LED Lighting Connected to the Internet: A Promising Technology
The possibilities of Internet-connected LED lighting go beyond energy savings. LED bulbs are expected to become a platform for various services and applications, as with smartphones.
Internet-connected LED spotlights may be the evolution of WiFi technology.
It can transmit encoded information as pulses of light, allowing LED spotlights to fulfil the same function as WiFi access points. This would enable the design and programming of applications for lighting systems.
Building Automation with Connected LED Spotlights
With lighting present in all buildings and a central automated system, some interesting possibilities arise:
- Connected LED spotlights can function as a Visible Light Communication (VLC) platform, whose theoretical speed exceeds WiFi by more than 100 times.
- Office appliances, HVAC systems and other installations can be equipped with VLC-compatible sensors and emitters.
- You can monitor and control the energy consumption in the building and even use the same system for surveillance and security.
This is especially promising for new construction, as lighting circuits can take over the function of the Ethernet network. By consolidating two installations into one, the system’s initial cost is significantly reduced.
Inland Navigation Systems
If the LED spotlights interact with smartphones via VLC, they can be used to locate people in large buildings, such as businesses or health centres.
By having an optical connection between the LED lighting and a mobile device, the control system can know a person’s location concerning the site they are looking for.
This concept can guide customers to specific products or discounts in shopping malls.
Inventory control is an activity that represents many person-hours of work for any merchant. However, a warehouse with connected LED lighting can track SKUs and forklift or personnel movement within the store. This would not only make warehouses safer but also more efficient.
LED bulbs with VLC capabilities can track products and personnel, optimizing inventory management.
Some LED products with wireless capabilities allow control over light intensity or colour via a mobile app. Sylvania Lightify and Philips Hue are two product lines that work on this concept.
In residential applications and the hospitality industry, custom lighting provides added comfort.
In office buildings, each employee can control the lighting at their desk, improving their comfort and, thus, their productivity.
Connected LED lighting with VLC capabilities can bring a similar technological revolution to smartphones. This concept offers a wide range of services for interior spaces and can create a new field of expertise for lighting professionals.
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- LED Lighting Connected to the Internet: A Promising Technology