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This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson of Tomlinson Business Research.
Zumtobel Group, a European architectural lighting company, recently announced that it is partnering with Bosch Software Innovations in the development of IoT connected lighting solutions for commercial buildings.
“Bosch Software Innovations perfectly matches with our strategy to work with leading software partners outside the lighting industry, in order to develop new solutions and applications” said Ulrich Schumacher, CEO Zumtobel Group.
In the first joint project in Austria, the companies will initially focus on remote monitoring and space management based on smart lighting solutions. Zumtobel and Bosch are collaborating with Dassault Systèmes, a 3D design software company, and Modcam, a digital image recognition start-up in a pilot project at the Life Cycle Tower Building in Dornbirn, Austria.
The building is equipped with a Zumtobel lighting solution which provides real time insights into the building’s status and technical health, including energy usage and savings per luminaire, per floor or for the entire building, visualizations of presence data and use of spaces. A heat map shows occupancy to help optimise usege efficiency.
On the maintenance side, it provides luminaire failure notifications and gives insight relating to operating hours and the usage history of the lighting system. Knowledge about preferred lighting scenes helps optimize light settings and, as a result, increase end user satisfaction. The system is linked to Bosch’s cloud-based IoT suite.
“Connectivity allows for real data insights into commercial buildings. This insight is the basis for new value-added services in the areas of predictive maintenance or condition monitoring for building operators and facility managers”, says Rainer Kallenbach, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations.
Memoori predicts in its recent report that the majority of building-based IoT device installations by 2020 will be installed on the back of lighting installations.
Zumtobel, with €1.3 billion 2014/15 revenues and around 7,200 employees, is active worldwide in the professional lighting segment, but Europe remains the most important market with over 80% of Group revenues. The European professional lighting industry is highly fragmented, and the ten largest European luminaire producers cover roughly 45% of the total market. In this fragmented market, Zumtobel Group holds a leading position with a market share of roughly 10%.
The group is currently entering a second phase of transformation for more profitable growth, having undergone a strategic reorientation phase involving plant closures, exit of outdated technologies and merger of the sales organizations for the Zumtobel and Thorn brands. The final phase involves the introduction of new business models for smart connected lighting, based on their new portfolio and service offerings.
At Zumtobel’s recent Capital Markets Day in Frankfurt on 15 March 2016, the company reported its successful transition to LED, with its LED share of revenues expected to grow to over 70% in 2016 from 50% in 2015.
The Zumtobel brand of architectural lighting has its strongest market presence in Austria, Switzerland and the UK where it ranks no.1. Revenues for this brand are about €550 million. Last year, the group acquired acdc, a UK provider of luminaires for high-end LED projects, such as facades, hotels and restaurants. The company is a specialist in colour change and dynamic lighting, with a market presence in the UK and the Middle East and revenues of €17 million in 2015.
Tridonic is the group’s specialist connected lighting brand with €400 million revenues. Product innovations for 2016 include connecDIM, an intelligent lighting management solution for >250 DALI devices configured via the cloud.
net4more, Tridonic’s IPv6/IoT lighting system, which turns any luminaire into an IP device and enable gateway, is currently being field tested with customers and stakeholders, prior to being introduced in pilot projects with selected partners in Sep 2016, followed by a full launch of the product in Mar 2017.
The group has also introduced NOW!, its lighting as a service package this year, guaranteeing customers energy savings from the outset, optimised lighting levels, efficient lighting solutions, and functionalities they can upgrade over time. Service agreements with customers are in place ranging between 5 to 10 years.
In summary, Zumtobel Group is focused on the expansion of its expertise in intelligent lighting controls and data management, further development of the service business and innovative business models. It is one player of many in the global lighting and building controls market, hoping to create a dominant position in smart connected buildings.