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Enlighted recently announced the commercial availability of its unified digital sensor and data analytics system. The Enlighted system effectively collects, analyses and implements big data to drive down operational costs, increase operational efficiencies, improve indoor environments and unlock the Internet of Things for the commercial marketplace.
“Enlighted has now moved beyond the beta process and data stage with its smart sensor and analytics platform”, said Joe Costello, CEO of Enlighted. “We now have market-proven systems and approaches for collecting digital data, analyzing it on the back end and empowering commercial building owners with the ability to act on the data. And it all starts with lighting”.
An undoubtedly large market opportunity exists for Enlighted and its competitors, based primarily on lighting controls in smart buildings. A subject we researched in depth in our study – Wireless Lighting Controls 2014 to 2018.
Last year, the California based company began installing its light sensors into lighting fixtures at AT&T offices, garages and call centres. To date, Enlighted has fitted them into 240 of the telecommunications provider’s facilities, amounting to just 20% of the firm’s 120 million square feet of real estate, according to Zach Gentry, Enlighted’s VP of business development.
AT&T’s energy savings has amounted to $8 million annually, Gentry says, noting that AT&T plans to continue rolling out Enlighted’s sensors to control lighting at all of its facilities nationwide. Once that rollout is complete, Enlighted’s system could reduce AT&T’s energy consumption by 195 gigawatt-hours, which could net the firm $200 million in cost savings over a span of 10 years.
In a recent interview, Christian Rodatus, Enlighted vice-president, noted that in a commercial building, 25% of energy consumption is used for lighting, 50% is air-conditioning and heating, the remaining 25% is anything operated through power sockets.
“The business case of savings is usually good enough to pay for the entire network”, Rodatus stated. The Enlighted system works as follows; Smart Sensors work autonomously and wirelessly feed data through Gateways to their Energy Manager, which analyses data, sends instructions, and produces visual reporting through the Data Solution dashboard.
Smart Sensors are installed on a 1:1 basis per fixture. They can automatically adjust energy consumption by responding to light, motion, heat, and other environmental factors that occur within a 10’x10′ area beneath each sensor. These data are collected and transmitted wirelessly for use in Enlighted’s dashboards and applications. Gateways are conduits between Smart Sensors and the Energy Manager. They are used to wirelessly gather data from individual sensors, and they can send updates and commands to individual sensors.
The Energy Manager stores, performs analysis, and provides visual reporting of sensor data via a browser-based dashboard. Additionally, data can be fed into Big Data software, which opens it up to the wealth of analytics big data provides. We explore this topic in much greater detail in our recent report: Big Data for Smart Buildings.
Because each Smart Sensor is a microprocessor-controlled autonomous unit, Enlighted eliminates the need for cumbersome hard-wired hub-and-spoke implementation models. Based on data collected, the Energy Manager sends control instructions to each sensor to compute and adapt lighting levels. The ability to continuously adapt means that lights are automatically hibernated or illuminated when people leave or enter a space. Enlighted systems are tuneable for individual work, environments, and preferences while “disappearing” into the building space to work transparently.
Costello, a seasoned Silicon Valley veteran, describes Enlighted as giving him the “largest market opportunity” of his career. While this may be viewed as hyperbole, consider that it is estimated buildings make up 40% of total primary energy consumption, half of that is commercial buildings, and 25% of that comes from indoor lighting.
Then consider that 50% of a commercial building’s energy consumption comes from HVAC. Enlighted’s flexible building data grid is extensible to control additional systems and applications, such as; autonomous outside lighting control, HVAC system control, cloud-based occupancy data applications, automated demand response applications, security applications, safety applications, and asset management applications.