LEDs Magazine Newsletter 4 December 2019 - Editor's Commentary

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine weekly newsletter for Dec. 4, 2019. Well, this is not one of our smart lighting newsletters, although you might think that as you read through this intro column. Certainly a connectivity thread traverses the major stories, although the focus of the pieces ranges from business to actual application.

Let’s start with business. With Thanksgiving looming here in the US last week, Acuity Brands quietly dropped an acquisition story in the location services area. The company has acquired 2014 startup LocusLabs Inc., a company with technology that can capture the details of an indoor space and quickly render realistic and detailed 3-D maps. Ultimately, the technology will place a more realistic user interface on top of connected-lighting-based, indoor-location services in settings ranging from retail to commercial offices to airports. The LocusLabs technology will become part of Acuity’s Atrius Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio.

And as we have written a lot in the recent year, solid-state lighting (SSL)-based indoor positioning has moved beyond the laboratory and trials. Another of our stories offers a good example in what at first glance might be considered a lower-tech setting. Pilkington Automotive in Germany has an automotive glass factory that supports a new connected-lighting system from Signify based on the company’s Interact IoT brand. The network and controls have increased energy savings considerably through daylight harvesting and occupancy detection. But Pilkington is further using the system to analyze manufacturing processes and ultimately optimize space utilization and inventory management.

Meanwhile, the connected lighting movement continues to evolve in something of a two steps forward and one step back rhythm. One issue remains the choice of network technologies and protocols. Osram, for example, has now brought Bluetooth Mesh into its portfolio through a partnership with Silvair. We first reported this news a few weeks ago, but since that time our Mark Halper was able to learn more about the reasons that Osram will now support Bluetooth alongside its prior Zigbee offering.

For those of you in Europe and on the US east coast, you may see this newsletter early enough on Wednesday to take action on what I mention next. I will be up early west coast time to host a webcast on smart buildings and Power over Ethernet (PoE). If you miss the 11:00 AM eastern event live, you will as always be able to catch it on demand.

We have a couple of blog posts linked in the body of the newsletter that are focused on horticultural lighting and that have unexpected themes. I wrote about them in the Monday Horticultural Lighting newsletter, so I won’t go into more detail here. But that Monday newsletter prompted a response from the International Dark-Sky Association that said lit-greenhouse sky glow is the currently number one source of complaints to the organization.

I continue to be amazed at the depth of the program for our upcoming Strategies in Light event set for Feb. 11–13 in San Diego, CA. For instance, the Connected Lighting and IoT track is jam packed. The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is going to present detailed comparisons of two commercially-available systems. There are security-focused presentations including from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. We’ll also learn more about how the industry can develop safe and secure ecosystems with interoperable hardware and software from multiple vendors.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. Please note my relatively new email address below. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, mwright@endeavorb2b.com