The top 11 of lighting communication protocols
Recent studies conducted on LED lighting have revealed some remarkable rising trends in the connected lighting market. We are talking about studies that were more like an in-depth market wide analysis including surveys of varied market professionals. These studies took the views and experiences of lighting designers, product managers, engineers, lighting sales managers and other related industry players into account.
The results of the survey were interesting as well as inspiring. Around 150 lighting professionals expressed their opinion on the future of connected lighting. We all know that networked lighting or connected lighting has been the talk of the industry since its inception. Their popularity has reached such an enormity that almost every lighting article or blog features connected LED lighting along with general lighting or energy saving info.
But there is more to connected lighting than just its popularity. The market is still in its growing phase which means that there remain uncertainty and misinformation about the products relating to it. One knotty question that many industrialists are asking is “with so many lighting communication technologies or protocols in the market, what should manufacturers or lighting/network/controls suppliers really be investing in?”
The harsh truth, however, is that there is no industry standard dedicated to the connected lighting protocol that can be used for professional indoor lighting. In an effort to resolve this conundrum, market surveys proved to be useful in steering everyone in an enlightened direction.
Following some major surveys, respondents were asked to specify what kind of lighting communication tech they think will dominate the indoor lighting market in the coming 3-5 years. The answers included protocols like DALI, DMX, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Li-Fi, Analog, Power line Communication, Power over Ethernet, EnOcean, and a few more. Interestingly, half of the respondents specified that Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee are bound to dominate the indoor lighting market in the future.
The respondents were then asked about their choice of specific lighting application for different purposes such as retail, office, industrial, and hospitals. All applications echoed similar responses about Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee being the dominators of the indoor lighting market in future. The only exception was the industrial niche which showed somewhat opposing opinions.
To make things more precise, the results for different applications used for different purposes are illustrated below:
As we can see, the results are quite surprising in certain ways. Further researches and experiments are being conducted for the connected indoor lighting market. However, the initial research indicates that ZigBee and DALI are the predominantly installed lighting protocols in the present day market.
Some surveys show that DALI is not being considered as one of the major protocols for connected lighting. Another surprising fact that emerged was the role of Wi-Fi on the list. It is considered a big contender in the connected lighting area.
Initially, researchers indicated that Wi-Fi might face difficulties in scaling to large projects and that it might slow down the network bandwidth of an enterprise. It is interesting to discover, that market does not have such an impression about Wi-Fi and this need to get delved into much deeper.
Despite all the positive results, it is still too early to take a hard stance on one technology over another. Also, the responses to researches and surveys can be interpreted in different ways.
In a nutshell, the overall responses gave us the rulers of future connected LED technology. These are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee. These protocols will dominate the market and others are assumed to fade away soon in the upcoming years.
Also, the studies suggest that there still remains confusion and uncertainty in the minds of manufacturers about multiple lighting technologies. They are still unsure whether different new protocols can cater to their clientele or not.