Using sensors and software to control office lighting, reduce energy use and improve worker productivity is gradually gaining acceptance among building owners and attracting interest from investors. Enlighted, a Silicon Valley startup, just raised $20 million to expand its smart lighting technology’s reach.
Enlighted puts sensors into lighting fixtures that can monitor the energy use, temperature and brightness in a room. The sensors also can detective the number of people in a given space. By wirelessly connecting the lights, a computer with Enlighted software can adjust the brightness of the light for each cubicle and automatically lower or cut off the amount of electricity going to the lights at different times of the day.
The idea of using lighting to create a pleasant work environment or dimming or shutting it off when no one is around isn’t new, and certainly many office and commercial buildings already are doing that. What’s new is the greater level of sensitivity from the sensors and the lighting control, as well as the collection and crunching of energy consumption and other data over time to further fine-tune that control and hopefully reap more savings.