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The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things, is it the next revolution of the century? From the amount of people already connected and using it, without knowing it, the IoT is a major industry just waiting to explode. The Internet of Things is a simple concept; any object where an interface and processor can be installed and connected to the internet can be classified as part of the Internet of Things network. One possible feature for car keys with the IoT is if you’ve set your keys in an odd spot, the keys could notify you where they are. No more searching for an hour to find them because you didn’t leave them on the key ring or the cat knocked them off the counter. The keys could tell you exactly where they are.

Lighting is affected by the IoT in a variety of ways. In businesses lighting could be adjusted by the time of day, occupancy, flow of traffic, task performed or even to kill bacteria.  Other duties light could do is make facilities managers jobs easier this could be done with sensors and connecting lights to the internet to see how many hours of life remain on a light bulb before it needs to be replaced or what is causing a light to not dim. Lights connected to the IoT could also be a great tool for safety, guiding people to the nearest exits during fires or being connected to a security system where the lights start flickering on and off when an intruder breaks in. The IoT has endless opportunities for new products and uses.

The IoT currently is at the center of innovation, technology and ideas being implemented in Smart Cities. Through the IoT, cities are already tracking pedestrian traffic, real time energy usage, water usage and solid waste collection. From the data collected at the tips of consumers’ and businesses’ fingers, processes can be streamlined and more control can be implemented to improve services. Technology is rapidly evolving too, as Wi-Fi and Li-Fi are being implemented in different ways to connect cities. This is being done through installing routers on busses, old payphones, and lights. 

Beyond the scope of just cities, so many other industries could be affected. Manufacturing, Transport, Supply Chain, Healthcare, Insurance, Logistics, Government, Energy and Automotive industries could connect products and gather data from a distance. In the case for Healthcare, what if there was a plaster cast that could give you diagnostics on a broken bone and pictures without having to get an x-ray? This would cut down the amount of times patients would have to come in to the doctor’s office and doctors could evaluate the injury in real time on the computer, catching problems earlier.

Companies already have started implementing the IoT in their businesses and have had energy savings that are beyond the 50% energy savings you get from installing just LEDs. With more data you can propel past others learning patterns and using the knowledge to saving money and allow employees to perform in a quality environment. 

At EPL, we are lighting experts because lighting is all we do. We can upgrade your lighting systems to the 21st century and connect you to the world. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of health, safety, and energy efficiency, and always deliver on time and on budget. No change orders, ever.

LiFi – A New Way to Communicate

We live in a time where wireless internet via radio waves is expected to be in nearly every building and home. The days of having to hard wire in to have access to the information the internet holds is long gone and the days where a common and expected question is “What’s your wireless password?” is here.  But technology is constantly changing, being refined, and bringing in better and faster options. So what’s coming after WiFi? LiFi

Li-Fi is short for light fidelity and in the most basic terms, is wireless connectivity via LED light. In other words it is a light that turns on and off so fast it can transmit data to your computer, phone, tablet, or other enabled devices. It is essentially the same as transmitting data via fiber optic utilizing a laser light source. The major difference is that it is in the light in your ceiling and not a laser. Imagine being able to walk into a building and automatically connect just because you’re using their light!

There are many benefits to LiFi, one being that it is much more data dense. LiFi uses light waves unlike WiFi’s radio waves. Much more data can be transmitted via light waves because the waves are in nanometers versus centimeters for radio waves. With each light being a communication path, LiFi also offers users more freed up bandwidth, allowing the data density LiFi to communicate at higher speeds.

Security is also a HUGE benefit of LiFi. Light can be contained to a building, space, or room while WiFi’s radio waves can leak through walls and be picked up outside a building, house, or apartment. If you’re not under LiFi’s light, you’re not connecting to the network. It can be localized in buildings as well, allowing people who walk into lobbies to have public access while workers at their desk can connect to their company network. Lastly, because LiFi uses light beams which don’t interfere with other electronic devices like radio waves can. This gives added security to places like hospitals and airplanes.  

Here at Energy Performance Lighting, we have the first installment of a LiFi system in the United States from PureLiFi. It’s still in its infancy but it’s here! With the rate of advancements, LiFi is expected to be showing up more commonly in the next 2-3 years. We’re excitedly watching this new technology develop and can’t wait to work with customers interested in installing it.

If you’re interested in learning more about LiFi, check out PureLiFi’s website.

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