Building a More Automated World


We’ve all heard of the “Internet of Things,” but how about the “Internet of Lights?” Managing the energy output of a home or building is something that’s becoming increasingly important to today’s consumers and businesses. In fact, thanks to continual advances in M2M technology and connected devices, automation solutions like connected lights and beyond are making it easier than ever to automate both buildings and homes.

In 2013, Digital Lumens,, a company that provides “smart” industrial-lighting services and solutions, brought the so-called “Internet of Lights” to more than 100 million sq.ft. of space. The company supplied smart-lighting solutions to more than 1,000 commercial and industrial facilities across the globe—from airplane hangars, transportation depots, and sporting facilities to chemical, agriculture, and retail environments.

Since every built environment has a light bulb or two, Digital Lumens says lighting is the most practical and cost-effective vehicle for the Internet of Things. Within its Intelligent Lighting System, each LED light fixture is wirelessly networked together, allowing it to gather data. This data can then be used to make the best operational decisions when managing a large physical space.

Digital Lumens says its lighting system can help customers cut light-energy expenditures by up to 90%. Besides cutting back on energy bills, automation solutions like connected lights help businesses optimize building operations and better manage their resources.

Other companies are also making a push in the automation space. Greenvity Communications,, an IoT (Internet of Things) solution provider in automation and energy, is working to transform the market by offering scalable solutions for smart LED lighting, home automation, and building automation.

The company recently introduced several turnkey solutions including SoC (system-on-chips), modules, software, and mobile apps that allow for the control of connected devices within buildings and homes. For its OEM (original-equipment manufacturer) and ODM (original-design manufacturer) customers, Greenvity says its three new modules will provide the functions needed for rapid prototype and preproduction design.

With the flexibility to customize and scale modules and software as needed, companies like Greenvity are helping to populate the marketplace by reducing barriers to entry, such as costs and time to market. In fact, according to Echelon Corp.,, a control networking platform provider, the market needs more players willing to invest in creating and bringing to market tangible, “transformative” IoT solutions.

Echelon recently released its FT 6050 SoC, a single-chip solution for providing flexible, cost-effective, and wired IP connectivity in the industrial space. Similar to Greenvity, Echelon hopes its latest solution will help speed migration to IoT—in this case within the industrial-enterprise community. With FT 6050 SoC, system designers have a lower-risk path to market for devices and solutions that make up mission-critical building-automation applications.

By enabling devices to become part of the Internet of Things, companies focused on making it simpler to connect everyday objects to each other are building a more connected, automated world. Their goal? To pave the way for data to be mined and for intelligence to be gained.

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June/July 2014
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