When does a light bulb become an IoT end point? The answer is when it’s an LED light. Today’s LED lights offer much more than just illumination. As intelligent end points, we are beginning to see energy-saving LEDs creating new types of networks inside buildings by simply replacing older lighting systems with new LED systems. With these new digital systems, companies can capture other data such as temperature and motion. And the benefits are cumulative. Not only can companies lower energy costs, but they can now measure human activity in a location, monitor equipment motion and track inventory. As the following article illustrates, lighting-as-a-service is rapidly becoming more than just providing lumens. LED lighting is spawning an entire new service industry.
One of the big promises of what people like to call digital transformation that’s occurring with connected everything is a change in business models. Companies can go from selling things and having a one-time relationship with a client to selling a service and having an ongoing relationship. In the lighting world, this has been happening for years.
Indeed, if you want to see how connectivity can reshape a business, the lighting industry offers a great case study. As soon as digitization hit in the form of LEDs, the industry found itself more concerned with semiconductors — the source of LED light — than it was with old-school chemicals and filaments. But it also found itself with a problem. LEDs last a lot longer than light bulbs, so instead of selling a product that’s replaced every year or two, the industry suddenly starting selling one that lasts some 20 years.