Connected lighting is all about two-way data communications. One of the biggest advantages that this bidirectional data flow supports is the ability to monitor, manage, and maintain lighting systems in real time.In standard lighting systems, little or no data is available on the current state of the luminaires and other devices. Often, a system administrator must take the lighting system offline to troubleshoot, to change luminaire configurations, or to display new light show content. With lighting management software running in the IT network or the cloud, connected lighting systems offer a much richer environment for system administrators to oversee and optimize operations. Lighting management software systems that integrate tightly with connected luminaires—such as Philips CityTouch for street lighting or Philips ActiveSite for dynamic architectural lighting—give system managers the ability to see the current state of each lightpoint, and to act on lightpoints individually or in groups.
Map-based interfaces makes it easy to change configurations, update dimming schedules, and swap out light shows just by pointing and clicking. Systems can be set up to send alerts when operations are disrupted or unusual events occur. Because luminaires can share data about themselves, these alerts can include all relevant information about the luminaire’s location, type, settings, and so on—information that technicians can use to rapidly respond to and resolve any issues that might arise. This is especially powerful where luminaires are distributed over a wide area, such as street lighting in a city. Tickets and repair orders can be remotely managed and distributed, eliminating the need for work crews to drive around the streets at night to identify outages.
When combined with a database, lighting management software can let organizations store historical data on operations, along with any data streams aggregated from sensor networks and indoor positioning systems. It’s hard to underestimate the value of the data-driven insights that can result from analyzing and reporting on this data, especially when combined with valuable data from additional sources.
- Jonathan Weinert