Smarter Manufacturing and Operations needs Smart Lighting

Smarter Manufacturing and Operations needs Smart Lighting

HVAC and electrical have been named as the second highest consumer of energy in large facilities. More importantly, they can be easily improved upon.

U.S. Energy Information Administration data has even shown that cooling, lighting, and ventilation account for 62% of electricity use in office buildings. In short, lighting is a huge consumer of energy no matter where you work.

Manufacturers, in particular, can face huge electrical bills. It comes with the territory, and efforts to reduce overall costs are often regularly reviewed. Because the needs of these operators will not change—they’ll still need enough power and light to enable employees to get their work done—they must turn to new and innovative solutions to reduce costs.

How do you promote optimization and save electricity at the same time? Whether it’s a big manufacturer, a hotel, store, or hospital, the problems are almost always the same.

Here are some of the most common problems:

 High electrical bills  Light pollution  Unchecked CO2   emissions  Emissions compliancy

 

More energy efficiency process control could reduce an operator’s energy bill by between 5% and 15%.
Carbon Trust 

Lowering electrical costs

There are several ways to cut electrical costs, and it’s likely that larger operators will be employing far more than one solution at any given time.

  • Cleaning lightbulbs and fixtures especially in outdoor settings
  • Replacing diffusers and lenses
  • Using scheduled lighting and occupancy-sensor controls
  • Using dimming lights or LEDs

Smart lighting

The key to automated lighting systems have two ingredients: time and sensors. If you have an area that is only occupied during a certain time, the first step is to make sure those lights are only consistently on during those hours.

Second, sensors help any system maneuver the many changes that happen throughout the day. When an employee enters a warehouse space or a cleaner uses the closet, those lights should be turned on and off accordingly.

Light intensity and movement sensing helps the smart lighting system know when and where to activate lights. For example, using employee tags to trigger lights on and off would mean that lights are only activated when necessary.

Looking to Bluetooth

Bluetooth tags are being rolled out for a number of solutions in the industrial sector and beyond, and smart lighting is one of the most obvious solutions they support. Bluetooth tags are known for being particularly affordable and energy efficient. That means solutions that historically relied on other types of sensors are often being upgraded to Bluetooth in order to cut costs and add new features.

Bluetooth tags operate in conjunction with a reader that continually scans for tags in the area. When a tag is scanned, that location data is sent to the cloud, triggering any number of responses: turn lights on, off, send an alert, and more. Learn more about the latest tags here.

Hannah Augur - Photo
Content writer / tech blogger / geek based in Berlin. Hannah reports on all things tech and has a medium-sized tolerance for buzzwords.

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