The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network connection technology that
promises to connect a wide range of devices and appliances around the world, everything from refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, TVs, to air
conditioners, and heating units. Connected technology goes back way further
than you might think. Apparently, the first Internet-connected device was a
modified coke machine that kept inventory and sensed if the loaded cans were
cold at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982, according to an article in Wikipedia.
A few engineers in the 1990s wrote papers describing a wide network of
connected devices that can automate everything. However, it wasn’t until
1999 when the term was first used. The advent of smartphones and devices has
made the “smart” aspect of the technology possible. This technology
is just beginning to be adopted in consumer applications.
The technology includes wireless sensor networks, control systems, and home
and building automation. One of the best places to install such technology will
be in LED luminaires because of its placement that allows complete coverage of
Temperature sensors, occupancy sensors, and motion sensors, as well as
controls for thermostats and lighting, can be integrated into luminaires. The
Internet of Things can also enable smart management functionality such as
energy usage monitoring systems and lighting maintenance monitoring.
Municipalities are just beginning to use such technology to monitor LED
street lights, their energy usage, and even occupancy patterns. All of these
can translate into additional energy savings. Additional applications might
include control of office lighting schemes and scheduling and maintenance, as
well as thermostat monitoring and programming. Potential applications for the
technology are practically endless, and many applications for the technology
have yet to be devised.
Hospitals might incorporate biofeedback monitoring. Factories could directly
monitor customer orders, customize orders, and order parts as necessary. The
center of it all will likely be specialized sensors integrated with LED
Among the many possible uses, adjusting lighting brightness, color mixture,
color temperature, and turning on and off are just some of the possibilities
with lighting. Much more will come.