This demand for improved efficiency and more functions is being met by smart, or connected, lighting control. The market for smart control of lighting in residential applications is four times larger in volume than in industrial buildings. Together, they are the fastest-growing segment of the Internet of Things (IoT). Generally, residential connected or connected lighting systems tend to be much simpler than their industrial counterparts, with a smaller Bill of Materials (BoM) and lower cost.
At its simplest level, connected lighting can just be the ability to turn lights on and off, perhaps remotely or at pre-programmed times of the day. Taking this one step further, connected lighting systems can add extra features such as dimming and color control of LEDs.
Beyond this, there is a huge range of options available, particularly when sensors are added to the mix – for example, to control lighting in response to the level of ambient light, or whether people are detected in a room. For industrial applications, sensors such as temperature, moisture and lighting levels can be invaluable, as their data can be used both to control the lights, and to help with system maintenance.
Today’s ubiquitous smartphones means that lighting systems can offer a sophisticated user interface on a mobile device, without the cost of a dedicated screen or complicated buttons.