A new collaboration between Cree Inc. and Cisco Technology, Inc. enables light-emitting diode (LED) lighting to be connected through the internet and customized for each building to create more productive spaces while saving energy and money. Cree’s SmartCast Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the first lighting platform to enable mass deployment and adoption of Cisco’s Digital Ceiling framework.
The lighting system connects lighting to a smart, secure building system with business analytics that can lower total costs. It works “out of the box” to enable an entire building to be commissioned at one time without complexity. Cree’s SmartCast lights, light switches and dimmers operate on Cisco’s network architecture to provide power and networking for the lights with a standard Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for separate data and high-voltage power connections.
McKinsey & Company expects LED lighting to reach 70 percent of value-based U.S. market share by 2020 as the component prices for LED lighting and fixtures continue to decrease, even as they gain greater efficiency. LEDs are already more efficient than many other lighting options, but Cree claims that its SmartCast Technology is a huge improvement over standard LED.
“The new connected lighting technologies we’re pioneering with Cisco leverage Cree’s SmartCast® Technology and the communications power of the internet to deliver better light and up to 70 percent more savings than standard LED lighting,” said Norbert Hiller, executive vice president of lighting at Cree. “With Cisco, Cree is taking Intelligent Light far beyond what’s possible with traditional lighting solutions.”
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“Cree’s SmartCast® Technology with PoE is transforming the Mobile County School System by blending fundamentally better lighting with truly intuitive technology to personalize learning environments and deliver more value than we’d ever imagined,” said David Akridge, Mobile County School System executive manager of information technology. “Beyond high performance energy efficiency, we now have the ability to tune the color of our lighting to create custom, comfortable classrooms. Cree’s SmartCast® Technology with PoE software is also adaptive, allowing for future security enhancements such as signaling a school emergency, so we can continue to offer safer environments.”
Color control can stimulate alertness in the morning with cooler temperature light, or foster safety by signaling emergencies with flashing red or yellow lights in the event of a fire or lockdown, while brightness can be controlled based on occupancy patterns to reduce energy usage. As lighting and heating systems become increasingly connected and customizable as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), buildings will become more useful and efficient.