Feature, IoT/Smart Lighting

Sensor standard paves way for internet-connected lights

Jon Potter, business development manager for Signify, believes the Sensor Ready protocol – which allows sensors communicate with the cloud via Dali drivers – could help lighting become the backbone of the so-called Internet of Things

THE SHARING of Signify’s Sensor Ready standard with the industry will drive adoption of internet-connected lighting and the exciting possibilities and applications it opens up, a senior executive in the company has declared.

Luminaires equipped with sensors will be able to inform building managers about space utilisation, air quality, meeting room occupation and more.

Jon Potter, business development manager for Signify, believes the protocol – which allows sensors to communicate with the cloud via Dali drivers – could help lighting become the backbone of the so-called Internet of Things in commercial and industrial buildings.

‘Connectivity is probably going to be one of the biggest disruptors to our industry since LEDification back in 2000/2002, and we want to make sure that the industry is ready for that.

‘We want to show that the luminaire can be the backbone of the infrastructure for the IoT world. The [Sensor Ready] standard is something that we’ve been pushing for a few years through the [Digital Illumination Interface Alliance]’.

The SR2 drivers implement the DiiA specifications as published in November.

‘What this basically means is we’ve agreed that a Dali driver will now be able to digitise the information in a standard format and it will be an intra-luminaire standard.

‘So there’ll be digital communication inside the luminaire between the driver and some form of node or sensor’. 

The information collected by sensors such as energy metering or diagnostic information is then passed to the cloud where algorithms turn it into useful information for building managers to act on.

Potter says it has always been Signify’s intention to turn the Sensor Ready standard into an open platform shared via the DiiA.

A luminaire equipped with a sensor and an SR driver

‘It’s an open platform and the reason that we want it to be open is that we think that the industry will adopt the standard much quicker. It means that all our competitors can now use it’.

One of the major benefits is installation cost.

‘There’s no need to pull through communication cables such as Dali. You don’t need to do any chase-outs in the wall for drop downs for switches. Everything becomes wireless. It creates a much quicker and lower cost installation and for the OEM there are fewer components needed inside the luminaire and therefore it’s a lower cost’.

Another technology which Potter believes is set for wider adoption in 2019 is the company’s Yellow Dot visual light communication platform, which now has over 40 licensing manufacturers throughout Europe. Signify says it has an installed base of around about over 3 million square feet of retail space.

Yellow Dot technology in use in a Carrefour supermarket in Lille, France, to assist shoppers in locating items on shelves

‘So that’s actually proving to us that there is market adoption. It is something that people want and there is a benefit for people who have adopted this technology.

‘It means that it’s easier for the customers to way-find around the store. It guides them to the products that the retailer wants them to be in front of, and what we find is on average we see an uplift in the shopping basket value of retailers who have installed this technology’.

Brands using the technology include Carrefour in France, Aswaaq in Dubai and MediaMarkt in Holland.

Potter says that the earliest adopters are customers in the industrial sector,  especially warehousing.

‘The main reason is that it’s a much quicker and easier install – there’s less time spent on the ladder – and the data that comes from it in terms of the energy saving, space utilisation of the warehouse and having people in the right place at the right time.

‘We’re very excited about the wireless technology. I think the future of the industry is wireless. The benefits that it brings to both the manufacturer and the end user is incredible.

‘It will be the backbone of the IoT infrastructure for any smart building or office for the future’.


  • Learn more about  the Sensor Ready platform at a dedicated SR zone at LuxLive 2019, taking place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November at London ExCeL. Entry is free – see more information HERE.