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What Makes Lighting ‘Smart’?
Feb 05, 2020

There’s a lot of talk about smart lighting these days, but what exactly is smart lighting and what makes a light ‘smart’? Does it mean it actually has intelligence or does it just respond to commands?

The smart lighting industry is expected to be worth over $23 billion by 2025. LED lighting, which doesn’t necessarily have to be smart (see, “What’s the difference between smart lighting and LED lighting?” below) currently accounts for more than 40% of the general lighting market share and is expected to surpass 80% by 2025.

Clearly – we are entering a new era of home lighting.

But a lot of people are still unclear on what a smart light is, so let’s take a closer look and make some rules and definitions.

1. Connection

Smart lighting is connected to the Internet of Things—the network of communicating devices— via wireless “protocols” such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth. These connectivity protocols allow smart lighting to have sensors that send data to and receive data from the cloud and also to and from your smart phone.

ConnectionConnection

2. Remote control

Smart lighting can be controlled remotely via an app from your phone. This remote control typically includes functions such as on/off, dimming, and the establishment of “smart scenes” that can automate and time your lighting.

Remote controlRemote control

3. Sensors

Smart lighting has sensors that allow it to do automated smart scenes and perform functions such as turning on automatically when someone enters a room. These sensors are what make smart lighting the foundation of many smart home and smart building infrastructures, since lighting is so ubiquitous within a home or building and can thus be used to provide key information on other systems and resources.

SensorsSensors

What’s the difference between smart lighting and LED lighting?

Smart lighting is always LED lighting, but LED lighting isn’t always smart lighting. LED stands for “light-emitting diodes”. These diodes turn electrons into light as the electrons pass through them. LED lighting is up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting, since 95% of the energy in LED lights is converted into light and only 5% is converted into heat. This significant reduction in heat emission also makes them safer and much longer-lasting than traditional lights.

Is it worth it to buy smart lighting?

Per the aforementioned benefits of LED lighting and the increased convenience and control of smart lighting, in a word: yes. The price of smart lighting has also come down significantly over the last five years, providing even more reason for you to go smart with your lighting.

Essentially, using smart lighting makes you and your home smart.

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