Gartner, Inc.: Smart lighting could reduce energy costs by 90%

According to Gartner, Inc., Internet of Things (IoT) architectures are driving smart lighting technologies. Gartner has predicted that smart lighting installations are expected to increase from 46 million units in 2015 to 2.54 billion units by 2020. It was globally estimated in 2014 that between 300 and 500 million square feet of commercial space were equipped with some type of smart lighting, and those estimates are expected to double in 2015 thanks to heightened growth in the smart lighting market.

Garter says the company’s definition of “smart lighting” involves a lighting system that is connected to a network which allows it to be both controlled and monitored through cloud technology, or from a centralized system.

Dean Freeman, research vice president at Gartner, said, “Smart solid-state lighting in office buildings and industrial installations has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90%; however, achieving these costs takes more than just installing light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. To successfully achieve the lowest electricity cost, in addition to achieving safety and security and enhancing the office environment, lighting product managers at technology and service providers will need to implement five key strategic phases of smart lighting: (1) LED lighting, (2) sensors and controls, (3) connectivity, (4) analytics and (5) intelligence.”

The successful implementation of all five phases is the most effective means of reducing lighting expenses and hastening the adoption of smart lighting technologies, while also enabling smart lighting providers to leverage the effects of sensor data and analytics on the IoT.

“Smart solid-state lighting (SSL) costs are now at a point at which it is compelling to implement just the lighting. Energy savings of up to 50% have been well-documented in many installations, and they are difficult to resist when replacing incandescent or high-intensity discharge systems in a warehouse. In a fluorescent installation, energy cost savings of up to 25% can be achieved, along with considerable savings in lighting maintenance,” added Freeman.

Smart lighting relies on varying types of sensor controls, which allow for system automation, while connecting the controls and lighting on a network allows the lighting to be controlled through a centralized dashboard, thus providing the property owner with the means to analyze lighting patterns in such a way that could improve cost savings. However most installations seem to be stopping at this stage, which defeats the purpose of implementing analytics.

If property owners move take the 4th Phase forward, they gain the potential to control multiple lighting operations from a centralized location, and can monitor and study energy use over time. The addition of analytics enables product managers to compare lighting use to occupancy so that they can recommend the most cost effective lighting programs while improving ambience and security for the occupants. Establishing Lighting as a Service (LaaS) would allow lighting providers to maintain systems effectively while slashing costs for clients. Gartner predicts that increased adoption of smart lighting will lead to an emergence of LaaS providers.

Other aspects of IoT trends will be covered at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, October 4-8 in Orlando, Florida.

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Tracy Venkatesh

Tracy Venkatesh

Tracy Venkatesh has spent twenty years working and interacting with a socioeconomically diverse population in both the private and public sectors, and has held positions in multiple verticals including content development, healthcare, customer relations management, defense and law enforcement.

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