Philips Lighting and Daintree partner on lighting controls and networks

July 19, 2012
Philips Lighting will rely on open standards, including ZigBee, in networked lighting products and ensure compatibility with Daintree Networks' software and controller products.

Philips Lighting and Daintree Networks have agreed to work together on standards-based networked lighting systems for commercial buildings. The partners will rely on open standards, including the wireless ZigBee network, which will allow building owners to install networked systems that will be interoperable with products from multiple vendors in the near term and the future.

Philips OccuSwitch Wireless product

Adaptive controls and networking are paramount in driving additional energy savings beyond what can be achieved purely via the adoption of more-efficient sources such as LEDs. Such control technology includes occupancy and daylight sensors that allow lighting levels to dim when full lumen output isn’t required, thereby increasing savings.

Philips is committed to providing customers with leading technology solutions to manage their energy use and create more usable, occupant-friendly environments," said Raj Jayaraman, vice president of Philips Lighting. "Working with Daintree Networks, we can create innovative software platforms that provide interoperable wireless networking, intelligent controls through industry standards and help drive this energy-saving technology."

The partnership doesn’t come as a complete surprise. As we mentioned in Lightfair coverage for our sister publication LEDs Magazine, Philips demonstrated a ZigBee wireless gateway/controller called the OccuSwitch Wireless Light Manager that appeared to be a private-labeled version of a Daintree product.

ZigBee technology

ZigBee is a wireless-mesh-networking technology designed for control, as opposed to data networking, applications. The ZigBee Alliance promulgates a set of standards that includes the baseline networking standard and application-layer standards such as the ZigBee building Automation standard.

Daintree's wireless adapters

Daintree has been resolute in insisting that supporting a full ZigBee software stack is paramount to the success of controls that will be driven by interoperable products. A number of companies use the lower layers of the ZigBee network stack and add proprietary features in the application layer. Daintree, however, supports the ZigBee Building Automation standard in its ControlScope product family and gained ZigBee Certified status back in March.

Clearly Philips is buying in to the standards approach. "Our collaboration with Philips is proof positive of the power of intelligent, wireless lighting controls to save energy and improve lighting management," said Danny Yu, CEO of Daintree Networks. "Together, Daintree and Philips can better meet the needs of commercial buildings for large-scale, networked lighting controls."

Daintree offers its ControlScope software that can be used in commissioning and managing lighting networks. The company also has a line of wireless adapters that can be used to retrofit fixtures for ZigBee support.

Philips hasn’t said that it will exclusively use ZigBee technology, but in relation to the recent announcement the partners said "Philips will work with Daintree Networks to ensure that company products can integrate with Daintree’s software and controllers to create an expanded line of networked, wireless controls solutions." According to the announcement, the companies are also already working together on joint customer projects.