Wireless Technology is Accelerating the Adoption of Commercial Connected Lighting

Lighting control technologies have become more sophisticated over time. Options have expanded from manual on-off control to offerings that incorporate multi-feature sensors and luminaires embedded with controls as well as lighting systems that interact with other building systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), security, and fire and life safety.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the definition of connected lighting is an LED-based lighting system with sensors and controllers that are networked, which can be either wired or wireless, enabling lighting products within the system to communicate with each other and transmit data.

While wired lighting control solutions have been used traditionally and continue to grow in popularity, wireless controls have started to gain more traction, especially with the increasing adoption of connected lighting systems. Wireless technologies are uniquely positioned to address some of the barriers prohibiting wider adoption of connected lighting systems such as decreased cost, and potentially address interoperability issues. Despite this progress, the wireless connected lighting market is fragmented with multiple protocols gathering momentum, including Bluetooth® technology.

Connected Lighting System Components (Source: Guidehouse Insights)

Wireless technologies are creating new opportunities for commercial connected lighting. While the installed base consists of predominately wired solutions, benefits to wireless alternatives are garnering greater customer attention. Growth in unit shipments of wireless technologies within the commercial connected lighting market is expected over the next 10 years, spurred by drivers for the market overall and the unique benefits of wireless solutions.

As commercial connected lighting deployments increase, the benefits of wireless technologies are expected to drive the segment’s growth within the broader market. Wireless options can be installed at a lower cost, with less disruption, and in less time — all benefits valuable for retrofit projects.

Multi-feature sensors, occupancy sensors, and embedded luminaires are expected to contribute to strong growth within the commercial connected lighting market. The ability to wirelessly communicate with a mobile device enables greater personal control through an app or dashboard, rather than a traditional lighting switch, and provides data and communication for IoT applications, which are central to the opportunity for wireless.

While wireless technologies have improved to address market pain points, work continues to advance these solutions. The Bluetooth SIG’s technology roadmap includes improvements to Bluetooth mesh to increase network optimization, models, and services for solution providers. Enhancements include directed forwarding and remote and certificate-based provisioning to enable scalable use cases.

Bluetooth® Market Research Notes, developed by Guidehouse Insights analysts, provides in-depth analysis on commercial connected lighting systems. It shares perspectives on the future of the industry, explains why wireless controls are gaining traction in the market, and outlines how wireless technologies will address some of the barriers prohibiting wider adoption of connected lighting systems for commercial buildings.

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