Texas Instruments (TI) has announced the $99 ZigBee Light Link Development Kit that provides a comprehensive set of hardware and software tools needed to add interoperable wireless functionality to LED-based lighting products. Solid-state lighting (SSL) product developers can use the TI hardware reference design and the provided software stack to immediately build products based on the SimpleLink CC253X microcontroller (MCU) family, with ensured compliance with the ZigBee Light Link standard.
ZigBee in general and ZigBee Light Link in particular are becoming the de facto standard for connected lighting products in the indoor space. The Connected Lighting Alliance tapped ZigBee Light Link as the technology of choice for residential lighting controls. ZigBee Light Link is the basis for the Philips Lighting Hue family of color-tunable SSL products. Osram Sylvania also supports the technology and apparently GE Lighting will as well in indoor products.
The new TI kit includes a complete hardware reference design along with a complete bill of materials (BOM) and the CAD files needed for a developer to manufacture custom circuit boards. The kit includes three CC2530-based Zlights — modular ZigBee light engines based on Osram Opto Semiconductors LEDs that are programmed in compliance with ZigBee Light Link. The kit also includes a ZigBee-based remote control that can set color scenes and that is based on the CC2531 MCU.
TI also includes its own Z-Stack software that supports the latest ZigBee network standards and is ZigBee Light Link 1.0 compatible. The stack implements both the network layer for communications and the light-centric application layer.
You can also connect PCs and tablets to a ZigBee network enabled by the kit using standard Wi-Fi-to ZigBee bridges such as the one supplied by Philips with Hue. Alternatively, developers can use the Ninja Blocks ZigBee gateways designed to support the so-called Internet of Things and that utilize the BeagleBone open-source embedded-computing platform and the TI Sitara AM335X ARM processor.
The kits are available for sale on the TI eStore under model number CC2530ZDK-ZLL. At the time we posted this story, the company was promising delivery in 2–3 weeks.