The Importance of Standardization
To fully realize this vision and for the commercial connected lighting market to reach mass adoption, standards must be in place to ensure all lighting system components can interoperate smoothly. The two most important components of any commercial connected lighting system are the luminaires and the lighting control network. The collaboration between the Bluetooth SIG and the DALI Alliance brings together the trade association that oversees Bluetooth® technology, the leading IoT standard for wireless lighting control networks, and the organization responsible for the leading IoT standard for intelligent luminaires. The result of that collaboration, the Bluetooth Mesh to DALI Gateway Specification, establishes a bridge between the lighting controls and the sensor-rich luminaires that enables the movement and analysis of building operations data to achieve valuable energy savings, lower maintenance costs, and enhanced services for building managers.
Interoperability between lighting controls and intelligent luminaires benefits everyone on the value chain, from manufacturers to end users. The market will benefit from a wider selection of interoperable intelligent lighting components that will help accelerate the adoption of intelligent, IoT-enabled lighting systems in retrofit and new-build environments.
According to a recently released article by Szymon Slupik, CTO and co-founder at Silvair, Bluetooth® distributed control architecture perfectly matches the DALI application controller concept. “It is not often that you see independent architectures that match and extend each other so well,” said Slupik. “The technology match, together with the close collaboration between the Bluetooth SIG and DiiA, means that the market will benefit from a wider selection of interoperable intelligent lighting components. This, in turn, accelerates the adoption of intelligent, IoT-enabled lighting systems in retrofit and new-build environments. Ultimately, this leads to energy savings and enhanced comfort and user experience, which everyone can afford.”
The collaboration between the Bluetooth SIG and DALI Alliance demonstrates the critical role that standardization plays in removing the barriers prohibiting wider adoption of commercial connected lighting. Standards have always been the catalysts for widespread market adoption. Without standardization, mass adoption remains out of reach. The collaboration will help ensure the development of devices from different manufacturers capable of working together to establish a global, interoperable ecosystem of lighting products, and will help ensure that Bluetooth mesh, when paired with certified DALI-2 and D4i devices, remains the wireless lighting control technology of choice for the professional lighting industry.
“We are excited to support this collaboration between the Bluetooth SIG and DALI Alliance. Establishing a standard Bluetooth mesh interface for D4i intelligent luminaries will open up industry opportunity and enable the deployment of even more advanced, interoperable IoT-enabled commercial lighting systems, while ensuring an equivalent light control behavior between both standards.”
– Arnulf Rupp, Head of Standardization at OSRAM
The Momentum of Bluetooth® Mesh
A growing ecosystem of Bluetooth® commercial lighting products from leading vendors such as Delta Electronics, Fulham, Leedarson Lighting, McWong, Murata, OSRAM, Sylvania, Zumbtobel, and others is helping drive a 130% CAGR of annual shipments of Bluetooth enabled commercial lighting solutions by 2026. Large-scale implementations in warehouses, retail, horticulture, and commercial offices, including a near 4,000 node deployment in a 22-story office building in North America, offer proof of Bluetooth mesh networking’s scalability and reliability in demanding commercial settings. The unique decentralized control architecture of Bluetooth mesh distributes intelligence across the network and eliminates single points of failure, bringing the resiliency, performance, and ease of implementation needed by installers, building managers, and end users in commercial installations. In addition, unlike other low-power wireless mesh networking technologies, Bluetooth mesh is a complete, full-stack solution that defines everything from the low-level physical radio layer through the high-level application layer, enabling easier product development and greater levels of product interoperability.
The Future of Commercial Connected Lighting
The Bluetooth Mesh® to DALI Gateway Specification represents a key step in enabling lighting control systems to shift from a single-function solution to a platform that feeds building management systems and helps position intelligent lighting infrastructures as central to satisfying the growing demand for increased energy efficiency and improved occupant experience in sustainable, human-centric buildings.
To help streamline the delivery of products to market, the Bluetooth SIG and DALI Alliance are also working together to make it easier for vendors to complete both the Bluetooth product qualification and DALI-2 and D4i product certification processes necessary to ensure interoperability. More information regarding product qualification and certification is expected later this year.