New alliance to get light fixtures IoT-ready

Friday, 12 May, 2017

Global lighting and LED driver manufacturers, IoT technology companies and industry groups have joined forces to form the IoT-Ready Alliance.

The alliance aims to set industry standards that will enable LED light fixtures to be ‘IoT-Ready’, facilitating a quick and easy installation of advanced IoT sensors — “as simple as changing a light bulb”. This is expected to enable building operators to easily upgrade the sensors, ultimately futureproofing their buildings as IoT technology continues to advance at a much more rapid pace than that of LED fixtures.

LED light fixtures typically boast a long lifetime of 15 years or more, which means major IoT technology upgrades will occur throughout the LED fixture’s life. These upgrade cycles for the IoT sensors call for a cost-effective, low-impact method of changing sensors.

Enlighted CEO Joe Costello stresses the need to solve this challenge immediately. There is tremendous urgency to enable today’s LED luminaires to be easily upgraded with IoT technology, said Costello. “Otherwise, these luminaires condemn buildings to be unintelligent for the entire life cycle of those fixtures. Fifteen or more years is a long time before building owners have another chance to install smart sensors. With IoT-Ready fixtures, customers can install futureproof LED luminaires in their buildings.”

The IoT-Ready Alliance is currently working to standardise the key interface characteristics to futureproof lighting fixtures. Both fixture-integrated and external sensors are being addressed. The IoT-Ready standards will include definitions for electrical interfaces, connectors and mechanical form-factors.

“IoT-based lighting systems have tremendous potential to optimise energy efficiency and bring new kinds of value to the lighting and building industries and beyond,” DesignLights Consortium Technical Director Gabe Arnold said. “By standardising the interface between these IoT systems and the luminaires they are attached to, the IoT-Ready Alliance is addressing an essential aspect needed to unlock the full technology potential and enable widespread adoption.”

Initial industry participants include Enlighted, Tridonic, DesignLights, Aruba (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company), Click Technology, DECO Lighting, DesignLights Consortium, Enlighted, ERP Power LLC, Focal Point, MEAN WELL, Orion Energy Systems, Selux, Shenzhen Lighting Control, Silergy Corp, Tridonic, Universal Lighting Technologies and USAI Lighting. The alliance is open to any organisation interested in driving the future of IoT and smart buildings.

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