Connected luminaires are designed to make information about themselves available in standard or published data formats. Such information might include dimming level, energy consumption, time on and off, and internal temperature measurements, which can have an important effect on the performance and longevity of LED light sources.
With a database module, back-end lighting management software can store this information for historical analysis and reporting. Such information can serve as a critical part of enterprise-wide energy monitoring and management, especially as lighting often accounts for a significant percentage of an organization’s energy budget. When combined with other sets of data—for example, historical information on usage of and activities in an illuminated space—system managers can use this information to refine dimming schedules and light level targets, minimizing light levels when spaces are unoccupied. The more that managers know about how and when illuminated spaces are being used, the more energy efficient their lighting operations can become.
The ability to share operational data and connectivity with IT networks is built into a connected luminaire’s electronics, so it comes at little or no additional cost. Lighting manufacturers that design a common luminaire electronics platform with connected capabilities, and who use this platform across their entire portfolio of luminaires, achieve economies of scale that can actually drive the cost of connected luminaires down.
Another advantage of a common platform for connected luminaires is that businesses can use a phased approach to deploying connected capabilities. For example, an organization can take advantage of the full range of illumination capabilities in the first year of a multiyear lighting plan, then “turn on” connected capabilities by deploying lighting management software in a subsequent year.
Similarly, manufacturers of connected luminaires can incrementally expand the data that the luminaires can share with firmware updates that are easily downloaded to installed systems. In this way, the intelligence of the lighting system can grow to keep pace with an organization’s evolving objectives.
Read the 5 ways that connected lighting uses data to deliver value beyond illumination here