Smarter Lights

Smarter Lights
Standards are sorely lacking, but the possibility for saving energy through intelligent management of utilities is enormous.


New products targeting the emerging Smart Home Automation market are popping up every day. There are smart locks, smart thermostats, smart refrigerators, smart mirrors, and the list just goes on and on.

Sooner or later, we, as consumers, will have to determine how all this smart technology will enter our homes. What will be the main gateway providing access to all this Smart Home Automation? Enter: smart lighting. It sounds like the perfect gateway because within each room in the home there are often multiple lighting sources that can connect to multiple controls and outlets. Each source of light and light control enables manufacturers to bring sensors into our lives in relevant ways.

But, as we’re already seeing, each company is applying its own twist on the tech, causing confusion for consumers. What we can all agree on is that this new market needs a standards body — and soon.

The NetZero Certification is one step in the right direction. Eco-Shift Power recently launched this certification process to give us a basic understanding of what a quality product in this new market should look like. The NetZero Certification includes 20 different tests, including items such as luminous intensity distribution, average luminance in various directions, zonal lumens, and efficiency.  

When a quality LED is combined with microprocessor/transmitter/wireless capability — with IP addressability, an intelligent light is created. This provides a sustainable management platform that enables additional areas for consumer revenue generation or costs savings. According to Eco-Shift Power CEO and president, Gib Wood, the products that are NetZero certified could save up to 58% in energy costs. That’s not insignificant, and could potentially account for any additional costs the sensors may add to the product. Intelligent lighting can help with the following:

  • Reduce load during peak pricing
  • Management of demand response programs
  • Manageability of fixtures to reduce load
  • Security
  • Maintenance

So let’s say we can add in a bio sensor that can monitor our air quality while also saving money year over year on energy costs. These are win-win additions that benefit building manufacturers, consumers, and electric companies. The potential for this market is staggering.

The need for standards that consumers can understand and rely on is just one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming Smart Lighting IMPACT Event: Brilliant Opportunities for Building Automation.

Join Semico and MCA in Santa Clara on April 23rd for this half-day event featuring speakers from Cisco, PG&E, UC Davis, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and others. Tickets are just $45 during pre-registration. 

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