by Brianna Crandall — April 13, 2018 — Fulham Co., a worldwide supplier of lighting components and electronics for commercial and specialty applications, introduced new lighting control technology using the Lighting Firmware based on the core Bluetooth mesh stack provided by Silvair, a pioneer in lighting control technology, at Light+Building 2018 in Germany. Fulham demonstrated its Bluetooth mesh lighting controllers as well as software for smart luminaires.
With the Bluetooth mesh network, the enabled luminaires don’t need to be in direct radio range of the lighting controls, as long as each device is in range of another.
Fulham’s Light+Building 2018 technology demonstration displayed products including a Bluetooth to 0-10V LED controller and a 40W LED driver with Bluetooth connectivity via a Fulham Intelligent Wireless Module. The display included a presentation of control using third-party sensors and wall switches in a Bluetooth mesh environment.
Fulham’s introduction incorporates Silvair’s wireless lighting control technology based on Bluetooth mesh, which gives users control and data gathering capabilities. Adopting Bluetooth mesh networking technology and Silvair’s wireless lighting control solution offers numerous advantages since Bluetooth is a well-defined, open standard that provides a fast, reliable performance, unmatched scalability, high-level security and out-of-the-box interoperability, points out Fulham.
Mesh networking was designed for building automation applications since it enables many-to-many communications. It is ideally suited for connected lighting as it can simultaneously connect sensors in hundreds or thousands of luminaires, notes the company. Silvair’s Lighting Firmware based on Bluetooth mesh promises to offer a wireless lighting management ecosystem that can quickly pay for itself, as well as laying the foundation for centralized lighting controls using IoT (the Internet of Things).
Russ Sharer, vice president of Business Development for Fulham, stated:
OEMs have been weighing the best approach to smart lighting controls, and our partnership with Silvair marks a key step in Fulham’s demonstration of a new wireless lighting control. Our goal is to work with OEMs to give them a choice when it comes to lighting control. With our clever lighting products, we have already added programmability to solid-state luminaires. Support for Bluetooth mesh marks the next logical step in lighting communications as the industry moves toward truly intelligent lighting.
Rafal Han, CEO and co-founder at Silvair, added:
I am excited to see the upcoming changes in the lighting industry caused by our collaboration to bring a new generation of Bluetooth mesh-enabled smart lighting components to the market…Silvair’s relationship with Fulham is an important step for making an interoperable smart lighting ecosystem a reality.
In addition to lighting controls, Bluetooth mesh networking can be used for other IoT applications, working with sensors already located in luminaires to control HVAC systems, alarm systems, fire controls, and other building controls, notes Fulham. ABI Research predicts there will be 48 billion Internet-enabled devices installed by 2021, including smart luminaires, and open standards such as Bluetooth mesh will make it possible to consolidate these devices into a central IoT infrastructure, says the company.