Lighting is the second most important expense in any building after HVAC systems. Replacing old incandescent and fluorescent lights with LED lights can save up to 80% of lighting energy. But because cheaper energy is the one that is not consumed, using exactly the light we need in any ambiance is essential for saving energy.
Smart lighting is lighting together with an intelligent system that makes possible the interaction with the user or other devices in an automated way.
What kind of lighting controls can be used with smart lighting?
- Switching on/off: it is the traditional way of controlling the light.
- Dimming: regulating the light brightness to adapt it to the activity needs which means less energy consumption
- Color control: with RGB LEDs you can get different color lights, creating ambient light and specific visual effects for special events.
- Color temperature: tunable white LEDs can regulate light hue from warm white (yellowish white) to cool white (blueish white). The color temperature of the light we receive throughout the day is essential for the regulation of our internal clock, since it has an impact on our hormone regulation and sleep and wake cycles, allowing a good rest at night and boosting our energy during the day.
- Energy monitoring: energy measures and monitoring can be used for the evaluation of energy consumption and to make decisions about consumption habits.
- Connectivity: with IoT systems, we are connected to our smart lighting system and evaluate the light status and control lighting features remotely, wherever we are.
But all these features cannot save energy by themselves. They require intelligence to decide which are the most suitable lighting settings at any time, to make a difference from the old and manual way of controlling lights by the user.
Smart building technologies allow combining lighting with other data in the building or environment, to make lighting smarter and react to different events or ambient conditions, with a major impact on energy consumption.
What are the smart lighting automation features I can use to save energy?
- Occupancy-based lighting: lights can be automatically switched off when no one is inside a room for a while, using motion or presence sensors. To prevent nuisance switching on/off in areas with high traffic, RF sensors distinguish between persons and objects without a direct line of sight.
- Daylight harvesting: daylighting is a type of passive solar control that involves natural light, such as sunlight or skylight, for indoor lighting and heating. Daylight harvesting systems are used to assure that the current daylight and artificial light are mixed to get the light intensity requirements in a place. The system dimmer lights down in rooms where daylight is sufficient to meet the needs and reduces energy consumption by up to 40%.
- Human-centric lighting is a smart lighting system that would adjust the light brightness (dimming) and color temperature throughout the day to simulate sunlight. KUMUX solution, in addition, makes these changes automatic all year long based on geolocation and adapted to the activity in each area. This way neither the installer nor the user needs to worry about the right settings to enjoy the quality of light from a biological point of view. This circadian lighting helps regulate sleep and wake cycles as well as boost energy during daytime hours while reducing energy consumption by up to 30%.
- Mix all of them: if all these automation is combined, a major impact in energy saving could be achieved.
Global warming and climate change are real problems for society in the present and we need to take action now. It is time to invest in smart buildings and use the technology available for the most energy-efficient lighting system in homes and commercial buildings. Smart lighting is a must in the race for decarbonization so… ready, steady, go!