Singapore, 12th June 2014
One of the key emergences that has come along with LED lighting is smart technology, not in the least because LED is a digital technology by itself. Several examples were on show at the Light Fair recently. Some of the bigger manufacturers like Philips and GE have developed interactive tracking systems that can follow you and inform you of promotions, availability of the products on sale and give historical or technical background information on the products. This of course seems developed for commercial spaces, but could find its way in many other applications. In fact it has not much to do with lighting; it’s just that the lights are used as a vehicle to integrate these systems. It is sure that we are moving towards a smart environment where (mostly through your mobile phone apps and presence detection) you are able to communicate interactively with your surroundings.
To have lights tell me where to shop, or what to do is not really my idea of being “smart”, but having smart lighting systems that are smart through the lighting application itself is more in line with making good use of the benefits for lighting. We are looking at smart and interactive switching, presence detection to switch on or off the lighting according to need (energy saving) or using presence detection to indicate occupancy through visual alert (like in car parks where systems indicate free space by showing a green light).
It is not that I have an objection to applications that make your life easier or more comfortable, but it’s more about the relationship with lighting. Your shopping needs have nothing to do with lighting, unless the lighting physically helps you with your shopping like visual guidance, way finding and better appreciation of the goods on sale; anything else I feel is a just another marketing tool to promote LED lighting…
Light watch 5-99: Some of the smart systems on show at the Las Vegas Light Fair…GE and their smart shopping app, a local company with their smart garage lighting system and Cree with their Smart Cast.