About 140 years ago, Thomas Edison applied for the first patent on "Improvement in Electric Lights", which describes the use of carbon filaments as incandescent conductors to limit heating, so that lights can be continuously illuminated for a long time. At that time, the main design problem was how to keep the prototype from burning. Today, lighting is almost taken for granted, which obviously changed a lot.
In the 140 years after Edison's great achievements, one of the most breakthrough advances in lighting was the invention of LED. Today's LEDs, especially interconnected LEDs, have some additional functions, such as color selection. In addition, LED emits more lumens per watt than traditional incandescent bulbs, which greatly reduces energy consumption. The energy efficiency of LED is not affected by size. However, due to connectivity requirements, all this control brings new complexity to users.
Imagine coming home from work, and the light is on before you enter the door. Or in the morning, bedroom lighting slowly wakes you up in an hour by gradually adjusting the color and brightness of the bedside lamp.
Today, although LED lighting is a global industry worth $30 billion, it has not yet crossed the gap and become the mainstream lighting. Currently, the cost of color interconnected bulbs is about $50 per bulb, compared with an average of 40 lamp holders in American households. Buying a light bulb for nearly $2,000 is not conducive to promotion for anyone. Perhaps only the most enthusiastic early tasters are willing to accept it.
But prices have been falling. In 2014, the price of a standard LED bulb was $25, but now it's only $2. Falling prices create opportunities for differentiation among suppliers.
Advantages of Interconnection Lighting
As we mentioned earlier, three major advantages are driving the adoption of interconnected lighting: convenience, intelligence and data analysis. Lighting is an important environmental factor, which has an important impact on people's daily life. For example, in an office environment, lighting is usually static, so it does not change. The lights either turn on or turn off. When opened, the room was full of fluorescence. This light is good for reading, but not for staring at a computer screen. It would be very convenient if the ambient lighting could be adjusted accordingly to suit the current work. This wish has now become a reality. Intelligent lighting and the use of smart and sensor also provide users with the opportunity to understand information such as occupancy data, or to monitor indoor conditions, temperature, and even flow patterns. Finally, intelligent LED can provide analysis functions related to location and space utilization. For example, LEDs can be used to identify areas with the highest utilization in buildings or to provide feedback on the efficiency of warehouse space use.
In the United States, a family has an average of 40 lamp holders, while interconnected color bulbs cost about $50 each.
Most people will choose to install a small amount of interconnected LED at home to gradually enter the era of intelligent lighting. In addition to changing the nature of output, smart lighting and the resulting connectivity have brought a lot of benefits to housing. Wherever you are, users can use wireless monitoring and control capabilities to control energy use. In addition, intelligence and data analysis also bring added value, which not only enables consumers to view energy consumption in real time, but also controls smart objects through mobile devices, and adds advanced functions such as occupancy and environmental condition sensors, so that the environment can respond spontaneously without any action by users. In more intelligent lighting control, occupancy, ambient light, and even temperature sensors play an important role. Turning off lights when there is no one in the room is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Location-based lighting is also a new convenience function. This concept uses light to judge people's position or occupancy. Lighting means activity, and people usually gather in places with lights. Because the lamps are fixed, they are usually evenly spaced in industrial, commercial and even some outdoor places (such as parking lots and urban centers), so they can perfectly illuminate the location of people. It is very common to use the integrated positioning function in lamps and lanterns. The simplest form is to combine the health status and location of the lamp. People can determine the maintenance time of the lamp preventively, thus saving time and money. Sensors or Bluetooth beacons can be used to accurately determine a person's position.
The spatial efficiency of warehouses, supermarkets and even parking lots can be determined by aggregating the information obtained from different time and space data. Another use case for such data is that retailers can selectively promote products based on the location of the shopper.
In 2014, the price of standard (non-interconnected) LED bulbs was $25 per unit, which has now dropped to about $2.
Emerging market trends
Security is gradually becoming a common problem faced by Internet of Things equipment, lighting is no exception. The quality of the system depends on its weakest link. But who guarantees the security of the system? Security should not be seen as an achievable function at the end of the development cycle, but should run through the entire process.
These wireless systems are complex, and engineers focus on designing effective products, so they can easily become stubborn and pursue effectiveness at the expense of other considerations. There is a powerful systematic approach to reduce these risks and help teams focus on their areas of expertise.
The good news is that there are tools that can greatly improve the security of intelligent lighting systems.
Innovation is no longer a challenge. The real challenge is to learn how to use technology in the right way.