WHERE do you see Network Convergence or The Internet of Things (IoT) effecting your business in the next 2-4 years? (Part One)
If you ask any executive responsible for Facilities or IT management this question, you’ll get a variety of intelligent answers along with some interesting opinions.
However, many others will have no idea, including some of those at the C-level. If you ask Premiere Communications and Consulting, Inc., this same question, it is sure to start a passionate dialogue. We strive to look forward, add value to our clients, and to stay on the cutting edge of where we see the network evolving within the commercial enterprise space. As a full-service design-build consultant for workplace technology solutions, it’s our job to guide you with a practical way of tackling many of these issues so that your organization keeps pace.
We have a lot to say about solutions that support smart building technology, and collaborative workspace environments! New building system technologies are rapidly changing the way we build out the physical network infrastructures of today, but you can research our experience in these areas of convergence on our Website www.premiere-inc.com
More importantly, we monitor our industry, listen to business partners and channel partners so that we might leverage our knowledge and experience into new areas of Network Convergence for our clients. Below is Part (1) of a (3) Part series regarding our opinion on the “Top 3 Technologies” effecting our clients in relation to Network Convergence and IoT over the next 2-4 years. In Part 1 we will be discussing the emergence of LED (PoE) Lighting.
Part 1 – Networked / PoE LED Lighting
“Our clients planning to build new facilities are focused on how they can increase their ROI, by reducing the long term OPEX with new technology, but the initial cost has historically been a deterrent. We work to help them get past this roadblock!” Kent Gitter – NPI / Platformatics
We consistently see clients whether in new construction, or during renovations / expansions overlook potential savings and make long term business decisions based on an initial capital outlay or budget. However, the tide is shifting quickly, and the initial costs are no longer a roadblock for some of these new technologies like Networked LED PoE lighting. This timely factor allows our clients to evaluate the technology today from a CAPEX perspective, but also take immediate advantage of the OPEX savings benefit in a more tangible way.
LED lighting has significantly improved in the past few years! Most OEM’s now offer their 5th generation of LED product – that would include both replacement lamps and LED fixtures. As with any product that undergoes rigorous research and development, each generation will bring a more stable and reliable product. Another huge benefit to that development is that it also brings the cost and pricing into a much more competitive arena. According to a recent report; LED technology has now matched its fluorescent rival as a price competitive solution! In 2018, there are now few within the industry that would argue against the notion that LED is the future of lighting.
1.) OPEX Savings Reduced energy costs & maintenance
LED lighting can reduce your electric bill by 20% to 50% or more depending on your current lighting application.
You can replace your T8 32-watt bulb with a 14-watt LED tube, a 90-watt PAR38 halogen with a 17-watt LED PAR38. In almost every case you find it is reasonable to assume that you can find an LED replacement that will reduce the lighting portion of your electric bill on average 50%!
With LED’s commonly rated from 25,000 to 50,000-hour life, they easily exceed the 1000 to 2000 hours for incandescent / halogen bulbs that are currently being used by most businesses.
Longevity of the LED technology translates into fewer bulb change-outs and lower maintenance costs for facilities. Savings on labor cost alone can help justify the cost of LED equivalent lamps as you begin to transition or build your new facility. Worth noting too is the fact that many power companies also help subsidize the cost by offering incentive/rebates to qualifying accounts. The OPEX effect of reduced energy costs, reduced maintenance costs and power company rebates now make your ROI very appealing!
2) CAPEX savings Reduced Installation Costs
The Simple & Safe installation of LED PoE Lighting on low voltage media as compared to traditional high voltage infrastructure to support fluorescent lamps, has shown a large savings that Building Owners can now evaluate as a part of their budgeting process.
It is clear that using PoE lowers the cost of deploying and installing IP-enabled devices, whether these devices are sensors or LED lamps. Initial cabling costs are lower because data and power share the same cable. Installation costs are lower because a licensed electrician is not required to install the network cable, and the cable is not required to be in conduit, therefore eliminating that cost in labor /material. Also, the additional cost of the smart nodes deployed in the LED PoE lighting package become mute issue when you factor in the opportunity cost associated with the elimination of traditional circuit breakers and electrical panels. Another factor to consider is that the general installation is also safer because the PoE DC voltage is less dangerous than 110 VAC (or 220 VAC). A PoE network enables better overall network power management; it provides both discrete control over the power of the connected devices and backup power during power outages. An example of the added value of PoE technology was Super Bowl© XLVII when a power outage took down the lighting and elevators for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, the stadium’s Wi-Fi© network was unaffected since it was powered by PoE, which had battery backup. Wow…. Can you imagine losing power, but the lights stay on?
3) Networking Benefits & Future Building System Analytics
Connecting smart LED lighting/sensor hubs to the LAN delivers valuable futureproofing by enabling the installed LED hubs to quickly support and take advantage of emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) without additional, expensive lighting replacement.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is ideally suited for powering, connecting, and controlling smart LED hubs with a LAN. In this way, the LED lighting system becomes part of the IT network; its reach extends beyond the immediate vicinity of the user and to other building services through any network-connected device (e.g., phone, tablet, PC). Thus, a user can utilize the system’s proximity sensors to find the closest available meeting room. An even greater benefit extends to facility owners and managers who now have an integrated view of a facility’s energy usage. By measuring, monitoring, and controlling all the nodes of the network (including heat and ventilation) in real time, management can identify opportunities for improved energy usage and operational efficiency. Armed with this information, they can adjust temperature, lighting, and cleaning schedules based on historical user behavior data.
An additional benefit is futureproofing with a PoE LED network. The LED lighting fixtures (and the associated smart sensor hubs) are already positioned where they are needed with the power and data already wired to the most useful locations. So new sensor or communication modules, such as distributed short-range wireless access points, can be added at low-margin cost and with relatively little labor.
In conclusion, Premiere Communications & Consulting, Inc. views LED PoE Lighting as one of the three primary areas where Network Convergence and IoT will affect many businesses over the next 2-4 years. As the convergence trend continues to bolster steam, we want to help our clients navigate this inevitable transition. The “Convergence Factor” is having an indirect impact on the way our scope of work has traditionally been managed in the general construction process, and we are finding that it is more beneficial for owners and general contractors to engage with full service Design Build firms who can manage all of these specialty disciplines under one umbrella! It is simply not efficient with regards to time of deployment, or as economical to manage the various scopes of work using the historical Design / Bid / RFP method. There is also something to be said with regards to overall risk mitigation, and also a realized reduction in the number project change orders due to having the multiple scopes contractually combined and managed from design to commissioning by the same entity.
Our vision is to consistently exceed our client’s expectations by creating powerful IT solutions that support the business processes of today but also leverage the technologies of tomorrow.