Motel 6 made famous the phrase, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” But Tom Bodett might need to change his tune to say: “Our IoT-based, automated lighting system will use sensors to identify when you’re coming and turn the lights on when you arrive.” Granted, that might not have quite the same ring to it. But, as we learned at last month’s LightFair International (LFI) in Pittsburg, it’s a signal of what’s to come as commercial and urban lighting become increasingly modernized, connected, and “smart”. LFI is the world’s largest architectural and commercial lighting trade show. We attended this year’s conference with our partner, Visionaire Lighting, as they launched our new smart city lighting collaboration, Pangea, to the lighting space.
While touring the show floor, we also saw new tools, technologies, and trends that will have a significant impact on the smart lighting space in the near term, and might even have implications for other industries. Here are our top two takeaways from the conference:
- Bluetooth Mesh – Bluetooth mesh, a protocol that enables many-to-many communications over Bluetooth radio, has made a big splash in the lighting space. Several companies showcased products that were Bluetooth mesh-enabled, and one, Silvair, even won the LFI Innovation Award for its Bluetooth mesh solution for lighting control. These lighting products leverage the Bluetooth standard to set up, scale, and manage wireless lighting controls – allowing for the control of wireless switches, IoT sensors, and other Bluetooth-enabled components from a laptop or handheld device. This means a user can dim the light or set a light schedule from their smartphone. Armed with this technology, commercial spaces have more comprehensive building data and smart energy management capabilities – and as a result are often able to reduce lighting costs and conserve energy.
- DALI-2 D4i – This new connectivity device standard from the Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA) is an extension of the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface-2 (DALI-2) certification for intra-luminaire products. First, D4i standardizes the way data is stored and accessed. This enables smart luminaires that are capable of participating in IoT. Second, D4i defines how a driver with an integrated DALI bus power supply can provide power to a connected DALI device on the bus. While this certification is specifically focused on lighting today, it could go far beyond the lighting field, moving into other components of a “smart” city design. That’s because it provides valuable metrics (such as energy-related data, temperature, voltage, dim-driver, and more), identifies standards for inter-device communications, and monitors the health of hardware devices and sensors.
Staying at the forefront of trends and advancements in the lighting space is just one of the ways that Dev IQ builds its expertise for designing and developing smart city components. For more information about the “smart” work we’ve done with our lighting partner, Visionaire, click here. Or let’s connect and we’ll show you how we work with businesses looking to develop new solutions or upgrade their current products for the smart city customer.
CEO at Dev IQ, triathlete, and technological philosopher.