HK Lighting Fair 2018: Lighting Marches into the Era of IoT

Connectivity technologies and networking systems grow hand in hand with smart lighting. Bluetooth mesh networking, Wi-Fi, and other IoT technologies become a major smart lighting driver. The Asian Lighting Forum 2018 gathered experts and industry professionals to discuss the daily-life applications of smart lighting, connected systems and IoT.

(Source: LEDinside)

Speaking of Bluetooth technology, the applications that first come to people’s minds are probably wireless Bluetooth headphones. It has been two decades since Bluetooth used device-to-device (D2D) communication to realize audio streaming, data transmission, and navigation & positioning. The company now establishes Bluetooth mesh networking that enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications. Kai Ren, Developer Relations Manager, APAC, Bluetooth SIG, suggested that Bluetooth Mesh can serve as a platform for smart lighting and intelligent connected systems to link multiple devices together. Devices connected with Bluetooth Mesh act as nodes to form a network in which signals are passed on seamlessly. Also, Bluetooth technology allows high-level interoperability between devices manufactured by different companies, whether they are switches, fixtures or sensors. That also helps expand the penetration of the mesh networking technology.

(Source: LEDinside)

However, apart from Bluetooth technology, there exist a broad range of networking technologies, such as Wi-Fi and Zigbee. How does Bluetooth technology compete with them?

The fact is that the amount of connecting capabilities this massive wireless communication market demands is way more than those Wi-Fi and Zigbee can support, said Ren. The biggest strength of Bluetooth Mesh is that it supports virtually every operating systems, features low power consumption and is protected with data encryption, he stressed.

On the other hand, the development of Wi-Fi started relatively early and is thus comparably mature, especially in terms of technology verification. There are currently around 8 billion Wi-Fi based devices installed around the globe. Wi-Fi features strong penetrating and data transmitting capabilities. Derek Feng, DEKRA General Manager EMC & Wireless Mainland China and Hong Kong, explained the verification of Wi-Fi tests performances including interoperability, security, connection efficiency, and technology optimization, and related applications and services.

In addition, the Wi-Fi alliance delivers the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Home Design program, allowing construction companies to integrate designed Wi-Fi networks directly into builder floorplans. Buyers when moving into a new home can enjoy a perfectly connected Smart Home services without buying Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).

(Source: LEDinside)

In comparison to households, smart lighting in the public space develops much more rapidly. In particular, smartening street lights is the first step each city takes to transform into a smart city, and street lighting becomes the target of network and system developers. Street lights are deployed in every corner of a city and are thus much suited to collect various public information, said Wincy Chan, IoT Ecosystem Lead, Asia / Microsoft. The status of each streetlamp can be tracked through real-time monitoring platforms, which effectively cuts down maintenance costs. Smart street lighting systems can also switch on/off and dim the lights based on the occupancy of an area.

Microsoft has teamed up with Indian lighting company Samudra LED to launch smart street lighting plans in India, resulting in efficient urban lighting management and power savings of up to 80%.

(Source: LEDinside)

Smart lighting is thriving in Hong Kong as well. The Hong Kong government at the end of 2017 published The Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong, with an initiative to implement the multi-functional smart lampposts pilot scheme starting from 2019 to 2021 to facilitate collection of real-time city data to enhance city management and other public service with 400 street lamps in Causeway Bay, the Central Business District/Admiralty, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Kwun Tong, said Ip Kwok Leung, Nelson, Chief Engineer of Lighting Division, Highways Department. Sensors and other digital devices will be installed on the lights to collect real-time data, such as weather, traffic, occupancy, and environmental information. Those lights will also be able to support 5G communications and serve as urban Wi-Fi hotspots.

(Source: LEDinside)

OSRAM, Philips Lighting Develop IoT Technology

Lighting giant OSRAM in January released smart city management platform SymphoCity for the Chinese smart lighting market. Minna Lai, Director, Research & Development, OSRAM Lighting Solutions, APAC, stated that the company in recent years has been collaborating with local governments to deploy LED landmark luminaires featuring Chinese aesthetics in cities such as Wuhan, Shanghai, and Suzhou. With the country’s pursuit of smarter and more efficient management systems for Smart City projects, OSRAM launched the open platform that caters to the needs. Not only is it able to manage urban lighting but it is also compatible with other incumbent monitoring systems for applications such as communication, surveillance & security, and energy reading & control. 

(Source: LEDinside)

Another multinational lighting company also declared its ambition in developing IoT technology. Philips Lighting in March announced to change its name to Signify as the determination to transform its business. Following that, it released at Light + Building 2018 the IoT platform Interact to integrate all other Philips smart lighting systems for different applications. The platform can integrate various devices including lighting fixtures, sensors, and data transmitting equipment, collect data constantly generated from the systems and store it in an upgradable cloud under high-level security.

Vincent Chow, Senior Marketing Manager, Philips Lighting Hong Kong Limited, said the company leads the pack in the connected lighting space. Sales from its Connected Systems & Service business amounted to approximately EUR 900 million in 2017. The company expressed confidence in its corporate growth in the age of IoT, according to Chow.  

(Source: LEDinside)
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