Smart lights to become largest IoT devices in next 5-10 years

NEW DELHI: With cheaper and smarter lights fast replacing incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), smart connected lights will become one of the largest internet of things (IoT) devices in the next five to 10 years, Harshvardhan Chitale, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India, has predicted.

“The next generation of changes (in lighting) that people will adopt will be intelligent, smart lights, which are IoT devices. Lights in the next 5-10 years will become one of the largest IoT-driven devices,” Chitale told IANS in an interview.

According to Chitale, intelligent lights, which is at a nascent stage now with nearly five per cent presence in the country’s lighting industry, is expected to be “the default” over the next 5-10 years.

Smart, connected lighting is the next-generation energy-efficient LED products with additional sensors to sense things such as occupancy and temperature.

According to a recent TechSci Research report titled “India LED Lighting Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020”, the country’s LED lighting market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of over 32 per cent during 2015-20.

“Today, when we think of buying a phone, we don’t think of a landline phone. By default, we think of a mobile or a smartphone. We anticipate that over the next 5-10 years — closer to five years — potentially, when people think of upgrading their existing lights or installing new ones, they would install lights or lighting systems which are smart,” Chitale emphasised.

Chitale asserted that India is ready to adopt the smart lighting solutions on a larger scale.

“We are a very technically-aware economy. If you see penetration of smartphones in our country, we are now one of the largest markets in the world. Smart lighting essentially rides on the same technology backbone,” the executive told IANS.

“In terms of digital infrastructure, technology awareness and software progress to develop application which are India-specific, we have all of it. Hence what we have seen is when we introduced solutions in India, in each of the four-five verticals that I spoke about (homes, offices, street and retail chains, etc.), we have some very quick hits and there are many adopters who are lapping it up,” Chitale added.

Currently, in the overall lighting industry, smart lighting is still in single digits — less than 10 per cent — in the country.

“But it is growing very rapidly,” Chitale said, adding that “globally, and also in India, smart connected lighting for us is doubling every year. It is growing extremely rapidly, although starting at a very small pace right now”.

With the government’s recent “Smart Cities” initiative, Chitale expects that smart street lighting “will be one of the key pillars of the mission” in India.

Naya Raipur, the new capital city of Chhattisgarh, was one of the first cities to upgrade to the connected smart street lighting system.

Chitale said the company is also working with the Pune Municipal Corporation for smart street lighting project.