The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up new services and is stimulating changes in industries. The lighting industry is also embracing this change by establishing an Internet of Lights (IoL). This article highlights the main benefits and the challenges to face while going towards IoL. To address these challenges and cater to the specific requirements of lighting networks, an IoL reference architecture, Open Architecture for Intelligent Solid State Lighting Systems (OpenAIS), has been proposed. This article provides an overview of the OpenAIS architecture and explains how one can design specific systems based on this architecture. It also zooms into the configurations and design choices made in a pilot system in a real office building showing the validity of the architecture. A comparison of the OpenAIS system with a state-of-the-art commercial solution shows that IoL systems can exceed proprietary systems in several key performance indicators, such as security, interoperability, extensibility and openness.