IoT-Ready Alliance to unite LED industry and IoT solution providers

May 10, 2017 //By Julien Happich
With the scope of making the most of new LED lighting installations (typically with a high spatial density and a readily available power socket) to piggy-back multiple sensors and smarten up new buildings, leading lighting and LED driver manufacturers, Internet of Things (IoT) technology companies, and industry groups have established the IoT-Ready Alliance.

The Alliance is setting industry standards that will enable LED light fixtures to be "IoT-Ready",  facilitating a quick and easy installation of advanced IoT sensors - as simple as changing a light bulb. This will also enable building operators to easily upgrade the sensors, ultimately future-proofing their buildings as IoT technology continues to advance at a much more rapid pace than that of LED fixtures.

Lighting fixtures are an ideal carrier for IoT technology in smart buildings, providing ubiquitous location for granular data collection throughout the building while delivering electric power to the sensors. Yet today, only a small percentage of LED fixtures have smart sensors. After the initial installation of LED fixtures, installing a sensor is cost prohibitive, making the later addition of sensors unlikely.

LED light fixtures typically boast a long lifetime of 15 years or more, while IoT and smart sensor technology is evolving rapidly, at a similar pace to that of the mobile phone. This means major IoT technology upgrades will certainly occur throughout the LED fixture's life. These upgrade cycles for the IoT sensors call for a cost-effective, low-impact method of changing sensors.

Enlighted CEO Joe Costello stresses the need to solve this challenge immediately – a call which is being answered by the IoT-Ready Alliance.

"There is tremendous urgency to enable today's shipping LED luminaires to be easily upgraded with IoT technology. Otherwise, these luminaires condemn buildings to be unintelligent for the entire lifecycle of those fixtures. Fifteen or more years is a long time before building owners have another chance to install smart sensors. With IoT-Ready fixtures, customers can install future-proof LED luminaires in their buildings."

The Alliance's initiative addresses this challenge head on – standardizing an interface between any luminaire and any IoT sensor. This allows the sensors to be easily added or upgraded at any point in time.