ORLANDO, Fla.— For industrial lighting controls to become part of any Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure, the lighting industry is going to have to overcome two primary hurdles: 1) lack of intelligence in lighting devices and 2) a lack of common control standards. That’s the primary focus of “How Smart Lighting Headaches are Delaying IoT,” a presentation to be delivered by Russ Sharer, Vice President of Global Marketing for Fulham Co., Inc., at IoT Evolution to be held January 22 – 25 in Orlando, Florida.
As Sharer notes, there already is a new category of “clever” LED lighting products with on-board intelligence and programmability. To elevate these clever devices to smart lighting requires integration as well as intelligence, providing two-way communications for device monitoring and control. This is where the lighting industry is lagging behind; adopting common communication standards that can integrate current lighting controls into an IoT infrastructure.
“The challenges the lighting community are facing are typical of many industries; how to develop a common set of protocols to integrate legacy smart devices into an IoT infrastructure, said Sharer. “Clearly, IoT is going to be the foundation for building automation, but there are too many proprietary lighting control and communications standards. Today, customers can choose between DALI, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and many more for lighting controls, but there is still no guarantee of integration with a central IoT platform.”
To complicate the interoperability issue, many vendors are creating their own flavors of popular control standards. For example, some vendors are using DALI electrically and signaling, but adding proprietary commands for basic functions. Similarly, Zigbee has multiple variants of commands for when a luminaire is turned “off,” so two luminaires can receive the same signal and one device dims while the other turns off completely, which matters when it comes to energy consumption and extending the life of the luminaire.
“The teething pains of the lighting control industry are the perfect test case for other IoT control applications,” said Sharer. “It shows that without a well-defined set of common control standards, there is no way to implement control using IoT.”
Sharer’s presentation, “How Smart Lighting Headaches are Delaying IoT,” is scheduled to take place Thursday, January 25, at 10:00 a.m. #IOTEVOLUTION.