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Lighting the Future: Illuminating the Backbone of the IoT

By Ken Briodagh January 17, 2018

The IoT Evolution Expo is coming up fast, and we interviewed our speakers to get a bit of a preview of what to expect from the conferences.

Here, we spoke to Russ Sharer, VP, Global Marketing and Business Development, Fulham Co., Inc., who will be a featured speaker in the following session during the week of education:

How Smart Lighting Headaches are Delaying IoT: The lighting industry is just starting to look more closely at standardization, and with IoT in place, communication for IoT controls will be a matter of implementing well-defined, compatible control standards. 

Here is a little preview of his thoughts:

IoT Evolution: What will be some key points you plan to hit in your session?
Russ Sharer: Lighting offers the potential to become the key skeleton for IoT given its idea placement and node density. At the same time, the lighting industry and the business case for building owners and building occupants is still murky, without a lot of interest in investing in infrastructure today for a business case that is unclear tomorrow. I will look at the segments where adoption is occurring and how IoT supporters can encourage even greater adoption.

IoTE: What new insights can attendees expect to take home from your session?
RS: Both the potential for lighting as IoT infrastructure as well as the current roadblocks, including the level of awareness of the lighting industry, the state of standards and technology for lighting controls and how the fragmentation of the lighting market makes wide spread adoption more difficult. I will also look at how the way lighting spend in construction occurs at a different place than IT, again impacting adoption.

IoTE: Can you identify a few important trends influencing your sector of the IoT which will shape the path of the industry? Why these?
RS: Standards and applications are the biggest. Standards, due to the need for many manufacturers to adopt the same technology for lighting controls. BLE appears to be on the cusp of solving this issue. Applications are the today business cases that provide real value to a building owner, operator or occupant. The reality is, the structure of the lighting industry, including how projects get designed and funded, are the greatest roadblocks rather than technology.

IoTE: What are the biggest challenges facing the IoT? What are some important tools needed to overcome them?
RS: A lack of clear definition, and too many people touting the world of “everything connected” when reality is the state of the industry it how we can start connecting some things today beneficially and profitably.

IoTE: Which vertical markets have the most to gain from IoT implementation? Which are leading and which are still behind the adoption curve?
RS: Hospitals, banks, warehouses, data centers. Offices are both the biggest opportunity and furthest behind the implementation curve.

To join Russ and all our other speakers at IoT Evolution Expo, January 22 to 25 at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, click here to register now.


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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