IoT/Smart Lighting, News, Retail

Target rolls out smart lights to 27m app users

Target has rolled out connected lighting to half of its 1,800 outlets across 49 US states, making it the world’s biggest application of the technology.

AMERICAN RETAIL giant Target has rolled out its lighting-based indoor-positioning technology to 27 million users of its app.

The company – a pioneer of so-called connected lighting – has told its shoppers that it is ‘upping its app game with beacon and Bluetooth technology’ that is embedded in the stores’ LED lights.

The beacon network – which Target describes as ‘GPS for your shopping cart’ – allows customers to plan their route in store and locate merchandise using visible light communication (see box out, ‘How it works’). Mike McNamara, chief information and digital officer at Target, pictured below, told Lux: ‘It’s a bit like driving your car with GPS, and this promises to make it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for’.

A key element in getting customers to download the app is the access to special offers and deals

The system is now live in half of the brand’s 1,800 outlets across 49 states, making it the world’s biggest application of connected lighting. The platform is a key part of Target’s digital future linking the online world to physical stores.

A clue to the use and functionality of the lighting combined with other location technologies is shown highlighted within the retailer’s privacy policy which accompanies the new Target app. Users have the ability to opt out of sharing such data.

‘If you use a mobile device, your device may share location information (when you enable location services) with our websites, mobile applications, services, or our service providers. We use this information to improve our services, and provide you more relevant and personalized advertisements, services, and promotions. For example, precise geo-location can be used to identify your device’s latitude and longitude or your device’s location capabilities (e.g., GPS or Wi-Fi) to help you find nearby Target stores. Or, in-store location through the use of your phone’s blue tooth signal, LED light chip technologies or other technologies will permit Target to find nearby products for you, get you real-time deals, auto-sort your shopping list and more.’

While other stores are trialling the technology, including Target rival Walmart and French supermarket chain Carrefour, Target is the first retailer to deploy the technology at scale.

Target has an exclusive deal with Acuity Brands to supply the connected lighting.


  • See visible light communication demonstrations from both Acuity Brand’s eldoLED and Philips at the LuxLive 2017 exhibition and conference in London on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November 2017. Entry is free if you pre-register at