Can smart lighting play a role in the current energy crisis? | Signify

Can smart lighting play a role in the current energy crisis? | Signify

Curious if smart lighting can play a role in the current energy crisis? Curious if smart lighting can future proof your building? And if it can increase productivity? The simple answer is yes, says Simon Greenwood, Sales Director Trade & Specification, Signify UK&I

Energy prices are soaring and are likely to increase even more. Both natural gas and crude oil have, in recent times, seen a steep increase and some countries are seeing the highest energy prices in history. Unwanted consequences include inflation, stress on the consumer and human hardship in the cold months when it becomes more expensive for businesses to heat their buildings and consumers to heat their homes.

Fortunately, governments, and businesses can take steps to mitigate the current energy crisis, both for households and professional use – now and in the future. The easiest and most expedient way to do so is by embracing connected LED-lighting technology—next-generation LED-based lighting integrated into the Internet of Things (IoT).

In fact, according to Signify’ s findings, switching to LED lighting in the professional lighting market could reduce CO2 emissions by 3.9 million tonnes in the UK&I region, the same amount of emissions that 175 million trees could sequester in a year. Making the switch would also generate electricity savings of 16.1 TWh, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of more than 4.3 million households. This would mean a saving of EUR 3.8 billion on electricity costs. That is one piece of the puzzle.

Lighting accounts for a full 12% of the electricity consumed around the globe each year. IoT-enabled smart lighting can reduce lighting-related energy costs by up to 80%, making it a significant step on the road to sustainability. It represents a minimally disruptive yet meaningful move that will buy time, as we take the more complex steps that the interlocking energy and climate crises will require. The move will help meet the goals of the UK’s ten-point plan, the European Green Deal, as well as other commitments that nations have made around the world in line with the Paris Agreement.

Increasing the efficiency of buildings

Indoors, connected LED lighting systems with embedded sensors can render buildings, which generate 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, making them far more energy efficient. Connected LEDs lets organisations monitor energy consumption in all of facilities and customize lighting behaviour with advanced sensoring to maximise energy savings—but not at the expense of safety.

This puts you in the best position to comply with regulatory standards and meet your sustainability goals. This is made possible by Occupancy sensors integrated into a connected lighting system can autonomously dim rooms and other spaces when unoccupied and illuminate them when people are present, providing a new degree of control over electricity use: gone are old-school lighting regimes in which lights are either totally on or totally off, and often illuminate empty spaces perpetually or for a fixed amount of time.

Connected LED lighting systems also ensures better light management that gives insight into lighting usage and allows users to optimize lighting operations remotely and scene management makes it possible to improve productivity and operational safety through light settings that can be adapted to task, time of day, or shift patterns.

The new Interact Foundation system makes it easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of smart lighting. It is a cost efficient and wireless solution for every step of the customer’s smart lighting journey: starting with just lights and the Interact Pro app. The system is fully scalable, so it can always be possible to upgrade to Interact Advanced with the addition of a gateway and without the need to replace light points. Interact Advanced features include failure reports, energy consumption dashboards and out of building control (i.e. remote access) to name a few.

A circular approach

Another way to mitigate energy crisis is to consciously choose products are made for the circular economy. In a truly circular economy, everyone benefits- including the planet. By using a circular approach, we aim to source and use renewable materials in luminaries and components to maximum effect, while reducing landfill waste. With this in mind, we offer energy efficient luminaries that are designed for easy maintenance, repair, upgrades, and replacement. One such product that finds its best use case in demanding environments like the industry is the Pacific LED gen5. This luminaire offers the best of durability, circularity while bringing the option of integrating with Interact to bring greater energy savings, enhanced safety and productivity.

A long-lasting promise

Upgrading lighting is the quickest and least intrusive part of building and infrastructure renovation, reducing the built environment’s lighting-related energy consumption by up to 80%, delivering carbon emissions reductions and cost savings.  By moving directly to connected lighting, countries can also further their digital ambitions. It will accelerate the adoption of smart technologies in government buildings, industry, and households in the region, reaping benefits in productivity, health and wellbeing, and digital innovation.

Smart lighting promises to deliver important long-term benefits, potentially slashing the global carbon footprint by more than 553 million tons a year. Energy usage will be reduced even further as data-driven lighting applications come online, with many additional long-term benefits for the owners, managers, and users of spaces.

The current energy crisis is expected to continue well into 2022—and perhaps throughout the entire calendar year. Smart lighting systems offer a way to mitigate its effects now, while supporting sustainable practices in the long term, to the benefit of businesses, cities, people, and the planet itself.

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