In 2008, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) organized a competition for lighting equipment manufacturers to promote LED technology-related innovations. LED technology is the biggest advancement in lighting since Edison’s initial invention patent.
At that time, there were only a few LED bulbs on the market that could replace incandescent bulbs, and major technological changes were needed to accelerate the popularity of LEDs in the lighting market. The purpose of the DOE competition is that manufacturers need to promote and promote the progress of LED products. Since 2008, the cost of LED bulbs has dropped by 85%, and now Frost & Sullivan expects LED's market share to exceed 80% by 2020.
The rapid application of LEDs is just one of the great lighting changes that people will see in home, business and everyday life in the coming years. In fact, interconnected LED lighting systems are about to revolutionize people's overall indoor experience.
According to statistics from the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans now spend almost 90% of their time indoors. In other words, people spend most of their time under artificial light. In the first 140 years since the introduction of electric lighting, people have not been too demanding about lamps. When we need it, open it, nothing more.
Smart LEDs have opened up another journey as lamps. Of course, energy efficiency and long service life are the obvious advantages of LEDs and they also play a significant role in market acceptance. But luminaires are extremely advanced lighting devices, including LEDs and MCUs with integrated RF receivers. Wireless devices connect the lamps to each other to form a larger network, providing more advantages than saving energy.
With the advent of interconnected lighting systems, excessive lighting will quickly become a thing of the past. People will no longer need shades, wall lights and other home fixtures to scatter unwanted light. The small size of the LED allows the fixture to be integrated into the surrounding environment in an unobtrusive and inconspicuous manner - when the light goes out, it is almost invisible.
For example, the surface of the bedside cabinet emits light instead of using a desk lamp. Since LEDs are equipped with wireless connections and sensors, we are actually installing a small computer network at home. Imagine taking a glass of water from your bed at midnight. You don't need to go to bed and sleep lightly to find the headlights. The lights in the hallway will gradually light up and illuminate the road. When you walk into the kitchen, the hallway lights dim and the kitchen lights light up, illuminating the road ahead of time, and the user doesn't have to grope in the dark.
The home experience clearly benefits from LED lighting. Of course, LED also brings other conveniences, such as when you come home from work, the light automatically lights up, or when you are on vacation, the lights turn on and off periodically. Home users can also benefit from simple voice control and zoning automation. For example, you can speak to a light bulb and extend Alexa's availability to every room.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of home-connected lighting is that people get a good night's sleep. Interconnected LEDs can be continuously adjusted during the day to replicate the natural path of the sun and the changing color temperature. When our body clocks are accustomed to mimicking natural light signals of light and dark/circadian rhythms, our bodies can be adjusted according to the time of day.
Studies have shown that getting the right amount of light at the right time can increase nightly sleep by 45 minutes with less interference. There is no need to set an alarm. You can program the bedroom light to gradually light up at the specified wake-up time. The lights will begin to suppress melatonin and wake you up on time. Exposure to natural light promotes sleep, increases productivity, and improves mood.
When natural light is used in medical treatment, it will even have a positive effect on patient recovery. Installing a suitable lighting system at home can prevent damage to the circadian cycle, which has a huge impact on the overall health of the person.
In addition to home applications, many industries also benefit from connected lighting systems. Indoor planting is a new industry that has benefited from connected lighting systems and its revenue is 4,000 times that of traditional outdoor planting. By programming the lighting scheme for the specific requirements of the production planter can achieve maximum production and minimize energy consumption. LEDs do not generate as much heat as conventional lamps, so they can be placed close to the plant to evenly cover them.
Indoor farms also use less water and electricity than traditional farms, and they are increasingly favored because they minimize the use of herbicides, pesticides or preservatives. Another advantage is that it is possible to build indoor planting facilities close to the market, which can shorten the product transportation distance, not only saving fuel but also providing fresher products.
In retail and business environments, location services and personalized beacons are achievable due to the integration of analytics tools and cloud services. High-end luminaires in the building and retail environment include temperature and light sensors that dynamically adjust the drive current and control the energy consumed to ignite the lamp over the entire life cycle. This feature ensures consistent brightness and maintains quality awareness while extending the life of the LED. An external or internal light sensor provides the means to collect sunlight by sampling and measuring ambient light, thus creating daily lighting that is dimmable and dynamically adjustable throughout the day. In addition to saving energy, imitating natural light cycles also helps provide a comfortable experience.
As more and more smart LEDs are deployed to where people live and work, these new large-scale interconnected lighting platforms will greatly improve our indoor life. LED lighting technology has the advantages of energy saving, agricultural benefits and important health protection, as well as many other pending developments. It will certainly change our indoor experience.