ZigBee Alliance completes LED-centric Light Link standard

April 23, 2012
ZigBee Light Link will enable plug-and-play deployment by consumers of LED-based SSL products and wireless sensors and controls from multiple vendors.

Targeted at the residential space, the ZigBee Light Link standard promises to enable consumers to simply deploy solid-state lighting (SSL) with adaptive controls without having a complex dedicated control system. The standard is intended to enable interoperable LED-based lighting, sensors, timers, switches and other elements from multiple vendors that connect over the ZigBee wireless mesh network.

"ZigBee Light Link provides an easy-to-use and intuitive approach to next generation lighting that has the backing and support of top tier companies and product development is already underway," said Jos Bruins, ZigBee Light Link working group chair from Philips. "The ZigBee Alliance provided our technical working group with an excellent platform to complete ZigBee Light Link in a fast and professional manner – a standard we know that will spur the industry’s new lighting propositions."

Light Link was defined to allow considerable flexibility in terms of deployment. In its simplest form, Light Link will allow a consumer to purchase a wireless-enabled SSL product and a complementary product such as a light or occupancy sensor, and easily pair the devices for operation. At the most complex end of the spectrum, consumers can use Light Link-enabled products in whole-house networks and control the network via dedicated ZigBee-enabled control panels or over the Internet with a PC, smartphone, or tablet computer.

"ZigBee Light Link sets a new bar," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "It provides a very affordable, easy to install and easy to use standalone lighting solution specifically addressing the general consumer market, but at the same time remains capable of integrating with the broader family of ZigBee home automation solutions."

Light Link certification

Along with the announcement of completion of the Light Link standard, the ZigBee Alliance and TRaC Global announced that the latter is the first test organization that will conduct Light Link testing for the ZigBee Certified products program. Indeed TRaC has already certified some products.

"We have played an instrumental part in bringing the ZigBee Light Link standard to market, having provided independent testing for the first ZigBee Certified products submitted by Atmel, Ember, Osram, Philips and Texas Instruments," said Paul Russell, director at TRaC. "This places TRaC in a unique position as the first ZigBee Light Link test house and is another great accolade to add to our portfolio and customer offering."

The certified products are detailed on the ZigBee Alliance Light Link Certified Products webpage. The products certified thus far are primarily development platforms that lighting and controls companies can leverage to accelerate the process of bringing end products to market.

The list of lighting companies that participated in the Light Link development includes stalwarts GE Lighting, Osram Sylvania and Philips Lighting. Clearly there is substantial interest in the control-centric technology. The Zigbee Alliance will host a free webinar on May 16 for lighting-industry participants that want to learn more about the standard.

Other ZigBee lighting news

In other ZigBee news, Daintree Networks announced additions to its family of ZigBee Wireless adaptors. The products primarily target wireless lighting networks in commercial buildings, although can be applied in home applications. The new products include the WA100 that can control as many as 10 fixtures and switch 15A of AC current. The WA100-PM adds power monitoring capability, while the WFA100 is designed to be integrated into fixtures by lighting manufacturers. The WFA100-SN adds support for local sensors.

"Our mission is to deliver intelligence to the lighting in every commercial building, and this vision relies upon low cost, standards-based wireless connectivity," said Danny Yu, CEO, Daintree Networks. "By expanding on the success of our existing Wireless Adapter products, we’re providing the lighting industry with the most complete and robust set of options for wireless control – all using a trusted, open standard rather than non-interoperable, proprietary technology."

Daintree also announced recently that its Wireless Area Controller products had achieved ZigBee Certification for use ZigBee Home Automation and ZigBee Building Automation systems.