Smart lighting consists of lighting systems that can remotely monitored to keep a tab on their energy consumption. This has emerged as a key area to help reduce global energy consumption, which has reached unsustainable levels. Since lighting systems don’t constitute a major portion of total energy consumption of any individual complex, this may seem like an unnecessary step. However, lighting systems are present in an overwhelming majority of households around the world, the potential cumulative impact of smart lighting systems rather more conspicuous.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are the dominant type of smart lighting. However, LED lighting has emerged in recent years as a key smart lighting solution and is expected to upend CFLs as the dominant smart lighting device in the coming years. Here’s why:
LED Lighting is Efficient
LED lighting systems consist of diodes. These systems utilize the principle of electroluminescence, which is the phenomenon of a material emitting light when an electric current is passed through it.
In contrast, incandescent lighting is based on, as the name suggests, the principle of incandescence, which is the phenomenon of a material radiating light upon heating. Thus, incandescent lighting generates light by resisting the passage of electricity, whereas electroluminescent lighting generates light by allowing the passage of electricity. Resisting an electrical current inevitably generates heat, which means that incandescent lighting in inherently a highly inefficient source of light. LED lighting, on the other hand, is extremely efficient, since no heat is generated during their operation.
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The efficiency of LED smart lighting systems helps cut down on overall energy consumption. This also makes them scalable in operability; while the heat generated by incandescent lighting makes them unsuitable for large-scale operations, LED lighting is perfectly viable to be used for public as well as residential or industrial lighting purposes.
… Which Increases its Lifespan
Due to the constant generation of heat in incandescent lighting, the light-generating filament wears out after a while, necessitating a replacement. On the other hand, LED lighting causes no structural damage to the lighting system during operation, which results in their lifespan being much higher than conventional lighting systems.
… Which Makes it Environmentally Viable
Since LED lighting doesn’t need to be replaced on a regular basis, manufacturing it is less harmful for the planet, since less units have to be manufactured per consumer relative to incandescent lighting. The latter also harms the environment in other ways: tungsten, used to produce the filaments in incandescent lighting, is a rare earth metal. It requires extensive mining activities for large-scale procurement. On the other hand, even though LED lighting can contain petroleum derivatives, it is less harmful to the environment than incandescent lighting.
… Which Makes it Profitable
Due to wide-ranging government support to smart lighting systems in the form of tax concessions and other financial incentives, LED systems have become highly profitable for major players in the smart lighting market, particularly in comparison to conventional lighting systems. This has encouraged more lighting companies to devise and market LED smart lighting products. Major companies such as Samsung and Royal Philips have recently released LED smart lighting products.
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According to Transparency Market Research, the global smart lighting market is expected to more than double in value from 2013 to 2020 owing to the steady demand for energy-efficient lighting, rising from a market valuation of US$21 billion to US$56.62 billion at a CAGR of 15.9% from 2014 to 2020.