Trends in new lighting technology are finding uses in the workplace and commercial properties. For example, green lighting LEDs use less energy and contain fewer environmentally harmful materials than traditional bulbs.
Lighting technology trends include smart lighting and networked lighting controls, UV light sanitizers, “human-centric” lighting, color-tuning and horticultural lights. This guide reviews how lighting trends give business owners and office managers more options and greater control.
Smart Lighting & Networked Lighting Controls
The global smart lighting market is forecast to increase from $14 billion in 2019 to $58 billion in 2025. Smart lights can be controlled with smartphones and through hubs such as Alexa, and some come with built-in networks that do not rely on your property’s Wi-Fi. Smart lights can allow you to do such tasks as:
- Supervise properties from anywhere with smart security light and camera combinations.
- Save money with Bluetooth-enabled combined speakers and lights.
- Integrate with motion sensors, wireless switches and other home tech.
- Control outdoor lights with greater convenience.
Networked lighting controls in commercial buildings allow managers to schedule illumination more accurately based on occupancy and the time of day, potentially reducing energy costs. Networked lighting can also connect sensors between lamps and products in inventory, making asset tracking easier.
UV Light Sanitizers
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic inspired increased interest in the use of ultraviolet light for sanitization and germicidal applications. Products that use short wavelength ultraviolet lighting, also known as UV-C lighting, can eliminate up to 99% of pathogens as viruses, bacteria, mold spores and fungus when applied for the correct intensity and duration.
Commercial UV light sanitizers can sanitize surfaces in the office or workplace, as well as restaurants or hotels. Exposure to UV-C radiation can irritate human skin or eyes, so follow all safety precautions. UV-C radiation products can effectively disinfect the air inside air ducts, where human exposure is less likely.
Pro Tip: Some commercial UV-C sanitizers operate at a low dosage, which may take longer to eliminate a virus or bacteria on a given surface.
Healthy or Human-Centric Lighting
Healthy or “human-centric” lighting is designed to provide biological or psychological benefits, usually by emulating the effects of natural light as closely as possible. In the workplace, lighting that emulates natural light has been found to improve morale and productivity.
Some brands of light bulbs or fixtures have a circadian mode designed to follow the human circadian rhythm, also known as the “24-hour clock.” These emit lower-intensity light in the early morning, higher intensity during the day and return to low intensity in the evening. Applications of healthy lighting include:
- Minimizing errors and fatigue in the industrial sector
- Improving patients’ sense of well-being at healthcare facilities
- Increasing student alertness at school
Tunable lighting is increasingly popular in commercial lighting. Tunable white lights can be programmed to different frequencies to be either bright white or warm and golden. In addition, full-color tuning provides tunable colors across the spectrum. Here are some of the options of tunable or color-changing light:
- Dim-to-warm lighting emulates candlelight or incandescent lighting by becoming warmer as the light dims. Applications include restaurants, hotel lobbies, theaters and ballrooms.
- Tunable-white lighting increases blue-toned hues and intensity to imitate daylight. Applications include industrial, medical and commercial office lighting.
- Light colors can be adjusted to complement a room’s finish.
- Memory settings can save your most frequently used colors and temperatures.
LED Horticulture Lights
Urban food warehouses, commercial nurseries and other businesses are adopting the use of LEDs with horticultural grow lights. With controlled red spectrum lights, professionals and hobby gardeners alike stay productive beyond traditional growing seasons.
- Maintain plant health without building a full greenhouse.
- Grow out-of-season plants any time of year.
- Use red spectrum light to induce flowering before the spring landscaping rush.
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New lighting technology trends are expected to increasingly emphasize LEDs and minimize traditional bulbs. Lighting trends that should lead to new products include technologies such as mini-LEDs and micro-LEDs, reverse-wired LED cooling and “LiFi,” a light-based variation of WiFi. Expect light bulbs and fixtures to become smarter, more colorful and more interconnected.
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