LED lighting – meshed Bluetooth transforms lighting controls networks: Page 4 of 6

July 27, 2017 //By Matthias Kassner and Saara Guastella
LED lighting – meshed Bluetooth transforms lighting controls networks
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.

New applications

Bluetooth based lighting not only enables direct control and configuration from your smartphone, but also new lighting features such as proximity sensing (also known as Beacon technology). There, the Bluetooth network detects the location of individual Bluetooth nodes based on the received signal strength in the individual nodes.

Figure 3: Proximity sensing (Source: EnOcean GmbH).

Bluetooth based networks are ideally suited for proximity sensing since the radio range of the individual nodes is – unlike for other protocols such as EnOcean radio protocol – very low. It is therefore possible to determine the location of a transmitter very accurately based on a dense receiver infrastructure.

The location information can be used to Implement proximity-sensitive smart lighting: Automatically activate a preset scene when someone enters a room, or create lighting that follows a person as they move through a building, for example.

It can work in other ways, too: Imagine a light over a shop or museum display, with a beacon built-in. As someone walks up to it, the beacon could trigger the museum’s/retailer’s app on the visitor’s smartphone to show information about the exhibit.

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