Building managers looking to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to old buildings often face an uphill battle. In particular, it can be challenging and time-consuming to get any capital investments through an approval process, and the business case for technology such as sensors can be difficult to prove. So are there other options for building managers to explore?
Our latest research into smart building innovation finds that facility managers should take note of advances taking place in the lighting sector. One area of innovation comes from lighting manufacturers embedding sensors into their products to collect granular data on space usage, air quality and other variables. This is interesting because as firms run quick-return LED lighting retrofits they can also get access to the benefits from the IoT. For example, innovative lighting vendor CREE embeds sensors and intelligence into its SmartCast lighting fixtures, enabling firms to collect and analyse data on space utilization. Current by GE is embedding Enlighted sensors in some of its lighting products to collect granular data that can underpin applications that support space management and location-based services for building occupants. Synconext is also embedding sensors into its LED lights to optimize lighting around occupancy.
Another interesting development from the lighting sector is the continuing emergence of light-as-a-service offerings from vendors such as LED Lease and Philips Lighting. This enables firms to rent light fittings rather than buy new lighting outright. This emerging business model opens up the possibility for firms to benefit from the latest generation lighting products without making an upfront capital investment.