Helvar adds support for three wireless technologies in its LED driver

March 16, 2020
Ingy, Wirepas, and Chess can now be built in, widening the IoT and smart building stable at the Finnish LED controls and components company.

Finnish lighting controls and driver provider Helvar is widening its wireless offerings, adding support for protocols and software from three vendors: Wirepas, Chess, and Ingy.

Helvar, based in Espoo outside of Helsinki, said all three technologies can now be built into its new Freedom driver for LED luminaires. Freedom already supported other wireless technologies including Helvar's own ActiveAhead control system, Bluetooth including technology from Finland's Casambi, as well as offerings from two other Finnish companies, Ensto Workspaces and Mount Kelvin.

The growing stable of offerings should help Helvar tailor solutions for customers as it continues to emphasize office lighting focused on intelligent, Internet-linked controls and that delivers tunable circadian lighting aimed at human wellbeing.

In integrating software from Amsterdam-based Ingy, Helvar is making it easier to turn office lights into networks of sensors that collect data about room use and conditions, helping facility managers to then make better use of space, and supporting lighting-based Internet of Things (IoT) smart building schemes.

“Integrating our wireless module with Freedom gives our customers both a very short time to market and a very cost-efficient solution, giving them the best of both worlds,” said Ingy CEO Bastiaan de Groot.

Ingy typically layers its software over the Wirepas wireless mesh protocol from Tampere, Finland-based Wirepas, such as Zone College in Holland and at University Medical Center Utrecht. 

The Ingy/Wirepas partnership itself should now benefit from Helvar's adding native support for Wirepas within its Freedom driver.

“Today the demand to move to wireless is growing because it lowers the total cost of ownership for the building owners and delivers more value with its ability to go beyond lighting with wireless sensors, as well as asset and people tracking,” said Wirepas senior vice president of sales Jani Vehkalahti. “With Helvar we are able to serve the smart lighting market with the best possible combination of products and services.”

Helvar cited the scalability of Wirepas as one reason why it is adding Wirepas support. Ingy has often lauded Wirepas for the same reason.

Likewise, Helvar pointed out the scalability of the Mymesh mesh network (previously called MyriaMesh) from Haarlem, Holland-based Chess (previously called Chess Wise), known for supporting widescale deployments such as 17,000 lights at Holland's Chemelot chemical processing site.

“The Mymesh solution offers a robust, scalable, and secure wireless network with excellent flexibility and integration possibilities, which our customers will benefit in the wireless world,” said Helvar head of luminaire components sales Tero Päärni.

“We are very excited to be working with Helvar on this great wireless endeavor where lighting is just the beginning of 'Smart,'” noted Chess CEO Han Baak.

With the technologies for wireless smart lighting continuing to vie for supremacy Zigbee is also in the race although Helvar did not announce Zigbee support Helvar appears to be setting itself up as mix-and-match cog in the wheel of wireless systems, as it already supported Casambi as well as the less known Ensto and Mount Kelvin.

Ensto, based in Porvoo, Finland, uses Wirepas' mesh network to deliver office IoT lighting applications including asset tracking, occupancy monitors, space analysis, and lighting tailored to individual needs for wellbeing.

Helsinki-based Mount Kelvin makes interior design-oriented lighting control systems for hotels and other environments, aimed at eliminating clunky wall switches with wireless and battery operated buttons, and at providing optional lighting scenes for guests in individual rooms.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).