How to Light, IoT/Smart Lighting

How to Light: Do I have to use a smartphone to control the lighting on a Bluetooth mesh network?

This question was answered by the technical team at Silvair.

No, there are plenty of other options. The Bluetooth radio transmitter can be found in every smartphone on the market, so these devices can be conveniently used to connect with a Bluetooth mesh lighting network. A smartphone equipped with the relevant apps is a perfect tool for commissioning the system or adjusting its settings. And while it can also be used to directly control the luminaires, the number of actual cases for such smartphone control is very limited.

Since Bluetooth mesh is designed for professional lighting applications, its specification puts a strong focus on efficient communication between the luminaires and sensing devices. A software controller, located inside each luminaire, supports sensor-driven control strategies, such as occupancy sensing or daylight harvesting. The low cost of implementing such strategies is probably one of the biggest benefits provided by Bluetooth mesh. If you combine this with flexible scheduling capabilities, you can build a wireless control system that rarely requires human intervention.

However, autonomous lighting control scenarios can always be overridden, thus allowing occupants to take full control whenever necessary.

But again, smartphones do not seem like the most convenient devices for manual lighting control. Wall switches have been around for decades and we are all quite comfortable with using them for controlling the lighting environment. Bluetooth mesh also enables switch control and with the ultra-low-power characteristics of the Bluetooth radio, this can be accomplished by using battery-powered wireless switches or even energy-harvesting wireless switches that don’t require batteries.
These switches can be used not only to simply turn the lights on/off, but also to trigger predefined lighting scenes or sensor-driven control scenarios. Manual dimmers can be used, too, to control the output of the luminaires in a Bluetooth mesh network.


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