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Smart Office Spaces: Start Small

smart-office-spacesEver hear the adage, “big things come in small packages?” This can be applied to so many things, including your smart work space. Look up to the ceiling right now and start there. That little glass bulb of light that you never think twice about could change the way your organization operates forever.

We’ve been discussing the LED takeover and hinted at its next step into the Internet of Things (IoT) via Power over Ethernet (PoE) – now we’re going to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Energy efficiency, LEED certifications and tax credits have driven the evolution of the light bulb but now technology is taking it into the Era of the IoT. With the low-wattage requirements of LED lighting (about 10W), it’s now possible to power them over PoE, which yields up to 15 watts of power. And thus, your IT staff become your new in-house electricians.

Using PoE, we’re eliminating the traditional power grids of a building and the resulting extensive conduit regulations. IT personnel and even end-users can install LED light sources at practically any location. Not to mention the cost savings of a retrofit:

 

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What’s more, these cost savings don’t even begin to explore the tax credits your organization could potentially receive for higher energy efficiency and subsequent LEED certifications. We’ll talk more about the monetary benefits later; the advantages of PoE lighting can grow into so much more.

Remember when we talked about devices in the IoT learning from behaviors? With light sources connected via the internet, PoE gives users Smart Lighting. Each LED light sends and receives data through an Ethernet cable, bringing value to management and employees. Users can control lighting from a remote device, i.e., mobile phone or web-based system, automating them for even higher efficiency. Managers can track occupancy and light levels while employees can personalize the lighting around their work spaces.

smart-officesAdditionally, we are now able to zone lighting systems, offering more flexible spaces that can be rearranged for custom needs or adjusted based on the amount of natural light in an area at different times of the day. If your lobby has large windows that bring in a good amount of natural light, you might not need to run your LED’s all day. At the very least, you can dim them and lower the watt usage when it’s not needed.

Ultimately, lights everywhere will eventually be as programmable as our favorite mobile app – set up for specific functions at specific times of the day. We’ll be able to set it and forget it or control them at the push of a button whenever we want.

Discover more on this topic next week on the MCW Blog.