The Growth and Use of Intelligent Lighting Controls

The intelligent lighting control market is set to experience exponential growth in the coming 5 to 10 years.  Right now the majority of the market is focused in the United States of America in non-residential structures.  But growing demand in the Asia Pacific region will contribute substantially to market growth, and expectations are that eventually, this region will outstrip Europe in terms of demand.

The number of Energy Service Companies has increased as the demand for the manufacture and installation of intelligent lighting control systems in buildings has risen.  Many corporations across the world have introduced energy performance contracts with set standards and goals that can be better met with the installation of an intelligent lighting control system.

What is intelligent lighting control?

Intelligent lighting control systems are designed as electronic systems that can control how the lighting in a structure functions depending on the needs and demands of the user.  Various sensors and communication systems are coupled with a central processing unit (CPU) to control lighting quality, patterns, and intensity.

Before the advent of intelligent lighting control systems, a switch or system of switches controlled the lights in a building.  When the switch was engaged, the lights would either go on or off.  With an intelligent lighting control system, the user has far more control over usage of the lights.  Some examples:

  • Control over when the lights come on. For example, in a bathroom, the lights can become on when the door gets opened.
  • Control over how the lights come on. For example, in a corridor, the lights can come on one at a time as movement is sensed.
  • Control over the intensity of the lights. Dimmer light can be used during the daytime when sunlight is also creating light in a structure.

The benefits of intelligent lighting control

The advantages of installing an intelligent lighting control system are numerous, including:

  1. Excellent energy efficiency, and optimal usage of light bulbs.
  2. Savings on utility bills.
  3. A better performance against energy management goals and targets.

The demand for intelligent lighting control systems

The decreased price of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs has made the prospect of installing an intelligent lighting control system more affordable and attractive to homeowners and commercial property owners.  Tighter government regulations across many countries regarding the use of LED lights to minimize energy consumption and the efficiency benefits offered by an intelligent lighting control system have also caused consumers to consider it as a viable option.

The challenges faced by the intelligent lighting control market

Challenges in the market include the expense of retrofitting existing structures with intelligent lighting control systems.  In many cases, justifying the costs is impossible.  Therefore, the bulk of the market is involved in new construction of residential and non-residential structures, especially in countries that have a green building certification programs.  It is because of this that the industry is exploring how it can make its products accessible to exploit the retrofit market.

Knowledge of how the intelligent lighting control system works is also not as widespread as it could be.  Relevant parties are aiming to hold more launches and conduct more media campaigns to get the information out into the market to generate more business.

The future of the intelligent lighting control system

As electricity costs across the globe continue to increase and awareness of the importance of energy efficiency spreads, demand for intelligent lighting control systems is set to increase.  More homeowners are likely to opt for these systems.

More research and development will yield new advances and innovations that will allow the software that operates the system to be more tailored to the user’s needs.  It will also produce higher energy efficiency for all consumers who access the products.  Wireless technology is increasingly incorporates into the product.  It is envisaged that ultimately, all systems would operate on a wireless basis.