When Lighting and Technology Converge the Data can Tell a Deeper Story to Benefit a Business

June 24, 2020 Jerrice Cuvilly

When Lighting and Technology Converge the Data can Tell a Deeper Story to Benefit a Business

“Lighting has two different personalities. There is lighting for lighting’s sake and lighting to gather data, ” stated Peter Ngai, lighting consultant to Acuity Brands in a recently published article. But what happens when these two “personalities” come together and form even stronger capabilities?

Indoor location services (ILS) is one result of this combination and it has proven to be a useful digital technology for several industries and applications since its introduction. ILS technology marries the lighting of a space with technologies that together gather relevant and real-time date for analysis and insightful decision making.  Lighting has become an effective infrastructure that, when combined with IoT technologies and devices through platforms such as  Atrius® solutions, connects buildings, assets and people with location-aware services such as location and position data, occupant behavior information, wayfinding and asset/tag tracking.

The value of ILS technology was quickly realized by several major retailers who had to rapidly pivot their store layouts, inventory and online/in-store purchasing options as COVID-19 related shutdowns and state mandated orders were placed in effect. Stores that had invested in ILS technology and location-based platform services were able to quickly adapt to changing shopper habits by collecting and analyzing data from heat maps showing how customers were clustered around essential items.  The data clearly demonstrated real-time customer needs by highlighting which products and services were most sought after once COVID-19 emerged. Months later, retailers are still using the ongoing data collected within their brick and mortar locations to further adjust staffing needs and to efficiently provide customer service with online order pickups.

As other industries such as industrial, educational and healthcare utilize ILS technologies, innovation will spur the creation of more devices and technologies. Lighting will continue to have an important role in defining the future and making these technologies work together for single locations to larger enterprises. Lighting is an efficient and effective foundational platform across all industries because it covers interior and exterior spaces while suppling power and connectivity for sensors, controls and devices that will converge with that lighting to provide the abundance of data required for decision making and deeper dive analytics.

In part 1 of a featured content article for the March 2020 issue of LD+A magazine, lighting engineers Peter Ngai and Kevin Ledford discussed trends in lighting, of which many can also connect to IoT devices. In part 2, the engineers discussed bringing technologies into lighting to form and develop Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Click on the links to read the original content and for greater perspective from the experts.

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