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The theme of these past few blog posts has been (and still is): from renovation to innovation. We can’t talk about innovation without mentioning smart lighting solutions, so that’s what we are discussing today. Are you ready to be smart?

The obvious answer would be: yes, of course you are. Who wouldn’t want to be smart. In our experience, the decisions that are being made when it comes to renovation aren’t necessary the smartest. Sometimes they are the cheapest or the fastest. That’s ok, of course, but it may end up costing more in the end. Let’s compare it to buying a new tv. You can save a lot of money by picking the cheapest model, but that one will be the first to need replacement. You’ll end up having to buy several new ones over the course of a decade, while one advanced model might last you just as long.

The cheapest or fastest solutions might not be the smartest. When it comes to lighting, several levels of ‘smartness’ exist, roughly ranging from turning itself on and off to being able to provide your clients with benefits that go far beyond just lighting a building.

The levels of smartness are as follows:

    1. Fixture level
    2. Room level
    3. Floor level
    4. Building level
    5. Internet of Things

On a fixture level, lighting can only turn itself on or off automatically. There’s no other functionality. The next level is a bit more advanced, with fixtures in one room being connected and added functionality like dimming. The third level is similar, except that an entire floor is now connected, while allowing your clients to control each room on that floor individually through a wireless system. The fourth level expands that connectivity to an entire building. At this level, the lighting solution is usually integrated in an overarching building control system, including smoke detectors, shutters, the alarm system and so on.

The Internet of Things

The final and smartest level is the odd one out. There’s not really a level beyond connecting all the lighting in one building. Instead, on the fifth level the lighting system is put to use as a way to gather data on a number of things. Not just information about the lighting itself, for like energy usage, but also other useful parameters. Your clients might want to know what parts of their office are in use, and when, so they can link that data to the system that determines at what time the cleaning crew comes in.

That’s just an example of what lighting can do when it is connected to the so-called Internet of Things. In other words, when it is truly smart. The technology is not quite there yet, but as soon as it is, our current lighting solutions will be ready to make the most of these new possibilities!

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