Feature, IoT/Smart Lighting

30 ways IoT lighting can solve everyday problems

The next revolution in lighting is luminaires connected to the ‘Internet of Things’. So what are the benefits? Here’s our top 30 killer capabilities of IoT lights from the real world…



IoT lights can find products in supermarkets

Customers using a supermarket’s app can find products to an accuracy of 30 centimetres thanks to visible light communication combined with the smart phone’s forward facing camera. Pic: Philips

IoT lights can deliver unique promotions to shoppers

Unlike general special offers advertised in stores, smart lights can detect where a customer is located in a store, enabling a bespoke offer for nearby items to be sent to their smart phone.

IoT lights can turn grudge shopping into a game

The ‘gamification’ of shopping is exciting retailers. Customers can earn points and maintain ‘streaks’ by visiting specific stores, and parts of the stores. IoT lights detect their location.

IoT lights can track customers in stores

IoT lights can track shoppers such as high-net-worth individuals in department stores, even telling what concessions and counters they have visited. Pic: Philips

IoT lights can make your food shop faster

A supermarket app can plan your route in a supermarket, while the smart lights – which know your location – can help remind you of items you can pick up along an aisle.



IoT lights can find high-value equipment in hospitals

Tracing medical equipment such as ultrasounds and portable ECG machines can waste a lot of valuable time. With embedded sensors in luminaires, this becomes a cinch.

IoT lights can detect the build-up of queues

Tiny sensors in luminaires can inform hospital management of real-time queues of both people and vehicles such as ambulances and alert them instantly to problems.

IoT lights can help monitor the elderly

In nursing homes and care environments, lights with sensors can tell clinical staff if an elderly patient has had a fall, or where lack of movement over a period of time is a concern.

IoT lights can help wayfinding in a hospital

Wayfinding is a major problem in hospitals – it’s estimated it costs the equivalent of two extra staff. Smart lights with location tracking can help reduce interruptions to staff.

IoT lights can reduce theft in hospitals

Some expensive healthcare items, such as £5,000 spinal pillows, are regularly removed from hospitals. Using tags and smart labels, IoT lights can detect when these leave designated areas.


IoT lights can tell facilities chiefs if space is well used

Do you really need to build an extension? Smart lights can tell how well your buildings are being used, and what areas are hot spots and what are underused, leading to major savings.

IoT lights can prioritise cleaning

Cleaning companies can use information from smart lights to determine the frequency of cleaning visits required for areas of buildings based on occupancy and traffic.

IoT lights can help manage meeting rooms

Connected lights with smart sensors can tell facilities managers if meeting rooms are being used after booking, and by how many people. The information can help too with space planning

IoT lights can help employees personalise their lighting

Using just a smart phone detected by the IoT lights, hot-desking employees can tune the illumination levels – and even the colour temperature – of the lights wherever they are. Pic: Philips

IoT lights can deliver the internet securely

Internet-connected lights with Li-Fi functionality can deliver ultra-high internet connections to enabled devices, avoiding the security and bandwidth issues of traditional Wi-Fi. Pic: Linmore LED


IoT lights can find wheelchairs in airports

Tracking wheelchairs in airports is a big issue, as a missing unit can delay the turnaround of an aircraft. Using smart labels or RFID tags, sensor-enabled lights can keep tabs on them.

IoT lights can find parking spaces

In Helsinki, micro cameras embedded in street lights detect if a parking space is unoccupied and upload the information to the cloud. Motorists can then access this data via real-time apps.

IoT lights can detect suspicious cars

Sensors embedded in exterior lighting can detect unusual activity by vehicles in areas such as drop-off zones at airports and railway stations, and send text messages to security staff.

IoT lights can manage traffic

Combine cameras and sensors in street lights with traffic lights and signage, and you have the means to monitor traffic, regulate flow, and, if necessary, redirect traffic.

IoT lights can detect when aircraft passengers disembark

Sensors in IoT lights can detect the disembarkation of passengers from aircraft, raising lighting levels, alerting airport staff and allowing management to controls flows through customs and security.


IoT lights can monitor air quality

Environmental sensors embedded in exterior and street lighting can build up a picture of air quality and allow municipalities to take real-time measures to reduce local pollution.

IoT lights can alert police to gunfire

Special microphones in street lights can detect gunfire and, via triangulating software, tell police immediately of the discharge of a firearm and its location.

IoT lights can help with planning for bad weather

Sensors embedded in street lights can monitor snow build-up and water levels, meaning municipalities can prioritise responses such as snow ploughs and gritting trucks.

IoT lights can predict when a street lamp or driver is about to fail

Predictive maintenance software linked to smart street lights can inform municipalities of when lighting equipment will need replacing, rather than reacting to individual outages as they occur.

Photo: Amey

IoT lights can assist with refuse collection

Battery-powered sensors in refuse bins can talk to nearby IoT street lights, telling refuse collection teams where they are and when they need emptying, while software plans optimal routes.

Hospitality and Leisure

IoT lights can automatically test the emergency lighting

Connected lighting can automatically conduct the mandated regular testing of emergency lighting systems and their batteries, and compile the necessary reports.

IoT lights can deliver information in museums and galleries

Using an app and visible light communication, IoT lights can use proximity technology to give museum- and gallery-goers an enhanced experience and information about exhibits.

IoT lights can personalise and automate guest rooms

In hotel guest rooms, smart lighting can identify occupancy – and even the individual guest and his or her preferences – and adjust the room’s lights, blinds, TV channels and HVAC accordingly.

Photo credit: Philips

IoT lights can encourage hotel guests to buy more

Location-based restaurant recommendations and offers, as well as checkout offers such as a late stay options, can be sold to hotel guests using location tracking and a smart phone app.

IoT lights can cut costs in hotels and resorts

IoT lights with motion sensors and sensors can intelligently turn off the air conditioning and other unnecessary utilities, allowing brands to clamp down on unneeded energy like never before.

  • Learn more about connected lighting systems at the inaugural Property Technology Conference, which focuses on the exciting digital applications of connected lighting and features a rolling programme of talks, panels discussions and demonstrations. It’s one of eight different conference tracks taking place at the LuxLive 2018 exhibition on 14th & 15th November at ExCeL London. See the full programme HERE.