IoT in light and room control: convergence, data, asset management and home automation
In my previous post, I looked at a smart building automation case whereby IoT, Light & Room Control (L&RC), building automation solutions and one of our valued L&RC EcoXpert partners collaborated with immediate and future efficiency in mind.
The IoT (Internet of Things) today is already omnipresent in light and room control. However, talking about future efficiency, we see ever more applications and solutions to bring comfort, operational efficiency, asset management and home automation to the next level with IoT. This impacts the L&R certification program and the skills and growth journey of our many partners.
Before jumping into the limitless applications of IoT for L&RC EcoXperts I would like to take a quick look at the L&RC certification as it is evolving in the here and now.
IoT connects – the combination of EcoXpert certifications
Of all the EcoXpert certifications, light and room control is the only one that covers both residential and non-residential markets. Moreover, light and room control is both for smaller buildings and home automation as for larger buildings. This is partially related to the definition of a room. In the case, which I covered in my previous post, a room is a hotel suite. However, room control also includes several building automation functions in one or more zones of larger buildings such as a meeting room in a large office building, for instance. So, when it comes to the unique skills of L&RC EcoXperts, the size and exact context of the room really don’t matter.
Consequently, the L&RC EcoXpert certification is very often combined with others in a multi-badging scenario. This could be in combination with a Building Management Systems certification or a Connected Power badge. The almost natural link between L&RC on one hand and building management on the other also is related to the fact that green building certifications such as LEED require knowledge of KNX or C-Bus lighting control areas.
Another area that is closely related with L&RC and where IoT plays a key role is home automation where a lot is about to happen as you’ll discover. The increasing connectivity and importance of IoT and analytics in all these other certifications and areas, in combination with factors such as the growing importance of green buildings, contribute to the evolutions in light and room control and its important place across the full intelligent building reality.
The impact of IoT in L&RC: 3 EcoXpert evolutions
Where exactly does IoT come in and what about those limitless applications? As my fellow EcoXpert badge owners I was asked about the impact of IoT in light and room control, from home automation to room control and lighting, in an interview. Allow me to summarize and elaborate.
- For starters, I would like to further emphasize the impact of IoT on all the just mentioned areas of the EcoXpert program as cross-badging or multi-certification is becoming key. BMS EcoXpert badge owner Martin Feder explained how IoT and other evolutions make the integrated BMS the digital hub of connectivity. My Critical Power EcoXpert colleague Kevin Morin wrote about the role of IoT and the convergence of IT and OT in critical power, among others explaining how critical power availability and reliability are crucial for industrial customers in the Industrial IoT. This increasing role of IoT touches upon the highly-connected reality of L&RC. Our EcoXpert partner program manager Nicolas Windpassinger summed up all these areas and illustrated the role of IoT across our entire ecosystem in his blog IoT and EcoXpert might be your next best bet – and it can’t be stressed enough.
- When you look at room control functions, knowing that room control fits a limited part of a building, regardless of the size of the building, IoT, data analytics and the move towards autonomous decision making are omnipresent. Think about room control functions such as occupancy detection, energy metering, AV Control & Interfacing, emergency lighting, air quality control, lighting control, HVAC control, chilled beams control and far more. Until about a decade ago light and room control was mainly about comfort and operational efficiency. Today, regulatory requirements and the essential importance of energy management, along with building owner requirements push the agenda of analytics, acquired via IoT data. And that brings me to a next topic: asset management.
- On top of the mentioned priorities of comfort and operational efficiency, IoT has enabled us to go a step further on the level of maintenance and asset management. That’s a key evolution we’ve seen pop up in recent years. Thanks to IoT and big data and under the pressure of changing needs, asset management has become the third pillar of L&RC on top of comfort and operational efficiency. With asset management, we move to the next level of what IoT enables in L&RC. As explained in the mentioned interview asset management in L&RC can include chillers, heat pumps and boilers but also the lighting installation, the full power distribution installation, all the way from medium voltage to low voltage as you can see in the low voltage Connected Power EcoXpert badge where IoT is really key on all levels as my colleague Enrique Birlanga describes in his post “How an EcoXpert ensures the maintenance and continuity of service“.
We see the role of IoT expanding and see our EcoXperts broaden their expertise in this area and in the typical solutions, technologies and levels of L&RC, often in combination with other certifications. It is going to continue to impact us in the future, that much is for sure. The question is where it will do so must? And that brings me to home automation.
The accelerating role of IoT in home automation – the opportunity of endless IoT applications and solutions for EcoXperts
The role of IoT in the light and room control space is going to dramatically increase in home automation. We already have several EcoXpert partners and end customers who embrace advanced solutions for high-end home automation projects.
However, the list of home automation areas where IoT will dramatically increase the need for L&RC expertise is about to explode. Today we see many applications in areas such as heating, air conditioning control and lighting control. In the latter the LED revolution plays a significant role.
In the near future, I see security and audio video systems pick up speed rapidly but the list of IoT home automation applications is endless.
It’s not just about the home automation applications that are coming our EcoXpert way alone, with applications ranging from watering, fridges and swimming pools to even wine cellars and aquariums and far more. It’s also about the rise of connected home automation devices and multifunctional systems as pre-engineered bundles of repetitive applications.
For our L&RC EcoXperts, home automation offers tremendous opportunities. However, with IoT the same goes for all other mentioned areas as IoT and L&RC standards such as KNX continue to expand across all sorts of buildings, again, regardless of size.
So, my message would be: grab the opportunities now and join the EcoXpert program or, if you are already a partner, look at the best combinations of certifications that help you increase value amidst all the opportunities IoT offers you in any building context. Discover the partner benefits of EcoXpert.
Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts on the IoT in lighting, room control and home automation