Inventronics adds D4i-certified LED drivers for smart and connected luminaires

July 22, 2020
The D4i intra-luminaire connectivity standard based on DALI-2 is gaining momentum among LED driver manufacturers as the best basis for smart and connected SSL products.

Inventronics has announced a new LED driver family, the EUM-240SxxxBx, targeted at outdoor area lighting that integrates support for the D4i interface that has been standardized by the DiiA (Digital Illumination Interface Alliance). The D4i intra-luminaire interconnect is perhaps the simplest path forward for developers wanting to add sensors and wireless connectivity in a new luminaire development. The DiiA has certified the new driver family for compliance and that family includes three different sub-series intended for varying application and geographic factors.

The D4i interconnect is based on the updated DALI-2 (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) network but is designed to be used as an internal link between a driver and a sensor/connectivity module as opposed to standard DALI-2 that is used to connect luminaires, sensors, and central management systems in an inter-luminaire fashion. The D4i specification enables both data and DC power to flow over the same wires so a sensor/connectivity module can be powered even when a luminaire is powered off. The DiiA began certification of D4i-compliant drivers in September 2019.

While the D4i technology is newsworthy in itself relative to the new Inventronics drivers, other features stand out as well. All of the new drivers include compatibility with near-field communications (NFC) — a very-short-range wireless scheme intended for usages such as system configuration. The new Inventronics products are nominal 240W products, but Inventronics can precisely configure the output after production and packaging of the drivers, thereby reducing the number of SKUs it must support.

Moreover, Inventronics has developed the separate sub-families to give luminaire manufacturers different options to supply customers all over the world. Different countries have different regulatory policy impacting wiring schemes, different safety certifications, and more. We covered that ground in an interview with Tridonic several years ago when that company first entered the US market.

Inventronics, however, has approached the challenge of offering a driver for the global market in the EUM-240SxxxBG sub-series. That driver is shipped with what the company calls a global cable that has wire colors and other features to match the North-American-centric UL safety standards and the different international IEC standards. Lighting manufacturers can use that global driver to further reduce SKU inventory.

Alternatively, Inventronics offers a sub-series specific for North America (the EUM-240SxxxBT) that also adds UL Class P compliance. And the company offers the EUM-240SxxxBB version specific to the India market and BIS certification.

In all cases, the new drivers offer 6-kV surge protection that’s needed for outdoor applications. The products have rugged metal housings and offer IP66 and IP67 ratings for operation in harsh environments. The drivers are rated for more than 100,000 hours of life at 70°C case temperature.

In terms of controls capability, the drivers all feature what the company calls “Inventronics Control-Ready” capabilities including a dim-to-off operation. The drivers output 24V at 125 mA for auxiliary power for control modules.

Back to the D4i support, that standard seems to be gaining momentum within the SSL sector. A few months back, we covered the first D4i-certified drivers from Acuity’s eldoLED brand. And in March, Signify added the capability to its OEM driver offering, supplanting the internally-developed Sensor Ready (SR) interconnect.

We also just covered a US Department of Energy (DOE) initiative intended to push the SSL industry toward connected lighting. That program that may ultimately include a luminaire design challenge that would be administered by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that would enable D4i support in drivers.

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