LED lighting – meshed Bluetooth transforms lighting controls networks: Page 5 of 6

July 27, 2017 //By Matthias Kassner and Saara Guastella
LED lighting has revolutionised the lighting industry and creates completely new market conditions. Bluetooth Low Energy is a protocol optimised for controlling smart lighting. Due to its unique combination of low power communication with wide-spread support in smartphones, it provides an interesting alternative to other communication protocols such as zigbee and Wi-Fi and can be combined with other technologies to make smart lighting even smarter.

Energy harvesting

For any wireless device, the aspect of power supply becomes an important topic. The traditional approach of using primary or secondary batteries is not desirable in large-scale commercial buildings where maintenance and downtime are key cost driver.

To understand the challenge, one needs to consider that large office buildings have more than 10,000 individual sensor or switch nodes making maintenance (battery exchange) highly undesirable.  Energy harvesting sensors and switches have established themselves for many years as ideal solutions to this problem.

EnOcean, developer of energy harvesting wireless technology, has been deploying such devices since 2003. In October 2016, PTM 215B, the first energy harvesting switch module for Bluetooth Low Energy systems, was introduced. More recently, EnOcean launched wireless and self-powered Easyfit wall switches for Bluetooth lighting systems for worldwide usage.

Combined with self-powered Bluetooth lighting systems from Casambi, Easyfit wall switches offer lighting installers the benefits of maintenance-free, easily positionable and ready-to-use solutions, allowing flexible control as well as intuitive usage.

Figure 4: Self-powered Easyfit switches for Bluetooth lighting systems (Source: EnOcean GmbH).

These self-powered switches use the kinetic energy of the button press to generate a wireless signal for controlling and dimming. In addition, self-powered sensors can be added to address use cases where line power is not available at the desired sensor location.

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