When we think “sustainable,” we usually flash to recyclables, green building materials and smart thermostats. Also, on our list, however, should be lighting because smart technology lighting can definitely lower monthly energy bills.
Let’s look at some 2018 trends.
LED is the way to go. Remember when the first incandescent replacement bulbs were strangely twisted fluorescents that projected only bright bluish light? Next came LEDs, but many were oversized, bulky and actually heavy. That’s recently changed, and replacement LEDS come in many different shapes. Also, gone are the days when that $7.00 LED bulb wouldn’t fit in your old incandescent fixture. LEDS can actually be found that will work together with an existing ballast, and that can eliminate the necessity of total fixture replacement.
Connected Lighting = Smart Lighting
Another way of describing sustainable smart lighting is to term it as connected. Our friends at Navigant Research predict “that revenue from all types of connected lighting control systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3% globally between 2017 and 2026.” This means that virtually all new construction with have some type of connected lighting that is operated by smartphones. The days of forgetting to turn out the lights or coming home to a dark home or apartment can be over if you switch to LEDs controlled by your mobile device.
Especially in commercial settings, builders and architects are responding to green demands by implementing human-centric lighting. Remember the days when the office conference room was so brightly lit that you needed sunglasses at meetings? Then, the only way maintenance could alter the lighting was to change all the fluorescent bulbs to that weird orange or install metallic deflectors to mute the brightness.
With today’s LED technology, intensity and color can be timed according to what is happening in the room. Some pundits predict that smart lights in the school room will change in intensity according students’ energy level and help ramp it up or calm it down.
OK, so this may not be the newest idea--since your third-grade teacher used to accomplish this by raising or lowering window shades or blinds--but now it has a fancy name, can be implemented with both side lighting and top lighting, and it can be controlled with a desktop or even your smartphone.
Finally, let’s not forget solar. An important sustainable step is off course lessening reliance on the grid, and while a solar system may not accomplish this by 100 percent immediately, it’s a great way to begin to save money on energy costs. If you are thinking solar, be sure to check out the rebates and incentives that are offered by both utilities and government agencies.
To be sure, installing an efficient lighting system today consists of a lot more than buying 60 instead of 100-watt bulbs. You need to think IoT (Internet of Things) and utilize your smart equipment as more capabilities are created. Enjoy technology’s pace as it helps you save dollars!