8

Many manufacturers of 'smart lighting' systems claim that connecting your lights to the Internet of Things will save energy. For example, Samsung SmartThings use energy savings as a key selling point, and have a case study that promises large savings:

All in all, after one season of using SmartThings, our home utility bill was $78 less than it was the season before.

Philips Hue also call their bulbs 'energy-efficient', although it isn't such a selling point for the Hue compared to how much SmartThings promote energy savings.

I would have thought that the majority of energy savings from turning off the lights would be negated by the extra energy used by the processing hubs and wireless radios in every device, as well as the energy requirements of any motion sensors you install.

Is it true that energy can be saved (in a typical home situation, assuming the same number and type of bulbs before/after) by using 'smart lighting' such as SmartThings or Hue, or are the benefits exaggerated in terms of energy consumption?

  • 4
    I will go so far and claim that this particular testimonial (more like a single user story and not a real study) comes from an user that was made aware of their behaviour and might thus have changed it - IoT or not. – Ghanima Dec 29 '16 at 16:36
10

That's an awesome question!

The influence of IoT in power saving wouldn't be that huge, as you've mentioned.

But making them smart enough would save a lot of energy.

The radio system and the whole automation system would consume only about 5 V @ 1 A (max) if there are no motor drivers and other power components involved (in the case of lights, there are no actuators!).

The consumption of a bulb will be quite large (in fact multiples) compared to that of the IoT system.

So, if the bulb is on for another 5 minutes without being noticed, it would consume quite high amount of power than the IoT device may consume day long!

Connecting multiple devices together can still increase the efficiency because the system could be used to check whether the person is inside using motion sensors, or sensing the door. Which can actually malfunction.

eg: if the person is inside and idle, the light goes off (Guy gets annoyed). or if the guy is out and the door is open and there is some moving object in the room, the bulb still glows!(Lot of energy gone)

If the device is connected too internet, the Guy's phone would have the necessary app, when he goes out of the house, the phone knows he's out and the whole home will be off (configurable).

I have very little idea about the particular products you are talking about because I have not used either of them myself!

IoT is very much controllable over the internet. Far more than the power consumption, it is customizable and that's what makes it stand out!

  • 3
    Worth (maybe) noting that a smart system won't beat a determined human, but can quite easily react to occupation and ambient (light, temperature) to save some energy a lot of the time. Saving 50 W for a couple of hours a day is probably all you need to offset the smart loading. – Sean Houlihane Dec 30 '16 at 0:34
  • 2
    @SeanHoulihane, allow me to disagree. I can be very determined to keep the lights off as much as possible, but once I am on holiday, or in bed, I can use my smartphone to check that all lights are in fact off and can switch them off. – texnic Jan 3 '17 at 22:46
4

Working on IoT since 2009 (when IoT wasn't so hot topic as now days) I can tell you based on my team experience that there are several important components:

1) Technology level of lighting system -Mercury and sodium based lighting systems can be improved with IoT intelligence up to 20% in best case; -LED systems can take full benefit from IoT

2) IoT technology applied (list of features) -Dimming -Applied sensors -IoT platform sophistication

**LED based systems depending on type of IoT solution applied can really give totally new features and power saving levels. On smart street pilot installation with LED and fade-in/fade-out adaptive lighting system back in Nov 2014 we achieved 78% better performances then referent mercury lighting system.

**LED with basic IoT features can make better then plain LED - but nothing impressive.

**If you have very old, mercury, sodium or metal-halogen system you should consider total replacement with LED instead making such system smart via IoT.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.