A lot of the recent talk about IoT centers around the ‘smart home,’ private residences that take advantage of the interconnectedness of everyday objects and devices to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and increase convenience. Consumers are jumping on the bandwagon in record numbers, happily watching who comes to their front door even if they’re not home, remotely turning the thermostat up or down (okay, mostly down), and making lights go on when they walk into a room.
IoT in the Corporate World
If the IoT can revolutionize the operation of the single-family home, imagine what it can do for the office building, the apartment complex, or the mall. In these commercial locations, the use of lighting is far greater; therefore, the efficiencies could be considerable. By using lower-cost, longer-life LED lights in many applications, property owners and manager can realize huge savings without sacrificing tenant or customer safety, satisfaction and convenience.
Efficiency and Savings
In a building of office condos, all of the lights could stay off on evenings and weekends, except when someone approaches the building. If the person is authorized to be in the building, as determined by a login from their smartphone, the door opens, and the route to their office is illuminated. If the person is not authorized, the building exterior is illuminated, the person’s image is captured on video, and police are called.
IoT and LEDs in the Consumer World
At a shopping mall, LED lights in the parking lot can sense an empty spot and light it up in a different color. When a car drives into the spot, the color of the light changes. Holiday shoppers can simply look for the green lights and head for an open space, rather than troll the aisles of the lot, hoping someone pulls out. During slower times, lights could remain dim until a motion sensor detects an approaching vehicle when they would brighten. Bright lights could then guide the shopper to the nearest mall entrance.
Connected LED lighting in buildings could be used in emergency situations to direct occupants to an emergency exit. They could also be used to aid those with hearing loss, who may be unable to hear a siren or warning bell or buzzer.
The combination of LED lights and the Internet of Things has tremendous potential for commercial real estate applications and many other purposes. The smart home, and even the smart office building or mall are only the tip of the iceberg.