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Standardization is key for driving smart lighting adoption

We live in a world of “hyperconnectivity”, which is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman (source) in 2001.  Think of how digitally interconnected we are to the physical world around us.  Beyond the smartphones, tablets, and computers we use each day, there are countless smart sensors in the cars we drive, the places we work, and the communities we live in.


For the lighting industry, and especially in commercial applications, Internet of Things (IoT) has brought forth a plethora of smart lighting solutions with the promise of greater energy savings and future capabilities (e.g. indoor positioning) that can transform how we transform our work space.  While the benefits are exciting, the smart lighting journey can be intimidating and confusing.  If you take the wrong turn, you may end up with one of the three undesirable outcomes that my colleague Al Marble explained in his LEDs Magazine webinar from May 30 2018.  If you are a lighting designer or specifier, can you afford to design a smart lighting system that has high risk of incompatibility, largely unanticipated operating cost, or a proprietary solution that looks like an island paradise?


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To address these pitfalls, the lighting industry is converging toward a common set of standards with respect to lighting control, power metering, and asset tracking.  Advances in digital LED driver technology supporting bi-directional data communication are gaining prominence in smart lighting fixture design over conventional lighting control technology (e.g. 0-10V).  As the diagram below illustrates, there are several important benefits of having a digital LED driver.  The main advantage being there is a more comprehensive set of lighting parameters that can be precisely controlled.  By working closely with standards organization such as American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA), which is a global consortium that aims to grow the market for lighting-control solutions based on Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) technology, Signify is contributing to the definition of the next-generation, open-standard digital interface between the digital LED driver and lighting sensors or controls.   


This effort is already catching on.  By leveraging the SR or “sensor ready” LED drivers, such as the Philips Advance Xitanium SR LED driver family, OEMs and lighting specifiers have greater design flexibility in choosing from a large ecosystem of third-party lighting controller and sensors.  Whether it’s for indoor or outdoor applications, linear or downlight fixtures, Signify offers an industry leading digital LED driver portfolio (

philips oem lighting
Smart lighting has come a long way.  There is a greater adoption of the standardized digital interface between the LED driver and lighting controls or sensors.  As a result, there is a growing ecosystem of  partners who are working together to help make commercial smart lighting mainstream.  Through the leadership of IoT lighting industry leaders such as Signify, smart lighting will become more attainable and most cost effective than ever before through greater standardization. 
Robert Lee

Written by:

Robert Lee 
North American Product Marketer – Connected Lighting