveway and your office? Probably a lot, right?  Imagine if each individual light fixture had technology onboard which allowed it to connect to a single cloud solution. This scenario can provide real-time data to central servers that give updates on things like traffic density, temperature, and brightness. And better yet, all this data can be sent and controlled via a single app.

According to Charles Nobles, Marketing Director for Network Lighting Solutions up to 40% of a city’s energy load is attributed to streetlights. When you combine a rapid increasing global population, it becomes a clear necessity that mayors, council members and city authorities to name a few are looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

It’s a known fact that the energy required to power more traditional lighting sources is much higher than LED. In fact, it’s estimated that switching to smart LED lighting could save 40% of total lighting energy. Think of the massive affect this would have on our environment (not to mention city budgets). So, the emergence of Smart LED Lighting will alter how we perceive lighting in the very near (here) future at work and at play.

Written by Jenn Williams, COO Chief Operating Officer, LewLew Energy


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