The introduction of the power-saving Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) standard and the expansion of the protocol to include the ability to form mesh networks makes Bluetooth technology the first choice for supporting commercial lighting control networks with maximum interoperability.
Luminaires equipped with sensors can connect to any other devices and sensors via Bluetooth® mesh, forming a wireless network in which all nodes can communicate reliably with each other. This makes Bluetooth mesh the only wireless standard capable of supporting a completely decentralized infrastructure and eliminating single points of failure. This is not just about energy-efficient lighting management. Bluetooth mesh supports countless other functionalities, such as optimal building utilization, improved occupant experience, and more efficient building operations.
As a technology leader for lighting sensor technology, STEINEL Solutions is building with Bluetooth® mesh. In an interview with Manuel Siegrist, sales and product manager SENSOTEC at STEINEL Solutions AG, we discovered more about innovative possibilities in building control, viable lighting networking, and future IoT functionalities.
Q&A with Manuel Siegrist, Sales & Product Manager SENSOTEC at STEINEL Solutions AG
Could you briefly describe your current solutions that use Bluetooth® mesh?
STEINEL Solutions offers intelligent sensor technology for professional building lighting, and we develop and manufacture customized solutions for smart building automation through lighting installations. With Bluetooth® mesh, we have, for the first time, established an overarching standard which is easy to install and very simple to use. All our lighting sensors in the SENSOTEC series are therefore equipped with Bluetooth mesh, allowing us to achieve a completely new level of interoperability with numerous functionalities and great savings potential as well as virtually unlimited possibilities for further IoT applications. Bluetooth mesh enables reliable and wireless networking for modern building control. Best of all, everyone already has access to this technology via their smartphone or tablet.
With Bluetooth® mesh, we have…established an overarching standard which is easy to install and very simple to use.
Why did you decide to use Bluetooth® mesh?
Controlling light and network luminaires, without cables and additional hardware, from any mobile device: this and much more is possible with Bluetooth® mesh networking. That’s why Bluetooth mesh is revolutionizing lighting design. In addition to the widespread use of this standard, reliability was a decisive factor for us. Another aspect: we already gained very good experience with Bluetooth technology in our sensors. Our entire company selected Bluetooth mesh as the overarching standard. A future-proof decision.
Thanks to Bluetooth® technology, we can offer a control app for our sensors that can be used by every facility manager. The sensors are initialized and configured with the app, which also allows definition of luminaire groups with configurable behavior. This in turn can be linked to switches, dimmers, or sensors. For example, only certain required areas of an event hall are illuminated. Depending on the luminaire, brightness, light color, and color temperature, for example, can also be controlled manually or automatically. In addition, we can regularly issue updates for the control of sensor networks via firmware updates of the app.
What additional functionalities beyond lighting does Bluetooth® mesh already offer for smart building control?
Bluetooth® enabled sensors give building managers immediate access to numerous smart optimization options.
Energy-efficient building management offers great savings potential: energy data and consumption can be measured and evaluated with pinpoint accuracy. This directly identifies unnecessary power consumption and saves costs. Some of our customers achieve energy savings of over 90 percent and thus operate their buildings in a much more environmentally friendly way.
Another option is to improve space utilization in commercial properties or event spaces through heat maps. They provide accurate information on the actual volume of people in the premises and show where there is an opportunity for optimizing space utilization, for example, whether each area needs to be lit or also heated. This information can also be used to collect and evaluate data on the utilization of flexible office workstations. This provides a reliable overview of actual demand and more efficient building utilization.