The past few months I have been doing a lot of presentations and a few key note speeches. What always comes up is “what will the next lighting control system look like?” I believe the next lighting controls will have Bluetooth Mesh Networking. What is Bluetooth Mesh Networking? Below is a great article by Ken Kolderup, Vice President of Marketing, Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Inc.
Introducing Bluetooth Mesh Networking
Bluetooth® technology, the global standard for simple, secure wireless connectivity, now supports mesh networking. The new mesh capability enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications and is optimized for creating large-scale device networks. It is ideally suited for building automation, sensor networks, connected lighting, and other IoT solutions where tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices need to reliably and securely communicate with one another.
"Bluetooth mesh networking is the most robust and powerful low-power radio technology for connected lighting in commercial spaces, and it is the change the lighting industry has been waiting for," said Rafal Han, CEO, Silvair. "We’re excited the world will finally see the efforts and contributions of Silvair and all the other dedicated working group member companies - the Bluetooth mesh revolution has officially started."
How it Works
Bluetooth mesh networking brings the unique combination of the proven, global interoperability and mature, trusted ecosystem Bluetooth technology is known for to the creation of connected lighting networks.
“Fulham is thrilled to finally see a wireless, multi-vendor, and interoperable standard for lighting controls,” said Russ Sharer, VP global marketing and business development, Fulham. “We believe Bluetooth mesh and Bluetooth Low Energy will greatly expand the size and functionality of the lighting control market.”
Bluetooth mesh networking utilizes a managed flood approach for message transmission, which is a simple and reliable form of message relay that is uniquely suited for low-power wireless mesh networks, especially those handling a significant amount of multicast traffic. This makes flood-based message relay an ideal approach for the strict reliability, scalability, and performance requirements of commercial lighting markets.
A Proven, Trusted Technology
Today, Bluetooth is the leading low power wireless connectivity technology used to stream audio, transfer data, or broadcast information between devices. Now, with the introduction of a mesh networking capability, Bluetooth mesh networking is poised to further catalyze beacons, robotics, industrial automation, energy management, smart city applications, and other industrial IoT and advanced manufacturing solutions.
"At Smart & Green, we have trusted Bluetooth technology to give us the simple, secure connectivity our customers demand," said Peter Wildhorn, general manager, Smart & Green. "With Bluetooth mesh, we can continue to develop new, innovative uses for lighting that will improve peoples’ lives."
The value-added capabilities, mature ecosystem and global brand awareness that Bluetooth wireless technology provides will enable the creation of much richer lighting control solutions with a faster time to market.
“We are serious about the lighting industry, as we believe connected lighting will pave the way for massive IoT adoption,” said Szymon Slupik, CTO, co-founder at Silvair, chair of the Mesh Working Group at Bluetooth SIG. “After two years of interoperability testing, and with contributions from the leading software, silicon, and lighting companies, we are certain that Bluetooth mesh networking will be wildly successful.”
The introduction of Bluetooth mesh networking comes at a time of pivotal industry growth, with ABI Research expecting 48 billion internet-enabled devices to be installed by 2021, of which nearly one-third will include Bluetooth. We expect Bluetooth mesh will make the largest initial impact in commercial lighting and industrial applications, and will eventually become a common technology in the larger Internet of Things ecosystem.
"By adding support for mesh networking, the Bluetooth member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new, up-and-coming markets flourish," said Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG, Inc. "In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, we believe Bluetooth mesh networking can play a vital role in helping early stage markets, such as building automation and wireless sensor networks, experience more rapid growth."
In Q1 2018 Demand Lighting will be coming out with their Bluetooth Mesh Networking control system for Demand Lighting LED lights. Please stay tuned.