Several giants such as Osram have spent the last few years unveiling several connected lighting solutions that will be the decisive factor in the development of LED lighting. However, the lighting industry continues to grow rapidly in the "smart" arena with two key factors. First, the industry must have a standardized and interoperable open platform that accommodates most lighting control. Second, manufacturers can not ignore the cost of moving from traditional lighting to digital lighting and continue to improve efficiency where possible.
The reason is that smart phones. Traditionally, we used switches, sensors, and wall controls to control lighting, but people are increasingly looking to monitor and control the status of remote devices from their smartphones anytime, anywhere.
The importance of smartphone control
With the passage of time, the importance of smartphones and other mobile devices will undoubtedly grow. These technologies have become the hub of our everyday lives, enabling us to work while traveling and managing our social life through social media. Lighting has become another part of our lives that can be controlled by mobile devices.
How smartphones connect to lighting
There are three different connection layers (C1, C2 and C3) that define how the smartphone connects to the lighting. The explanation for each "layer" is based primarily on phone function Low Energy technology because of its great potential and its high level of acceptance throughout the industry.
Picture 1. Digital lighting transition
First, the traditional lighting (C0) is usually controlled by Triac or 0-10V dimmers to provide control signals to the LED module drivers in each fixture.
In the first layer (C1), a dedicated controller can be added to an existing drive with a phone function Low Energy technology sensor or switch on top of the C0 to allow the smartphone to directly control lighting without the need for a cloud server. In this C1 mode, multiple smartphone controls allow users to share lighting controls with each other.
The second layer (C2) adds the cloud to the combination, which means that the user records the data on the lighting, for example, which lamp is lit at which time, how many lights are lit, how much power is used, and so on. The generated data can be easily implemented on a preset basis.
For the third and last layers (C3), Wi-Fi / BLE bridges have been added to allow people to control their lighting through the cloud within the BLE grid. This type of setting enables people to remotely confirm lighting status or configuration settings anytime, anywhere, or set the most appropriate configuration in smart space.
How networking makes smartphones the center of smart lighting
The three layers mentioned above are becoming more common in lighting control for several reasons. The first reason is the evolution of the protocol, which can now be adapted to smart technologies via phone function Low Energy technology. phone function Low Energy technology is completely different from ZigBee. ZigBee does not support the direct control of smartphones, but it is at the center of many IoT activities today, especially on endpoints. However, BLE can support grid technology and has direct control over IoT applications, which is important for high-density end-point applications such as smart home.
Standardization such as DALI, ZigBee is already underway as they play an important role as the core connectivity method for lighting, sensor and radiotelephone networks. As a result, most upcoming solutions will be based on standardized hardware and firmware so that all participants in the digital lighting industry can participate in developing viable end-to-end solutions. By the second half of 2017, most new smart lighting products will be based on DALI 2.0, ZigBee 3.0.
The second reason is due to the promotion and popularization of mobile networks, from 2G to 3G and 4G and LTE. These improvements ensure that smartphones can be easily connected to the cloud, allowing users to control lighting in real time from anywhere. In terms of security and flexibility in the use of information services, the Smartphone Control Section is better suited for personalized on-demand services such as healthcare services that can be identified by password or biometrics and the payment process will be easier ,safer.
Open platform is the key to success
Due to the high cost and high price, LED manufacturers have no way to build a complete, proprietary, networked lighting solution. In other words, the advantages of networked lighting at this time did not exceed the cost. Therefore, in order to reduce costs, the LED industry must have a simple and open platform standard, manufacturers can build their own intelligent lighting solutions. As cost savings and opportunities for seamless integration increase, luminaire manufacturers can freely design LED lighting systems based on open standards platforms and enhance their newly installed systems. In addition, people-oriented lighting should be built on the same platform, with more sophisticated spectrum control and additional network equipment available in PAN and BAN.
On the open platform, manufacturers should consider trying some examples of seamless smart lighting to reduce the resistance of decision makers and accelerate the widespread adoption of smart lighting, as shown in Figure 2. In the United States, LED lighting manufacturers can install dimmable drivers to improve LED lighting or continue using traditional dimmers like the Triac or 0-10V. With existing LED lighting systems, a BLE-enabled dimmer or BLE-enabled intelligent dimmer can be added in place of the Triac / 0-10V dimmer. In this way, smartphones are able to use the remote control technology more flexibly in residential spaces. With backward compatible smart drivers, existing controllers can be matched to new color temperature tunable drives. In addition, LED modules, drivers, and controllers can be incorporated into a single board (or smart engine called "S-engine") to reduce costs to acceptable levels.
Picture 2. Seamless options for C1 control
Step-by-step approach to seamless connectivity is based on BLE solutions or using the BLE-ZigBee "combo" solution. By using the BLE-ZigBee combined monolithic solution, you can easily and easily and cost-effectively.
Picture 3. BLE-enabled solution and BLE-ZigBee combined solution
In general, lighting manufacturers have a clear advantage in choosing digital lighting. In order to illustrate this directly, as shown in Figure 4. Adding phone function Low Energy technology to an existing Triac / 0-10V architecture requires additional cost, but it is less expensive than adding smart features to existing dimmers. There is another way to save more energy: Add BLEs to switches and sensors, and analyze the conditions for using intelligent control, while maintaining regulatory compliance.
Picture 4. Gradual solution has obvious market adaptability
In addition, by enabling multiple phone controls for any home appliance, the initial investment can become more cost-effective and especially useful when the control device is in remote control mode.
In addition to the gradual choice outlined above, the new multifaceted solution will support the newest control standards, DALI 2.0, BLE 5.0 (grid), and ZigBee 3.0. In addition, 2ch 0-10V dimming will be available for white tunable applications and includes energy metering to improve energy management.
In this article, the drivers behind the development of smart lighting and people-focused lighting solutions have been carefully evaluated and how they can be accelerated. Combining the phone function Low Energy technology with optimized grid and seamless end-to-end control options may be the most effective way to turn networking into people-oriented lighting. For this reason, a seamless solution based on the standard DALI, ZigBee and BLE protocols seems to be the best and most promising method right now.
Encouraging lighting manufacturers to adopt this approach is the key to the thriving smart lighting era. This year, the early digitization of LED lighting will first be based on a seamless option. The next generation of end-to-end solutions is expected to be implemented in the future, accelerating the transition from smart lighting to people-oriented lighting.