How Smart Sensors Are Revolutionizing Building Management

When most people hear the term “Big Data,” they think of the IBM Watson 
supercomputer crunching billions of numbers in a lonely data center. But
 Big Data comes in small, distributed packages, too.<br><br>For example,
 smart sensors installed in lighting luminaires make it possible to 
gather and analyze vast amounts of information to help make building 
management less costly and more efficient. Universal Lighting Technologies

Bill Brosius

When most people hear the term “Big Data,” they think of the IBM Watson supercomputer crunching billions of numbers in a lonely data center. But Big Data comes in small, distributed packages, too.

For example, smart sensors installed in lighting luminaires make it possible to gather and analyze vast amounts of information to help make building management less costly and more efficient.

Smart sensors capture and combine multiple streams of data that are relayed via a gateway to a data analysis platform. The sensors create an easily scalable wireless network that turns real-time data into actionable insights for smarter management of lighting, HVAC, space usage, safety and more. You get instant information about the occupancy, temperature and humidity of every room in the building – and one person can monitor all this data on a single smart device.

Typically smart sensors connect to “Big Data” wirelessly and their data transmitted to the “cloud” where data providers then analyze and provide the tenant useful information.  Enlighted is an excellent example.  There are two leading smart-sensor protocols: Bluetooth® & Zigbee.  You don’t have to be an expert in any of this. You just need a lighting partner who knows how to interconnect the parts.

When it comes to Bluetooth, look for a lighting partner that makes the sensors and drivers needed for a seamless solution. That same partner can likely provide you with Zigbee-ready sensors and fixtures.  If using Enlighted sensors, look for a lighting partner that interfaces directly with the sensors for reduced material and installation costs.

Tomorrow’s Big Data will be less about standalone supercomputers and more about collecting data from thousands of small sensors that can add up to big savings.

Bill Brosius is vice president of key accounts and business development at Universal Lighting Technologies in Nashville, Tenn.


Photo courtesy of Universal Lighting Technologies

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