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Brighter future seen for smart lighting systems

Posted: 23 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NanoMarkets? smart lighting? smartphone?

The latest report from NanoMarkets paints a bullish forecast for next-generation smart lighting systems. According to the report titled "Smart Lighting Market Opportunities: Smart Bulbs and the Rise of Local Lighting Intelligence," the market is predicted to hit the $1 billion-mark by 2020.

NanoMarkets sees 2015 as a breakout year for smart lighting with the next-generation of smart lighting systems emerging. There is a new emphasis on local intelligence; smart bulbs in particular and a shift from energy efficiency to mood lighting. Smart bulbs that can be controlled over the Internet using a smartphone are now widely available.

According to the report, marketing channels for smart bulbs have expanded to include large retailers such as Staples, Home Depot and Amazon, making them easier to purchase. Shipments of these products are low but expected to exceed 40 million units by 2020.

Energy-efficiency remains part of the marketing story for smart lighting, but it is harder to sell smart lighting on that basis. Energy efficiencies of smart lighting systems do not vary much and falling energy prices mean energy efficiency is less of a selling feature. The latest generation of smart lighting emphasises colour; some systems allow users to store pre-set colour scenes, for example. It remains to be seen whether consumers will place value on such gimmicky features. But they are a place to start. In the future, NanoMarkets expects to see the incorporation of more effective daylight harvesting into smart lighting systems as well as colour-tuning features designed specifically to improve health, mood and job performance.

The market for next-generation smart lighting hubs will exceed $120 million by 2020. These hubs are evolving from dedicated controllers into gateways to automation platforms such as Nest and Wink. They are also adding programmable features that go well beyond what was possible with legacy lighting controllers. These include: the ability to program and save lighting configurations, and theatrical lighting effects such as gradual fades or colour palettes.

Meanwhile, control of smart lighting using smartphones is rapidly becoming the way that smart lighting systems are controlled. Smartphones also provide residential and small business with information that formerly only the mangers of large businesses could obtain from their lighting management systems, which manages energy usage for each light fixture and controls which smart features are being used in which room.

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