Increasingly, municipalities and utilities are including network elements in outdoor lighting such as street lights, both to simplify the maintenance process and to enable fine-grained control of light levels to maximize energy savings. But today's network systems are largely proprietary and the new TALQ Consortium, founded by Harvard Engineering, Kingsun, Philips, Schréder, Streetlight.Vision and Thorn/Zumtobel, plans to standardize the management interface.
TALQ does not intend to influence the actual network, such as wireless or power-line-communications, which enable outdoor lights to communicate. But TALQ will focus on the software-management interface to the various networks.
TALQ has already published a white paper on its new website that clearly defines its intent. The consortium separately defines Outdoor Lighting Network (OLN) and Central Management System (CMS) elements to the outdoor-lighting system. TALQ will standardize an interface between the two so that a CMS from one company can work with OLN elements from another.
TALQ's work will ultimately allow a single CMS to control multiple OLNs – for instance, both a wireless segment and a power-line segment. The consortium has set an aggressive goal of finishing the standard by the end of this year.