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Despite Market Barriers, Connected Lighting Is Expected to Grow

Krystal Maxwell
Oct 01, 2019


Lighting controls for electric lighting have advanced beyond the simplistic on-off switch. Various lighting control strategies such as dimming, occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and scheduling not only improve the occupant experience within a building, but also provide energy and cost savings. A connected lighting system with integrated sensors and controllers allows for the transmission of data and communication within a lighting system. Although this market is still in its infancy, the benefits of a connected lighting system provide the driver for the growth of these systems.

Connected Lighting Systems Are a Growing Market Globally

In Guidehouse Insights’ recent report, Connected Lighting Overview, the global annual revenue for connected lighting systems is expected to increase from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $6.0 billion in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 17.6%. Growth is anticipated across all global regions and commercial building types during this time. North America and Europe are expected to contribute the largest revenue gains globally. Although there are numerous drivers to connected lighting systems that help propel the market (such as energy savings, LED proliferation, and the growth of Internet of Things), there are equally numerous barriers hindering adoption. Staffing challenges, the complexity of connected lighting systems, and general lack of understanding can prohibit widespread adoption.

System Testing and Standards Groups Provide Market Clarity

Recently, the US Department of Energy announced the next phase of evaluations of indoor connected lighting systems through its Next Generation Lighting Systems program. This next stage will include the evaluation of possibly upgrading existing systems and adding new systems that are marketed as easy to install and configure. Ensuring that systems function properly and are as easy to install and configure as advertised can help decrease the barrier of lack of knowledge and understanding of these potentially complex systems that might deter the adoption of a connected lighting system.

Another organization, the Design Lights Consortium (DLC), aims to increase adoption of connected lighting systems (also referred to as networked lighting systems). The DLC offers a Networked Lighting Controls Quality Product List (QPL), case studies, and training programs. The QPL allows building owners and managers to compare various systems and view systems that qualify for utility incentives and rebates. By lessening the burden of knowledge of a variety of systems for a building owner or manager, the DLC also helps limit the barrier of adoption of these systems.

Other barriers (such as cost, staffing challenges, and lack of standardization) can hinder the adoption of connected lighting systems. However, if organizations ensure there are fewer complex systems and provide comparisons of these systems as well as training, the burden of understanding these systems can be lessened.