Wireless Lighting Controls to Save Buildings
Wireless lighting controls will save buildings $4 billion in energy savings by 2020, according to ON World. Key technology enablers are energy harvesting, wireless mesh networking and wireless enabled smart LED drivers.
San Diego, CA October 24, 2013-- Within the next few years, smart buildings with wireless lighting solutions will save billions of dollars of energy, labor and component costs, according to global technology research firm ON World.
“Today, a typical building wastes almost a third of its lighting energy due to inefficient or non-existent lighting control systems,” said Mareca Hatler ON World’s research director. “Wireless energy management systems that integrate with a building’s lighting infrastructure is one of the fastest growing areas in building automation.”
ON World’s survey of 85 professional installers found that 59% are providing wireless lighting controls. Over half provide a centralized wireless lighting control system and about a quarter install lighting systems that use wireless adapters. Nearly 6 in 10 provide a wireless lighting control system that features occupancy detection, 34% daylighting and 26% support utility demand response programs.
There are three major technology trends that are driving adoption of wireless lighting controls in buildings today:
Maintenance-free wireless sensors and switches powered by harvested energy made up about 1 in 4 of the wireless lighting device shipments in 2012. Today, these mostly use the EnOcean wireless protocol that has over 1,000 interoperable products. However, ZigBee Green Power-- an extension of ZigBee 2012--- enables multiple component suppliers and vendors to provide wireless energy harvesting devices that can participate in widely deployed ZigBee PRO wireless mesh networks.
Wireless Mesh Networking
Wireless mesh networking avoids dependence on a wired backbone that is used by the majority of wireless lighting control systems. Targeted at building-wide wireless energy management as well as outdoor commercial areas, wireless mesh systems attach to, or are integrated with, lighting luminaires. Growing trends are to embed sensors and software into individual fixtures for localized control and to reduce hardware costs with wireless enabled ballasts and smart LED drivers.
The migration to LED lighting is one of the biggest developments in building energy management systems by providing long-lasting light sources that are especially suited for digital controls. Software configurable LED drivers with integrated wireless communications such as those provided by Orama promise to reduce communications costs up to 90% by replacing the need for a separate device for the adapter.
Industrial, warehousing, parking garages/lots and outdoor area lighting are currently some of the fastest growing markets for wireless lighting controls. However, traditional commercial buildings such as offices, retail and restaurants will make up over 40% percent of the market by 2017.
By 2020, global commercial wireless lighting control device shipments will increase by over 1500% from 2012 when they will save buildings $4.2 billion in energy costs.
Competition is increasing from system innovators such as CIMCON, Convergence Wireless, Daintree, Enlighted and TwistHDM as well as lighting manufacturers including Acuity, Digital Lumens, Harvard Engineering, Hubbell, Light Corporation, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Philips and Venture Lighting Corporation.
ON World’s recently published report, “Smart Building Wireless Sensor Networks” is based on phone interviews and online surveys with over 250 individuals including facility/property managers, professional installers, equipment manufacturers, software developers and component suppliers.
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