Trend Report from Light + Building 2018

Connectivity, connectivity and connectivity… A trend report from Light + Building 2018

What was the main topics at Light + Building 2018 and what can we learn from historic trends within the lighting industry? Don´t miss our CTOs trend report from the intense Frankfurt week.

10 years ago we discussed how and when the LED was going to be used and adopted by the market and I think many of us was surprised how fast the LED revolution happened. The LED is now commoditized and something we take for granted for sure.

At the 2018 edition of Light + Building, one thing stood clear, there was a massive interest around the “Connected fixture” and I recognize the same excitement and hunger for knowledge as I experienced with the LED, back in the days.

The IoT-revolution

But the connectivity revolution has a main difference from the LED technology revolution. The LED was a direct replacement of the light bulb and therefore a technology quite easy for the lighting manufacturers to understand – Connectivity is not.

With the LED we discussed CRI, color temperature and lumen/W which everyone in the lighting industry understands. But when we now talk about connectivity we use expressions like IPv6, network scaling capabilities and latency. Expression and quality indicators new to the industry.

However we are in the middle of the IoT-revolution, the future for the fixture manufacturer is wireless connectivity on a massive scale. What we see is a business driven requirement that more or less says: “– Connect or die

Connectivity providers

This means that the lighting business needs to adapt to a technology radically different to any other technologies seen before… and it needs to happen now. The lighting business obviously needs help and there are many connectivity providers trying to get a share of the market.

Unfortunately I see that many of these connectivity providers does not really know the requirements of the lighting business, nor how to deal with them. This reminds me a little bit about the excitement when the HF-ballast for fluorescent lighting was introduced. A great technology indeed, but it attracted suppliers that shouldn’t really have entered the lighting industry. Many of the luminaire manufacturers got a cold shower when lower quality HF ballast literally burned in the field, resulting in huge costs.

Understanding wireless lighting

Connectivity for the lighting business has been LumenRadio’s core focus since the start 10 years ago, and we are today the de-facto standard of wireless lighting controls within professional lighting. Our many years of experience within lighting and IoT has given us a lot of knowledge;

  • We know that in a commercial building the number of luminaires easily scales beyond thousands.
  • We know that when you flick the switch all the lights should turn on instantly, not with a few seconds delay with fixtures turning on randomly like popcorn pops.
  • We understand that scaling also means low maintenance complexity.
  • We also understand that scaling means that the luminaire needs to be integrated in the regular IT infrastructure talking standard IPv6.

At LumenRadio we have the technology for connecting the luminaire from basic room control to massive scaling for building wide control. We know wireless light controls! Interesting times lie ahead and if you want to learn more about connectivity please contact us.