June 8, 2017: Smart LED lighting has emerged as one of the most popular innovations in the lighting industry, but lack of standards is causing difficulties for the manufacturers of smart LED lighting to connect to the emerging wireless communication technologies like
Bluetooth with its mesh networking support. Bluetooth with its mesh networking support aims to standardize a Bluetooth-based mesh for modern buildings and all smart devices.
The advanced smart LED lighting systems offer a lot than just lighting a space. Since 2015, a number of manufacturers have entered the smart lighting market as it has the potential for new business models with steady revenue stream. Many manufacturers are also focusing on connected technologies.
The trend in 2016 clearly showed that many LED lighting manufacturers are partnering with technology companies to put smart technologies into their products. They are also acquiring company that provide cloud services, wireless connectivity, or advanced data analytics. So it is clear that LED lighting systems are becoming digital.However, lack of standardization is a major limitation to mass adoption of connected LED lighting solutions. As a result, new technologies that emerge as innovations, face the challenge of not been adopted on a mass scale.
Bluetooth mesh standards
Bluetooth Mesh is one of those mature standards, which has the potential to revolutionize the LED lighting industry. Bluetooth wireless networking helps to control different devices, and can be used to switch on or off the entire lights of a home from even remote areas.
In the past, Bluetooth had a limitation where an individual could only connect from a smartphone to a device. However the Bluetooth Special Interest Group engineers are altering that so that each Bluetooth device will be able to communicate to one another. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group claims that once the mesh networking support is introduced into the protocol’s core specification, all problems will be sorted out.
In 2010, the Bluetooth Core Specification version 4.0 was released, commonly known as Bluetooth Smart. It was introduced to take care of the requirements of the new generation smart devices, including the smart LED lighting systems. Unfortunately, Bluetooth Smart couldn’t address the needs of the building automation segment.
The Bluetooth Smart did not include mesh networking in its core specifications. However, In 2015, Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced that development of Bluetooth Mesh has started, and the standard would be adopted in 2016. The group’s intention is mainly focused on connected homes and related applications in the Internet of Things cosmos.
The group is at present looking forward to boost the range of Bluetooth 4.0+ by a feature of four. Also, they are willing to standardize mesh-networking support which may permit a chain of Bluetooth devices to transmit data from one node to the other such as digital bucket brigade with the possibility to blanket a whole building with coverage. Mesh networking holds guarantee for smart home products since it may as well allow for a decentralized system of devices rather than having to route the whole thing via a single controller center.
Thus, the LED lighting industry is anxiously waiting for the Bluetooth mesh standards that can help integrate advanced technologies into LED lighting systems.