5 Reasons Why Commercial Building Owners Need to Adopt Smart Lighting
Compared to many other industries, commercial real estate has been slow to adopt new technology innovations. However, the next generation of employees expect a different work environment with mobility, modern tools, and data at their fingertips. Their knowledge of technology is redefining the workplace moving forward. To attract and retain the workforce of the future, firms are looking to create more informal, communal and flexible work environments. Catering to the needs and wants of millennials as well as older age cohorts will help building owners keep their buildings occupied.
At the same time, consumer experiences are driving the adoption of new technology in the workplace. When you hear about the latest smart technology, you might think about some new smart home gadget or smart mobile app, but “smart” can mean many things. It’s not just something we can control remotely with our voice or with an iPhone. It is really about bringing innovation to all of us in a meaningful way to make it easier for people to live, work and play.
There is no doubt about it, the buildings of the future will incorporate smart technologies, using automation and control to optimize operations and allow them to respond to, and even anticipate, energy demands and occupant expectations. Smart lighting is a key driver for smart buildings of the future.
More facility managers and building owners, large and small, need to understand the smart lighting trend – and here are five reasons why.
- Meet Building Code Requirements and Standards - Energy standards and codes including IECC, ASHRAE and California Title 24 continue to evolve to meet the emergence of smart buildings of the future. Commercial building owners and lighting designers must comply with these new energy regulations and smart lighting is driving retrofits aimed at meeting these requirements to increase energy savings.
- Cut Energy Usage and Costs - Research shows that energy usage for lighting can eat up as much as 40% of a building’s total energy consumption. By upgrading to LED technology and an automated lighting control system, you can light only when and where needed and only at the needed intensity level enabling a savings of as much as 70% on your lighting electricity costs. Smart lighting technologies also help measure progress towards energy savings goals.
- Increase Operational Efficiencies - Legacy lighting technologies such as incandescent and fluorescent are inefficient. As an example, up to 90% of the energy used in incandescent lights is given off as heat with only about 10% resulting in light. To create a highly efficient smart lighting solution and get the most out of a high-performance building, combining LED technology with an automated control system is essential. A granular level of control, right down to the individual luminaire, allows for zoning, task tuning, precise daylight harvesting, personal control and load shedding at varying percentages—advanced lighting control strategies that enable a strong energy management program. In addition, advanced lighting control systems are efficiently managed from a central location using intuitive user interfaces and dashboards.
- Increase Flexibility - Smart technologies are now driving the future of the smart office, changing the physical work environment to mirror a company’s workflows. As companies increase or decrease square footage of their office space or reconfigure their existing space, their lighting requirements change as well. Smart lighting is software driven offering great flexibility independent of electrical circuiting. Devices and control zones can change quickly with a few mouse clicks and without re-wiring or moving fixtures.
- Increase Comfort and Productivity - As buildings become smart, they become more responsive to their occupant’s needs. Office work is visually demanding and requires good lighting for maximum comfort and productivity. Light level preferences and occupational requirements will vary from individual to individual and task to task. The goal of good lighting is to match lighting to an individual and the particular task they are performing in a specific area. Poor lighting can result in eyestrain, eye irritation, blurred vision, dry burning eyes and headaches. For these reasons and more, building owners that want to remain competitive are installing smart lighting solutions to attract and retain tenants.
The commercial leasing market is becoming more dynamic. The competition for tenants is heating up and owners need to rethink their approach toward space design to remain competitive. Smart lighting is an essential element in creating a modern workspace that attracts the changing workforce. It helps owners create a flexible working environment, reduce expenses, improve efficiencies and create quality lighting that enhances the occupant experience.