Over 60 years since the invention of transistors, virtually every electronic system has undergone significant improvements. And, now it’s turn of light-in-the-ceiling. The modern era of integrated circuits, semiconductors and the Internet of Things – where internet connected devices convert data into actionable information.
Aptly nicknamed “Internet of Light,” the intelligent lighting is no longer reserved for science fiction movies. Manufacturers and energy firms are now creating wireless machine-to-machine lighting devices that have their mind and can act without human intervention.
From adjusting illumination strength to reducing operating costs, smart lighting infrastructures are proving to be game-changed for the public sector. All thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) that’s taking the lighting design to the next stage.
What is Internet of Things (IoT)?
Before you understand how lighting fits into the IoT, let’s understand what the IoT means. At its core, the IoT is all about interconnected devices over the internet.
A thing in the ‘Internet of Things’ can be a farm animal with a biochip transponder, a car with sensors to alert when tire pressure is low, or any other natural or human-made objects provided with an IP address and has an ability to transfer data over a network.
Internet of Lighting in IoT Context
Adding a sensor to a bulb or fixture makes it intelligent. Depending on the data collected by the sensors, the light source automatically turns on or off. Sensor modules for lamps and fixtures are now very sophisticated with much more capabilities than just on-and-off commands.
Advanced/smart/intelligent lighting systems can operate a certain number of interconnected fixtures in a space depending on the amount of natural light or presence of a person in the room.
Sensors connect a device to the IoT through the internet. The web-based lighting system, be it wireless or hardwired, becomes a part of the ever-growing landscape of the Internet of Things. By connecting these devices and data gathered on the Internet, users can analyse the information about space.
These sensors can collect environmental information from pollution to traffic congestion and influence an entire building or city instead of affecting single source.
Fundaments of Internet of Lighting
Two fundamental technological developments are transforming the purely functional mandate light to a much more valuable industrial asset. There are – light emitting diode (digital-ready light source) and also the communication infrastructure, encompassing a range of wired and wireless communication protocols and platforms.
Just as today’s Smartphone offers functionality that no body ever imagined decades ago, these technologies have realised the imagination of what light can be.
Low-voltage and semiconductor LEDs are inherently compatible with processing, sensing and networking devices. But if we talk about luminaries, it’s important to approach the system to guarantee triumph holistically.
- Apply a power supply system that supports lighting control interfaces minimizes supply chain costs and simplifies product, installation, and commissioning.
- Deliver a functional quality of light with a desirable lit effect for the application.
- Create smart lights using microelectronics and sensors that can autonomously make operational system adjustments and manage performance parameters.
- Enable digital connectivity to luminaires so that lights can communicate building data between lighting points with data management system, end-to-end user, and mobile applications.
Most of the modern smart models rely on APIs to connect unrelated sensors, communication components, and light sources. This configuration has proven to be challenging for widespread adoption, especially given that every luminaire must incorporate the electronics without being negatively active on aesthetics of space.
Intelligent lighting sorts this problem by using smart light sources that appealingly integrate electronics. With this infrastructure, the Internet of Lights drives improvement in ownership cost, energy sustainability and offers a world of value-added applications to support business objectives in multiple environments.
Intelligent Modules of Smart Lighting Installation
IoL infrastructures are compatible with street lighting, wide-area lighting, and office spaces as well. The primary motivator is energy efficiency through improving light management and more efficient LED light sources.
However, implementation of smart lighting indoors, retail and hospitals are much more challenging due to small fixtures, higher light quality requirements and significance of fixture aesthetics with sensors and controls and the cost of implementation and management of IoT lighting installation.
A promising strategy to deal with this complexity is to separate the aesthetical design from the parts managing the quality of the LED light source, digital connectivity and sensing functions on the intelligent modules.
Light Quality and Optical Interface
The use of advanced LED lights and remote phosphorus disks in optical interface reduces the design complexity while providing the beam quality.
Power Supply and Electrical Interface
This intelligent module is driven by the constant voltage power supply and an integrated DC to DC driver for an appropriate current flow through the LED array and also a sensor.
Dimming and Flicker Performance
The best dimming performance depends mainly on optimising the specifications and characteristics of both the driver and the LED array.
Sensor integration, diagnostics, and autonomous operation
Sensors make the module more reliable, and light fixtures more intelligent to react to lighting conditions. The use of space and being able to respond to changes within the space. Also, the IoT lighting system features sensors to monitor LED’s temperature and an occupancy sensor for monitoring the area, etc.
A lighting Fixture is connecting to a light dimming control system, light fixture configuration and initial programming for autonomous rules.
The internet of lights is a mix of art and science that is revolutionising the way we lit buildings, towns and the whole planet. Due to continuous efforts and experiments in this field, the lighting system autonomy is likely to extend impeccably making it more demanding for lighting designers.
The internet of light will eventually make the users control their personal space with the ease of a waved hand. The world of possibilities shaped by the Internet of Lights and Internet of Things is sure to lead to a very dynamic market, also establish a robust demand for lighting as a must-have service in the next decade.