Article
When was the last time you referred to your lighting as intelligent and 
responsive? My guess … never. But with LED lighting fixtures, your 
office illumination can be more than just a line item on a utility bill.<br><br>It can be a valuable partner in your business.

Smart LED Tech for the Office Building

Steve Maurer, IME
When was the last time you referred to your lighting as intelligent and responsive? My guess … never. But with LED lighting fixtures, your office illumination can be more than just a line item on a utility bill.

It can be a valuable partner in your business.

Of course, we know that LEDs are more energy efficient than other "lite forms." And in many ways, they can be better for our environment, eliminating the mercury found in wasted fluorescents.

But … there are many more ways they can add value to our work environment. In fact, smart LED technology connectivity can help with:

  • Efficiency
  • Health and well-being
  • Engagement and experience
  • And believe it or not … it can reduce cleaning costs as well.

Let's take a quick look at how smart LED technology has changed, and continues to change our work environment.

Efficiency on several levels

When we think efficiency, we're often referring to energy savings. But as time progresses, it's more about using the buildings themselves more efficiently. Because of the increase in connectivity, LED fixtures and luminaires become part of our digital ecosystem as well.

Lighting data can be transferred to a collection center to monitor building use. That means that plans can be made to make better use of space.

And it can also be used for spur of the moment scheduling. For example, a pressing business need requires a quick, unscheduled meeting. Instead of hunting for a vacant room, just check an app to see which conference rooms are unoccupied and send out a message.

No more walking in and interrupting a meeting in session.

Of course, energy savings is important. But with smart LED technology, that means more than LED watts versus other lamp watts. It's possible to match the artificial light to coincide with available natural light.

Let Mother Nature save you some bucks and help reduce your carbon footprint.

Health and well-being

It's obvious that how well we can see affects how we feel. And depending on the task at hand (and often the number of participants), good lighting affects how well we interact.

Our eyes need the appropriate amount of lighting to function well and that can vary from person to person. Eye strain, from either too much or too little light, causes adverse effects.

The ability to adjust lighting for your personal workstation not only improves your productivity, but can protect your health and well-being, both physically and emotionally.

The right lighting level reduces stress in many instances. So incorporating smart lighting into the overall space design can help.

Engagement and experience

Lighting can have a big influence on our engagement and overall experience. The lighting level should be adjusted to a level that is conducive to the atmosphere intended.

On a personal level, is a brightly lit or even glaring light level what you want for an intimate dinner with your significant other?

Of course not! But for working with your kiddo on an important school assignment (ah, I remember the days of last minute science projects all too well), you might want a bright light.

Carry that over to the office setting. According to many experts, offering choice and control over the working environment, including lighting, has a direct link to productivity, engagement, and effectiveness.

According to Marissa Meyer, Yahoo CEO in 2013, "Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings."

A softer, more subdued lighting in these areas might be more advantageous in these spontaneous meeting areas.

And finally … reduced cleaning costs? Say what!

Smart lighting affects every aspect of building costs

And I do mean everything. The larger the commercial building, the more potential there might be.
For example, in large offices there may be many rooms that aren't used every day. In fact, some may be used only sporadically, perhaps once a week.

Does it make sense to spend your janitorial dollars on a room that's not dirty? You could save money, particularly if using an hourly service for these chores.

A quick check on an app or program can let the janitorial staff know where to spend their time.
Don't waste time on unnecessary hours and chemicals if they're not needed.
Might seem a like a small thing, but added up over a year's time?

Think about it.

Smart LED tech can help enhance almost every aspect of your business. Maybe it's time you thought about getting into the 21st century mindset of green office design and smart LED tech.
Photo courtesy of Philips Lighting
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