26 September 2018

IoT and smart lighting spell endless possibilities !

Smart lighting was initially designed to save energy. But now, technological and digital advances have opened up new avenues. We talk to Bernard Vicens of EBV ELEKTRONIK, the number one European distributor of electronic components. Bernard is the ‘Smart consumer and Buildings’ Manager for Europe.
IoT and smart lighting are recent technologies. How did they come into the limelight so quickly?
It was with connected scales that IoT—the Internet of things—really took off in the 2010s. We were quick to realize that information processed via connected objects opened up an enormous potential and this quickly spread to other products, other solutions. As for smart lighting, it came to the fore with the energy transition, connected objects, and LED technology. Add a few electronics and some sensors and you have smart lighting, originally designed for controlling lighting intelligently!

Today, smart lighting is based on systems for networking connected objects. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
The lamps consist of many fixed points in a home, powered by mains voltage. Smart sensors are connected to the system to build up a full data transmission network, a mesh. This enables objects with sensors to communicate with each other. The system can transmit this data over long distances and thus reach areas out of range of the transmitter. All the data gathered is transmitted to a cloud where it is analysed and stored for reprocessing!
What features does smart lighting offer?
The possibilities are endless; for example, it can define the right wavelength of light for perfect lighting of a given area or given time of day. Fitted with a VOC (volatile organic compounds) or carbon monoxide sensor, it can raise alerts on indoor air pollution. It can also convert to loudspeakers. The complementary product and service offering is growing fast. Lots of companies have seized upon the issue, like SMART HAB, a new operator in intelligent housing solutions for residential properties, or Engie Cofely, a subsidiary of Engie specializing in services to energy, or indeed Awox, a pure player in connected technologies and objects.
What is the impact of smart lighting in smart cities?
LED lamps were already a big step forward for smart cities. Smart lighting takes this one step further. It provides overall control of a town’s lighting network: it monitors lamps to ensure they are working properly, it sets the on-off schedule, sets brightness according to the weather and the time of day, and more. Eventually, lighting units will be able to detect humans nearby and light up for them but not for unaccompanied dogs or cats. We can also imagine them with CO2, fine particle, or nitrogen dioxide sensors to control air quality. Or maybe lamp posts will be fitted with car or bike battery chargers or even drone chargers!
Many towns are busy experimenting with the implementation of smart lighting systems, like for instance Bordeaux Metropole, which is currently conducting a Ville intelligente trial. Over 500 IoT sensors need to be installed on over 200 lighting units and public amenities.
The possibilities are endless. We can take things even further in the fields of safety & security, energy, digital security, and more besides.

EBV Elektronik, an Avnet Company, was founded in 1969 and is one of the leading specialists in European semiconductor distribution.EBV maintains its successful strategy of personal commitment to customers and excellent services. 240 Technical Sales Specialists provide a strong focus on a selected group of long-term manufacturing partners.
105 continuously trained Application Specialists offer extensive application know-how and design expertise. 
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