LIGHTFAIR International 2019 made it clear that the connected future is here. What is new, what is next and what are the trends within wireless lighting controls? Take part of Niclas thoughts after coming home from the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting event in Philadelphia, USA.
Lighting and lighting manufacturing is not about light bulbs and fixtures anymore – things like IoT connectivity, human centric lighting (HCL), advanced light control for energy savings and more are now features that are being incorporated into lighting systems, all enabled by wireless connectivity.
It is clear that the luminaires of today must be IoT-ready and connected to be future proof. The technology is already here and it is now just a matter to sort out who will be the receiver of all data and who will take action. At LFI (LIGHTFAIR International) it was quite clear that the decision makers in the smart building/city needs to find the model that breaks the silos so the full vision of the IoT enabled fixture can come true.
Being IoT ready is crucial but when it comes to retrofitting buildings it is more about implementing advanced lighting controls and saving energy. By adding sensors to the luminaire and unleashing the power of smart phones/ apps the barriers to create smart environments is significantly lowered and done right these actions can be part of future IoT solution. A quick walk around the LFI show floor showed that both big and small manufacturers offer some version of control solution connected to sensors, however they all seem to be slightly different and using different protocols to communicate.
Some of the major trends shown at LFI included wireless lighting control, the continued discussion about pros/cons of bluetooth mesh, color temperature tuning and about emergency lighting and the need for, due to new regulations, automatically test exit signage on a regular basis and last but definitely not least; commissioning and maintenance.
Setting up and maintaining advanced light control system must be cost efficient, otherwise we will not see a massive roll out of the connected smart luminare. Done right, an app will take us a long way but the app in itself is not the answer to everything. A smart and efficient commissioning is more than an app – off site preparations and configurations will be key enablers.
With this heavy focus on commissioning and installation we where especially proud to exhibit our AirGlow product where we really have focused on this problem and have a quite unique solution to the market, for example the possibility for bulk commissioning in factory through NFC following the standard MD-SIG and offsite preparations through a desktop interface.
We received very good feedback from booth visitors regarding the ease by which both manufacturers and installers quickly can have their fixtures be IoT ready and within minutes do both commissioning and set different scenes.
If you want to know more about AirGlows commissioning possibilities or about our flexible business model – where you can start with AirGlow for local light control and when your business is ready you can seamlessly switch over to MiraOS with your own hardware for building wide control – Please contact sales!