Lighting Industry, News

How to finance the internet of things

Financing the Thing: Acuity's deal with Key Equipment will help hospitals, schools, municipalities and others afford intelligent LED lighting systems that tie into the Internet of Things.

As LED lighting expands ever more into the realm of smart digital office schemes that tap into the fledgling ‘Internet of Things’, so, too, do the financing schemes aimed at helping potential users absorb the upfront costs.

Case in point: US LED lighting specialist Acuity Brands has teamed with a division of Cleveland, Ohio bank Keycorp to offer financing for intelligent lighting networks. The division, called Key Equipment Finance, specialises in equipment finance.

‘The arrangement will provide customers… with flexible financing options that cover the total cost of upgrading to an energy-efficient LED smart lighting network that may include a platform for connecting to the industrial internet of things (IioT),’ the two companies said in a joint press release.

The release provided scant details of how the programme works, but it singled out certain target industries.

‘Customers who may want to take advantage of this opportunity include those managing qualified municipalities, industrial complexes, educational institutions, healthcare facilities and other businesses that may benefit from financing into one, predictable monthly payment for the complete bundle of services and products from Acuity Brands,’ it stated.

The financing can include lighting as well as controls, training, maintenance and other factors, the two companies added.

‘Acuity Brands’ customers can enjoy the energy savings, reduced operating expenses, increased functionality, and improved lighting quality of a smart LED lighting network with one predictable monthly payment for the complete package,’ Key Equipment senior vice president of innovation markets Brian DePonte said.

Atlanta-based Acuity, a $2.4 billion company, markets lighting and controls under a variety of brands including Holophane, eldoLED, Lithonia, Peerless, and Acuity Controls among others.

Its deal with Key Equipment marks at least its third move into the Internet of Things in recent weeks. Last month it struck an alliance with sensor and software firm Sensity Networks and acquired buildings automation firm Distech. Two years ago it acquired Dutch LED driver maker eldoLED.

The digital nature of LEDs – light-emitting-diodes – is expected to help tie ligthing into networks like the internet, making lights part of data communication and allowing users to control lighting via apps, intelligent sensors, and other remote means.

Photo is from pressmaster via Shutterstock