A full-spectrum provider of professional and architectural lighting solutions, Feilo Sylvania supplies state-of-the-art products and systems to public, commercial, and private sectors around the world. Sylvania delivers intelligent building solutions through its SylSmart digital solutions based on qualified Bluetooth® mesh, providing high-efficiency, reliable, secure, and data-rich systems. Its products are used in a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications, including logistics, office, retail, hospitality, museums and galleries, education, and residential.

I recently had an opportunity to talk with Edward Lees, head of technical product development – digital solutions and services for Feilo Sylvania International, about new trends in Bluetooth networked lighting control in 2022 and what we can expect to see in 2023.

Q&A With Edward Lees From Sylvania

What Bluetooth technology trends most stick out to you as it relates to networked lighting control?

“…the integration of Bluetooth technology into lighting products and accessories is now…almost an expected requirement.”

From 2021 into 2022, there has been a real surge in the acceptance of wireless and Bluetooth® technology. I strongly believe the historical perception of Bluetooth technology as we knew it, from our smartphones, is being removed and more widely accepted as a viable solution for domestic, commercial, and industrial applications. From this launchpad, the integration of Bluetooth technology into lighting products and accessories is now, more than ever before, almost an expected requirement. There are still many challenges in changing a 100+ year old industry through digitalization that need to be tackled, but the future is looking bright.

What do you anticipate will be the new trends in 2023 for Bluetooth technology in networked lighting control?

Interoperability and the ability to backhaul data from qualified Bluetooth® mesh lighting control systems will be the biggest change in lighting to come in 2023. Intelligent buildings will call for more and more environmental sensing and processing at the edge. But getting the data from those devices from varying vendors could prove challenging and slow the  adoption of intelligent lighting systems. It could also breed animosity for what should be a great opportunity to augment our buildings.

Using the pervasive and ubiquitous nature of lighting, we can collect a large amount of data from different sensors and provide a conduit to the internet without dramatic implementation requirements and minimum disruption. Long term, lighting will combine with Bluetooth technology to enable service delivery in the form of asset location services and, in particular, angle-of-arrival (AoA) technology will help cement lighting as the digital backbone of the building.

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What has been the biggest demand from your customers as it relates to Bluetooth technology?

1903 Header Lighting

How can I make my building more energy efficient as quickly as possible? In commercial buildings, lighting represents 30 percent of the energy consumed, and, with the energy crisis, cost of operation has increased dramatically. Building owners and their occupants are increasingly seeking options to reduce their operating costs and their carbon footprint.

The nature of qualified Bluetooth® mesh, being wireless and so easy to integrate into lighting, has made it ideal for retrofitting energy-efficient LED lighting. It also ensures that intelligent lighting controls are driving energy consumption down by over 70 percent and improving light quality and occupant comfort simultaneously.

The de-centralized concept of qualified Bluetooth mesh places the intelligence in every luminaire and facilitates a point-to-point replacement with minimal, if any, wiring changes. A simple swap and quick programming instantly impact your operating costs. The growth in demand for connectivity and data sharing across systems has become more and more prominent. Leveraging the connectivity and open standard principles of Bluetooth technology, you can gather granular data through DiiA D4i and share it reliably and securely to other systems, such as building management systems (BMS).

What has Felio Sylvania focused on in 2022, and what will you focus on in 2023?

Feilo Sylvania has focused on making its large and diverse range of lighting products qualified Bluetooth® mesh enabled in the form of SylSmart Connected and delivering them across as many applications as possible, especially for industrial and warehouse applications. Also, we focused on enabling every device to gather a wide array of data to facilitate our 2023 vision for our connected cloud platform, SylSmart Connected Pro, to offer rich and insightful data. This information will help our customers maximize their lighting-related costs and supports digitalization and decarbonation by providing opportunities to save costs beyond lighting. As an example, we will enable granular occupancy analytics to maximize the efficient use of space and share data to other systems to augment their efficiency. It’s a very exciting year to come.

What do you think the biggest difference will be in 2022 vs 2023 for Bluetooth technology?

“I believe we will see a dramatic uptake in the use of Bluetooth technology in networked lighting control systems.”

Bluetooth® technology is reliable, secure, and interoperable. Hopefully, with the next set of Bluetooth mesh standards soon to be released, Bluetooth technology will become even more relevant, more future-proof, and even easier to adopt. Furthermore, I believe we will see a dramatic uptake in the use of Bluetooth technology in networked lighting control systems, and the availability of various device types across different applications will open up an ecosystem for customers to realize their vision.

I strongly believe the world of asset tracking and asset location will come more and more to the forefront of discussion.

The single biggest impact will be connectivity to other systems. 2024 and 2025 will see the implementation of the building automation and control systems (BACS) decree as well as an increased need for environment social governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) with evidence of performance. Bluetooth technology could have a strong role to play in helping a wide range of users, including building and business owners, meet their objectives and responsibilities. 

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Networked Lighting Control

Bluetooth® networked lighting control systems are deployed in offices, retail, healthcare, factories, and other commercial facilities to deliver a combination of energy savings, an enhanced occupant experience, and more efficient building operations.

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