LIGHTING TODAY26 Apr 2023
Lighting firm disrupts own business model to accelerate the real estate industry’s adoption of smart building automation
Views: 140

New York, USA – A 14-year-old lighting firm and the owner of three U.S. building automation patents is relaunching today under a new name, MHT Technologies.

Formerly MHT Lighting, the New York-based company is changing more than its name. According to Chief Revenue Officer Ira Horowitz, the firm is disrupting its own business model to help the real estate industry adopt smart building automation.

What was first established as an LED lighting manufacturer in 2009 will now operate as an innovator of smart building automation controls. MHT Technologies will serve a range of commercial customers, from architects and designers to facility managers and owner/operators. “The pandemic could very easily have brought building innovation to a screeching halt,” said Horowitz. “Tenacious automation engineers didn’t allow that to happen. Buildings may be digital transformation’s late bloomers, but they also represent the era’s most commanding zones of change. From the inside out, we hope to accelerate real estate’s adoption of smart building automation, ushering in a new paradigm where buildings talk to their owners, and most importantly, owners listen.”

From endpoint manufacturer to automation integrator

MHT was among the first to manufacture so-called ‘smart’ endpoints – in its case, LED lighting fixtures – for a digital ceiling. Characterised by Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) cabling, the digital ceiling acts as the connector for low-voltage devices and systems, from lighting to HVAC.

MHT Technologies will retain the “MHT Lighting” brand, applying it to the company’s line of PoE and line voltage light fixtures, manufactured out of its Staten Island, New York, facility. The line includes a variety of indoor, outdoor, back of house, decorative and standard functional fixtures.

To enable better control of its own PoE lighting solutions, as well as other brands of fixtures and devices running on the same PoE infrastructure, MHT engineers built the Inspextor platform in 2015. As PoE-based smart building software, the Inspextor platform enables facility managers to automate controls, as well as analyse and report data on energy consumption and other sustainability KPIs. This helps building owners and operators meet green goals, create healthy buildings for occupants and improve the overall performance of their buildings.

At MHT Technologies, Horowitz and his team of engineers, led by Chief Technology Officer and Inspextor Co-Founder Akram "AK" Khalis, will push for innovation in four areas: automation, sustainability, integration, and standardization.

Four points of focus for MHT’s next chapter

"At our establishment, we view automation as a means to enhance, not supplant, human abilities," stated Khalis, who possesses an uncommon trio of engineering degrees in mechanical, electrical and software disciplines. "Incorporating a human element in intelligent building automation ensures accountability, a crucial aspect for fostering a sustainability mentality."

Inspextor users act as human witnesses that must approve all prescribed actions generated by the software’s models. This algorithm, called "human-in-the-loop" (HITL), allows for human input and oversight in the decision-making process of any AI-based system.

As for integration and standardization, Khalis and Horowitz insist both are necessary for smart building automation to scale at a meaningful pace in the U.S. "A building can host 1,000 different highly intelligent gadgets and sensors," said Horowitz, "But if they can’t talk to or learn from one another, all you have is a ‘dumb’ building with ‘smart’ devices. There’s virtually no value."

"Accelerating the development and publication of standards for smart building IoT devices, automation technologies and data analytics will grease the wheels of device integration," Khalis added. "Of course, standardization will also give building automation buyers added layers of legitimacy and confidence they need to satisfy the many different stakeholders within the building and construction ecosystem."

Enhanced digital presence for MHT Technologies

In conjunction with the name change, MHT Technologies also has launched a new website to showcase its range of smart building solutions. Found at www.mht-technologies.com, the site features detailed information on the company’s products and services, case studies and resources for building owners and operators who are interested in improving the performance of their buildings.

"We are excited to unveil our new brand as MHT Technologies," said Horowitz. "Change is foundational to our culture. It’s our commitment and our privilege to push the envelope when we see a better way. Buildings are one of our planet’s hungriest energy consumers. The good news is that we can stop the gluttony. And in doing so, improve our own lives at work, at school, in hospitals and care facilities and in countless other physical spaces that are powering our increasingly digital lives."