Cisco will partner with Philips to bring connected lighting systems to office buildings.

The two firms estimated the market for such systems is worth around US$1.1 billion worldwide, and said they would go to market with joint systems to target the opportunity.

Lighting represents up to 40 percent of a building’s energy usage, an area where significant power and cost savings may be realised with IoT technologies.

“Lighting is everywhere, making it one of the easiest ways to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to office buildings,” Cisco said in a statement.

“Light points in the Philips system, equipped with sensors and software applications can be connected using Cisco technologies.

“This lighting network creates a pathway for information and helps enable new services.”

Cisco said that offices with intelligent lighting systems could enable workers to “personalise and adjust LED lighting to their preferences and tasks.”

The sensors in the light system could also be used for other purposes – for example, measuring occupancy and space utilisation of the office space.

Cisco also envisions a future where office workers may be able to “access other building services” and customise them via a smartphone app.

Cisco is testing some of these concepts at its offices in Canada.