Smart lights will become one of the most popular Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the next five to ten years, according to Harshvardhan Chitale, vice chairman and managing director of Philips Lighting India, a division of Dutch consumer electronics company Philips.
Chitale told India’s largest independent news service IANS that IoT-driven smart lights will “be the default” over the next five to 10 years.
“Today, when we think of buying a phone, we don’t think of a landline phone. By default, we think of a mobile or a smartphone. We anticipate that over the next five to 10 years – closer to five years – potentially, when people think of upgrading their existing lights or installing new ones, they would install lights or lighting systems which are smart,” Chitale said.
With India’s recent Smart Cities initiative, Chitale expects that smart street lighting “will be one of the key pillars of the mission” in India.
Ian Hughes, IoT analyst at IT advisory company 451 Research suggests that smart lighting is gaining traction in large infrastructure such as cities and buildings globally.
“The replacement and use of new LED lighting offers a significant bottom-line saving in energy costs. Increasingly, these units are being provided as part of an IoT rollout for extra control. The major lighting providers look to provide a quality of lighting linked to the comfort of people experiencing it, with IoT-style control helping to adjust the lighting to the needs of a situation,” he said.
But these systems that manage smart lights on a large scale are more robust and sophisticated than a smart light set-up in a home. According to Hughes, many existing home IoT products are solving individual problems, mimicking the silos seen in the IoT industry as a whole.
“The power of IoT is in interaction between things that have not traditionally been connected. We see sites such as IFTTT allowing the custom rule definition to make one device do something based on another, but it is still something for early adopters,” he said.
“For example, if your house is empty because your burglar alarm is set, you want the lights to turn on as you approach in your connected vehicle with the thermostat having already started to warm your house when it detected you were on the way five miles out; this is a complex interaction,” he added.