At the end of last year, Digital Lumens conducted a poll of customers, contacts and partners to determine the current state of affairs with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Lighting. Plus, we wanted to understand how IT was dealing with the incursion of intelligence and networking into previously non-connected building systems. We heard from 68 professionals spanning roles from operations and engineering executives to sustainability managers. This is the first of three blog entries covering those results.
Digital Lumens has long believed that intelligent LED lighting is on the leading edge for the Internet of Things (IoT). After all, every Digital Lumens fixture — with embedded computing power and wireless connectivity — is individually intelligent and fully connected to a powerful software back end. These fixtures generate massive amounts of data, which can be used to not only optimize energy consumption, but provide insight into building occupancy patterns, usage of other building systems, and other operational characteristics.
To get things started, we asked our respondents if they were familiar with the term “Internet of Things (IoT).” Turns out that two-thirds were. I first thought this was a small percentage — until I realized that this was three to four times the national average. Of the folks that have heard of IoT, over 80% consider Smart Lighting as part of that mega-trend. As a leader in making lights smart, this is certainly good for Digital Lumens. What else do these data points tell us?
First, the term IoT has made strides in joining the lexicon since it emerged on the scene. Analysis of the consumer data above suggests that even those individuals not aware of IoT are following wearables and smart technologies. As IoT becomes broadly accepted and vertically focused, the actual term may decrease in recognition in favor of other, more specialized categories.
Second, smart lighting is real — from commercial solutions like Digital Lumens that drive energy consumption to consumer products like the Philips Hue or Belkin WeMo that bring lower end color changing to the home. In the next entry in the series, we will investigate what smart lighting means.