Today’s Smart Lighting in Action—Interactive, Connected, and Energy Efficient—All Key Trends at Light + Building 2024

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By Rithika Thomas | 1Q 2024 | IN-7275

Tools, infrastructure platforms, and supplier ecosystems required to create smart lighting for buildings today and future-proof existing building stock for the years to come.

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Top Themes: Connectivity, Sustainability, and Work + Living


Light + Building 2024 in Frankfurt am Main is one of the leading trade fairs for lighting and building technology-related services with over 151,000 visitors from 145 countries. More than 2,100 exhibitors catering to the European, Middle East & African, and Asian markets for commercial and residential buildings showcased smart building solutions with representation from system integrators and sensor & chip manufacturers.

Smart Lighting Solutions Take Center Stage


On the show floor, sustainability was a big topic, including the product, the company, and the booth itself. All exhibitors were riding the “modular, smart, and connected wave,” showcasing and launching solutions for connected lighting, building automation, energy storage, spatial monitoring/mapping, energy metering, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) control, etc., all integrating into a Building Management System (BMS) and resulting in automated action to reduce operational cost and save energy. Among the exhibitors, 65% were focused on the lighting industry, with lighting Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) designing retrofit options to upgrade existing luminaires with sensors or to replace existing luminaires with smarter energy-efficient Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to extend use phase gearing to reduce carbon emissions.

Key announcement solutions at the latest show included:

  • Zumtobel Group and Siemens, Enlighted Technical Partnership: Integration of Enlighted Smart Sensors into Zumtobel Group’s lighting portfolio to advance smart building integration and solutions through prefabricated solutions, efficient wireless deployment, and enhanced insights driven by smart technology.
  • Siemen’s Ecolabel Platform: 15 products to help with customer identification, comparing sustainable products, and shaping buying decision.
  • ABB: Showcased an interactive, immersive smart building walk-through experience that enabled visitors to explore energy efficiency, system interoperability, sustainability, and design for new and existing buildings.
  • UL Solutions: Launched a website for lighting designers to select and test specific circadian lighting.
  • Casambi: Enters the wired lighting control market with Salvador, a new series of Dali controllers that prioritizes flexibility and user friendliness.

Complying with regulators, energy efficiency, occupant wellbeing, and data security are key concerns and drivers in the commercial lighting industry.

Catapulting Smart Lighting for a Niche Market and Moving to Mainstream Adoption


Smart lighting or Network Lighting Control (NLC) is perceived as a premium product, but has been in the market for more than a decade, offering additional operational and energy efficiency by automating dynamic lighting control in conventional LED systems. Adoption has been slow due to the initial setup costs, acceptance of wireless infrastructure, and upskilling of installers and contractors due to complexities of wireless technologies and Information Technology (IT).

Currently, the key drivers include:

  • Regulations: For example, California’s Title-24 or Europe’s EN1246, pushing toward minimum light levels and luminaire controls, as well increased operational and energy efficiency.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Property developers and facility managers are leaning toward one comprehensive solution provider catering to a connected ecosystem of the supply and installation of luminaires and supporting services.
  • Government Grants: Hospitals and educational building owners are installing NLC to unlock green finance, grants, and benefits from reduced energy bills.
  • Retrofit Opportunities: Older buildings can demonstrate the best use case for NLC due to comparative rewiring costs, minimal material requirements, and installation disruptions.
  • New Business Models: Lighting vendors are removing the biggest roadblock of upfront costs by creating new payback models through guaranteed energy savings up to 35% to 70% and a Return on Investment (ROI) of less than 2 years.

Acuity Brand, Cree Lighting, Signify, and Zumtobel Group represent more than half the smart lighting market and cater to all commercial verticals. For more information about smart lighting, see the following projects from ABI Research: Networked Lighting Control (NLC) and New Opportunities in Smart Building Lighting (AN-5770), Commercial Network Lighting (MD-SLCBC-24), and Commercial Network Lighting Market Data Overview: 1Q 2024 (PT-3100).



Companies Mentioned