Top 10 Benefits of a Cloud-based Commercial Lighting System
Gartner, a global research and advisory firm defines big data as high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision-making, and process automation.
What does that really mean?
These data sets are so voluminous that traditional data processing software just can’t manage them. Big data is large and complex. It can require significant infrastructure resources to successfully process and analyze that data – to create information and actionable insight from that data. Because of its size and complexity, it is a challenge to capture, process, provide storage, analyze, and share.
What Does Big Data have to do with Commercial Lighting Systems?
In a previous post, titled Why Every Smart Building Needs a Sensor in Every Luminaire, we discuss in detail how sensors in each luminaire make each light point a data node on the lighting system network. This enables you to collect and harvest meaningful data at a granular level for use in lighting as well as non-lighting applications.
Sensors continually collect data on occupancy and environmental conditions. As the number of devices deployed increases, so does the amount of data. Lighting data becomes a big data set, and to reap the benefits, the data needs to be processed, stored, and analyzed efficiently and reliably.
Storing the massive amounts of data on premise is cumbersome and expensive. The only economical solution for storing lighting data is in the cloud. The cloud offers scalable capacity as well as other benefits. Let’s take a closer look.
Ten Benefits of a Cloud-based Lighting System
- Centralized Management for Multiple Locations – Lighting systems can span across multiple locations, buildings, and campuses. Organizations can centrally manage their entire lighting system from anywhere at any time. There is no limit to the number of nodes, the size of your lighting system or the amount of data collected and stored.
- Lower upfront costs - The cloud service provider is responsible for providing data servers as well as other computing infrastructure. From a business perspective, converting these capital expenses (CAPEX) to operating expenses (OPEX) increases cash flow and offers tax benefits since OPEX are tax-deductible. This means you can start analyzing lighting data without a huge investment in computing resources, freeing capital funds for other projects in the company.
- Scalability - With the cloud, you can easily scale up or down computing resources on demand so that you only pay for what you need. As your portfolio grows, you can increase lighting and building data quickly and easily so that you gain actionable insights immediately.
- Access to Additional Software Applications – The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model enables firms to access a software application via the internet using a standard web browser. The cost of the service is usually a subscription based tiered plan. New applications that leverage lighting data such as space optimization, conference room rationalization, wayfinding, and more are now easily accessible using new SaaS-based applications.
- Better Computing Support – Service providers monitor cloud-computing systems and services 24 x 7 x 365. Compared to an on-site solution, round-the-clock support means response time and deployment of the solutions to the site is potentially improved.
- Better Reliability – Building a reliable infrastructure is cost-prohibitive for most firms. Cloud service providers are incredibly reliable, with industry leaders such as AWS maintaining up to 99% uptime or service credits are applied.
- Business Continuity - Protecting your data and systems is a critical component of your business continuity plan. Whether you experience a natural disaster, power failure or other crisis, having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected, and resides in a secure and safe location. Being able to access your data again quickly allows you to conduct business as usual, minimizing any downtime and loss of productivity.
- Better Security – Today, security is a full-time job. Cloud providers have security professionals on staff that continually monitor data, applications, and infrastructure for any type of security breach. RapidScale, a managed cloud solutions vendor, claims that 94% of businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud.
- Automated Patches and Upgrades – Patch and update cadence is critical to keep systems secure and running at top performance. Cloud providers install security updates, application updates and OS updates systematically so that every component in the ecosystem stays up-to-date.
- Integration with Third-party Smart Building Platforms - Lighting control system functionality and sensor data in a cloud-based system can be leveraged to enrich the experience and capabilities of cloud-based smart building platforms. For example, the status of an occupancy sensor on the lighting system can adjust the environment of a commercial office to ensure a pleasant atmosphere that is also energy-efficient by controlling heating and air conditioning set points. It can also provide data that can be used to determine how often the space needs to be serviced, as well as provide a map of available meeting rooms.
A cloud-based commercial lighting system provides an economical and practical way to centralize, capture, process, provide storage, analyze, and share data about your building space. It accelerates the digital transformation and innovation journey into smart buildings. By using lighting system data for lighting and non-lighting applications, buildings operate more efficiently, organizations utilize space more effectively, and occupant productivity and satisfaction improves.