IoT-Ready Alliance to Establish Standards for IoT Sensor Installation in LED Fixtures

Internet of Things (IoT) technology companies and industry groups have established the IoT-Ready Alliance, dedicated to making installation of IoT technology in luminaires easy now and in the future. The Alliance is setting industry standards that will enable LED light fixtures to be IoT-Ready, facilitating the installation of advanced IoT sensors, as simple as changing a light bulb. This will also enable building operators to upgrade the sensors, future-proofing their buildings as IoT technology continues to advance at a rapid pace compared to that of LED fixtures.
Lighting fixtures are an ideal carrier for IoT technology in smart buildings, providing ubiquitous location for granular data collection throughout the building while delivering electric power to the sensors. A small percentage of LED fixtures have smart sensors. After the initial installation of LED fixtures, installing a sensor is cost prohibitive, making the later addition of sensors unlikely.
LED light fixtures typically boast a lifetime of 15 years or more, while IoT and smart sensor technology is evolving rapidly, at a similar pace to that of the mobile phone. This means IoT technology upgrades will certainly occur throughout the LED fixture’s life. These upgrade cycles for the IoT sensors call for a method of changing sensors.
Enlighted CEO Joe Costello stresses the need to solve this challenge immediately, a call which is being answered by the IoT-Ready Alliance. “There is urgency to enable today’s shipping LED luminaires to be upgraded with IoT technology. Otherwise, these luminaires condemn buildings to be unintelligent for the entire lifecycle of those fixtures. Fifteen or more years is a long time before building owners have another chance to install smart sensors. With IoT-Ready fixtures, customers can install future-proof LED luminaires in their buildings.”
The Alliance’s initiative addresses this challenge head on, standardizing an interface between any luminaire and any IoT sensor. This allows the sensors to be added or upgraded at any point in time.
“We are pleased key players from the lighting industry have come together to meet the needs of our customers, and Tridonic is a driving part of it,” says Guido van Tartwijk, CEO at Tridonic. “IoT-Ready future-proofs lighting fixtures so that customers do not have to worry about forward compatibility to upcoming technology upgrades that are expected in the world of IoT.”
The IoT-Ready Alliance is working to standardize the interface characteristics needed to make this happen. Both fixture-integrated and external sensors are being addressed. The IoT-Ready standards will include definitions for electrical interfaces, connectors, and mechanical form-factors.
“IoT-based lighting systems have potential to optimize energy efficiency and bring value to the lighting and building industries and beyond,” says Gabe Arnold, technical director at DesignLights Consortium. “By standardizing the interface between these IoT systems and the luminaires they are attached to, the IoT-Ready Alliance is addressing an aspect needed to unlock the full technology potential and enable adoption.”
Initial industry participants include Aruba (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company), Click Technology Co. Ltd., DECO Lighting, DesignLights Consortium, Enlighted, ERP Power LLC, Focal Point, MEAN WELL, Orion Energy Systems Inc., Selux, Shenzhen Lighting Control Co., Silergy Corp., Tridonic, Universal Lighting Technologies and USAI Lighting.
The Alliance is open to any organization interested in driving the future of IoT and smart buildings. Visit here to learn more about the IoT-Ready Alliance and how to participate.   

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