A recent article on the innovation blog GreenBeat discussed the rise of the “building energy management market.” In other words, 2011 may be the year for smart buildings. This type of technology involves software that automatically detects environmental factors and building characteristics in order to regulate energy usage for efficiency.
It’s certainly an area with potential: One EPA report found that 30 percent of the energy usage in commercial buildings is completely wasted. And lighting makes up a large percentage of energy use in a commercial building – 25.5%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Smart lighting will mean buildings are programmed to automatically dim or shut off lights if the building is not in use, or if the amount of natural sunlight streaming through windows calls for lower artificial light levels.
The technology is expected to take off in commercial buildings because it offers extremely high return on investment. Digital Lumens and Lumenergi, two lighting systems companies, claim investing in an LED smart lighting project will result in savings of 50% on electricity bills.