LED lighting system transformation: intelligent lighting & Internet of Things

Over the past two decades, LEDs have evolved from traditional stand-alone bulb lighting applications to total lighting system designs and are now evolving into digital LED systems including networking or network lighting, smart lighting and people-focused lighting (HCL). Since LEDs are sources of solid-state lighting (SSL), this evolution is unbelievable, but anything is possible.

However, in the face of fierce competition, the commercialization of LED and LED modules has slowed the progress of LED lighting technology. Over the years, the LED industry has focused on cost-effective design, but industry giants are now paying more attention to developing more advanced LED lighting designs. That existing LED lighting company will discuss how to accelerate these technology-focused transitions and how to gain a deeper understanding of current market issues to unlock the full potential of smart lighting and the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Recently, many lighting companies are pushing their own lighting solutions. Leading LED lighting manufacturers demonstrate their value in some of the leading applications by demonstrating the best solutions to solidify their leading LED market position. However, as the lighting industry continues to grow rapidly, standardizing the interoperability of open platforms is crucial for most networking applications. In addition, the transition costs from traditional lighting to digital lighting must be further reduced.

1. Lighting control evolution

The future of digital lighting is shaping in a three-phase transition (Figure 1). The change takes the form of web lighting, smart lighting or HCL (also known as health lighting). As of 2015, the areas of these transitions appear to be very clear, but there is a huge overlap now.

Pic 1 Chronology of digital lighting shifts shows application overlap

Over the past decade, major lighting manufacturers and control system companies have developed several proprietary solutions that increase energy savings through centralized control over wired or wireless connectivity technologies. The primary purpose of the first generation solution was to create a lighting network that focused on connecting lighting products. While this simple approach will continue for some time, this approach is not welcome as luminaire manufacturers are generally reluctant to use proprietary solutions for digital lighting conversion. These solutions do not work on a large scale and interoperability has not been fully demonstrated with ever-evolving network technologies such as advanced sensor networks, next-generation telephony networks, and PANs (personal area networks) / BANs (body area networks) 

Based on an open platform, the use of smart technologies for energy savings enables small and medium sized lighting manufacturers and control system companies to maximize the interoperability of smart devices, primarily through wireless technologies. The purpose of the second generation solution is to regulate communication protocols and to reduce the pain of debugging and pairing when smartphones are the primary smart device and user interface. In addition, the convergence of sensor and actuator networks (SANs) creates another valuable way to enhance the expansion of networks. ZigBee and Smart Technologies are the key solutions driving the next generation of digital lighting.

The ultimate goal of digital lighting is to develop a hub for the Internet of Things to provide PAN / BAN with additional networking capabilities. In the early days of digital lighting (around 2005), the number of smart devices equaled the number of people in the world. But now, almost everyone has several mobile devices, and by 2020, average users will have several smart devices at their place of work and home. This trend also led to a shift in the smart lighting network infrastructure. Third-generation digital lighting needs to provide each node with an IP (Internet Protocol) address and an end-to-end security architecture that protects personal data with hardware, firmware and / or software.

2. Smartphone controls the effects of lighting

Over time, the importance of smart phone and related electronics technology will become more apparent. These technologies will be a center of mass information sharing, increasing user awareness and improving network communications. When we control lighting, we usually use switches, sensors and wall controls. In the early stages, these switches, sensors, and wall controls were optimized for traditional or low-level digital lighting. However, people increasingly want to monitor the status of remote devices and control them remotely using a smartphone.

The second key point is that advanced technology has evolved to adapt to smart technologies such as Low Energy and ZigBee technology is very different, ZigBee does not support the use of smart phones for direct control. Although BLE supports grid technology and direct control of IoT applications, ZigBee does not. This control is important for high-density end-node applications such as smart home, so BLE will soon be standardized.

The third key point is that smartphones can become cloud access points via 3G, 4G, LTE data networks or Wi-Fi, enabling near real-time data analysis and extensive use of remote real-time services. In terms of the security and flexibility of using information services, smartphone control will be more widely developed on demand to make the payment process easier and more secure.

Equally important, we need to share space and assets, including the lighting used by building occupants. In smart home, family members can easily control appliances and safety equipment no matter where they are located or where remote control is required. In order to achieve this, connection pairing needs more convenient.

3. Smartphone controls lighting grading

Now take a look at the hierarchy of smartphones controlling lighting. This article discusses mainly BLE-based technologies because BLE technology has great potential and is widely accepted throughout the industry.

In networked lighting, lights in residential or commercial buildings are typically controlled by triacs or 0-10V dimmers, providing control signals to the LED module drivers in each fixture.

Smartphone control can usually be divided into three levels: C1, C2 and C3. In most cases, C0 is the conventional control scheme currently in use (Figure 2). You can choose an existing driver to add a dedicated controller with a BLE sensor or switch on the top of the C0 so you can control it directly without a cloud server. In C1 mode, multiple smartphone controls allow users to share lighting controls with others.

Pic 2 Use your smartphone for level 3 lighting control

To further control the lights and sync with the cloud, the C2 solution can demonstrate all control and sensed data to the cloud and record all the analytics provided by the cloud. The generated data can be easily obtained by subscription.

To control your smart device from anywhere, you can add Wi-Fi / BLE bridges quickly and add to control lighting through the cloud within the BLE grid. In many cases, consumers want to control lighting or appliances to confirm their status when going out, or to remotely observe the status or to set the ideal configuration in a smart space, which can be done in C3 control mode.

4. Prerequisite for the prosperity of intelligent lighting era

There are several major challenges facing the industry in completely shifting from traditional lighting to digital lighting. In fact, some say the timing of smart lighting for most lighting projects is from now until early 2018.

Given the reduced cost of LEDs and the increasing penetration of LEDs, it makes sense to accelerate the transition from traditional lighting to an open platform for network lighting or smart lighting. However, network lighting as a proprietary solution has not been popular with end users because of its high cost.

Therefore, it is necessary to address the key prerequisites for achieving high prosperity in the era of intelligent lighting. The industry needs an open platform based on industry standards. It requires an acceptable cost, as well as a wide range of user advantages.

In order to meet these requirements, DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface), ZigBee and advanced technology has been in the process of standardization as the core connection method for lighting networks, sensor networks and wireless telephone networks. Most of the 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. Starting in the second half of 2017, most new smart lighting products will be based on DALI 2.0, ZigBee 3.0 and BT 5.0.

5. An example of smart lighting

Here are some examples of seamless smart lighting, policymakers see, will reduce the corresponding resistance and accelerate the widespread adoption of intelligent lighting, as shown in Figure 3. In the United States, LED lighting manufacturers can install dimmable drivers to improve LED lighting or continue using traditional dimmers, such as triacs or 0-10V. Using existing LED lighting systems, a BLE dimmer or BLE smart dimmer can be added as an alternative to triacs / 0-10V dimmers, which allows smartphones to be more flexible in residential spaces Use remote control technology.

Pic 3 Seamless options for C1 control methods

Similarly, the same technology can be applied to switches and sensors to convert most existing components to smart components while retaining some of their original design components. With backward compatible smart drivers, existing controllers can be matched to the new CCT tunable driver. In addition, LED modules, drivers, and controllers can be combined into a single board (or S engine) to reduce costs to acceptable levels.

The seamless connectivity approach will be based on BLE-enabled solutions or solutions using the BLE / ZigBee combination. By using the BLE / ZigBee combined monolithic solution, which will be available in the second half of 2017, digital ICs can be easily and cost-effectively implemented.

Pic 4 Enable BLE solution and BLE/ZigBee 

6. The combined solution will be in order

Overall, the lighting manufacturers in the selection of digital lighting advantages are very attractive. To illustrate this point, the main advantage of each step of intelligent digital lighting is shown in Figure 5. Adding BT to an existing Triac / 0-10V architecture requires additional cost, but cheaper to add an existing dimmer to smart features. Adding BLEs to switches and sensors, and analyzing conditions for using smarter control, while maintaining code compliance, we can save more energy.

In addition, by enabling multiple phone controls on any home appliance, the initial investment can become more cost-effective, especially when the control device is in remote control mode.

Article - from LEDinside

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