The Bluetooth gateway used to control smart lighting is the Bluetooth mesh gateway. It can help the Bluetooth controlled light device network connect to the cloud server, so as to realize the function of remote control. Through the Bluetooth mesh gateway, users can add or reset BLE lighting devices on the BLE mesh network , realize third-party control, or Bluetooth (single point & mesh) group control, to meet the needs of smart home and industrial applications,. Also, You can also add new supported data formats, cloud platform or deploy edge computing applications to extend the capabilities of smart lighting systems.
In the previous article (How Bluetooth Mesh Gateway Help Smart Building Automation), we mentioned that Bluetooth mesh plays an important role in building automation. According to the Bluetooth SIG 2022 Market Update, the smart lighting is also one of the most popular use cases of Bluetooth mesh.
What Is Smart Lighting Control?
Smart lighting control has changed the fixed switch mode in the traditional lighting system. Based on the Internet of Things technology, mobile terminals such as mobile phones and tablets are used to control the Bluetooth smart lighting system in real time, and diversify functions that can be controlled remotely, such as adjusting light colors and making lighting timing management, and connecting different Bluetooth lighting devices simultaneously, etc.
The emergence of Internet of Things technology makes smart lighting control more flexible. Users can remotely control lighting devices according to the difference lighting brightness and color requirements of various spaces. With the support of Bluetooth mesh lighting control technology, users can also create different lighting vibes. In addition, users can also perform voice control on the lighting, so that the user experience can be optimized to the greatest extent.
What makes smart lighting superior to traditional lighting lies in the the easiness of operation. Through some kinds of networking protocols, built-in applications, and Bluetooth mesh gateways, commands sent from the cloud server will be sent to the Bluetooth Mesh device network through the Bluetooth Mesh gateway; the status of the Bluetooth Mesh device can also be reported to the server through the Bluetooth Mesh gateway. In this way, you can easily control the entire lighting control system from your laptop or mobile phone at any time and anywhere.
Besides, Bluetooth controlled lights device network also supports a variety of additional functions such as asset tracking, indoor navigation, and so on, which can uplift the entire value of the smart lighting solution.
What is BLE mesh?
As you can see from the following image, each dot represents a BLE device, and each BLE device is connected to each other to form a mesh network. By forming such a mesh network, the communication distance can be further extended. A BLE device in a Bluetooth mesh network is called a node. The process of turning a BLE device into a mesh network node is called “provisioning”.
From above introduction, you can know that the Bluetooth mesh network supports many: many connections. Each node in the mesh network can transmit and receive signals, and communicate with one or more peer nodes. The communication uses a broadcast mechanism (managed flooding). The benefit is that if a node in the network fails, the data can be automatically transmitted from neighboring nodes until it reaches the final destination, so Bluetooth mesh network has strong reliability. A Bluetooth mesh device can be added to the Bluetooth mesh network through provisioning.
Bluetooth mesh is a new generation of Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which theoretically supports up to 32,767 devices working at the same time. The user can directly connect and control the BLE device through the Bluetooth communication function of the mobile phone. The entire control process is completely localized and can operate stably without the need for a network. If you want to connect to the internet or network server, use a Bluetooth mesh gateway to help you.
What is a BLE mesh gateway?
The BLE mesh gateway is a tool for improving BLE mesh device connectivity to the internet. As BLE mesh devices cannot directly access the internet, a device with both communication and networking capabilities is required. The BLE Mesh device can access the internet thanks to the gateway, which gives it the ability to carry out remote control tasks. The BLE Mesh devices cannot interact directly with the server; instead, they connect to it via Bluetooth.
Linkage Control of Smart BLE Mesh Lighting System
If a BLE mesh lighting system wants to realize linkage control, there are two main ways:
Smart Light Kit
Through the customized smart lighting kit, directly set the way of lighting device interconnection into the smart kit. Although this method avoids relying on external networks, its disadvantages are that the interconnection is inflexible and the cost is high.
Remote control or view the status of smart lighting devices through the network is another way. The strength of this way is that different lighting devices can work together. In smart home scenarios, everyone can check and control the real-time status of smart lighting devices no matter where they go; In the commercial scenarios, the headquarters can also check and control the on-site status of lighting devices thousands of miles away.
In BLE Mesh Gateway, we mentioned that BLE Mesh devices can not access the internet directly, so BLE Mesh gateway is used to help remotely control BLE devices in the BLE mesh network. Therefore, if you want to do real time control of BLE lighting devices at any places, you can use Bluetooth mesh gateway to implement cloud control.
Examples of Bluetooth Mesh Lighting Uses
BLE Mesh Used in Smart Home
In smart homes, Bluetooth Mesh can be used in lighting systems. Bluetooth mesh can realize powerful lighting control networking functions such as color temperature adjustment, group control, timing switch, single light control, dimming and color adjustment, and multiple scene switching, etc. By embedding the Bluetooth module into the control circuit of the LED lights, the user can control any Bluetooth LED lights in the Bluetooth mesh network by the mobile phone.
This Bluetooth Mesh light control solution can also establish a many-to-many (N:N) relationship besides wireless Bluetooth lighting devices. For example, the temperature and humidity sensor can use the smart light as a relay to communicate with the smart socket, so that the task of “turning on the smart socket when the temperature reaches 28 degrees” can be realized.
Bluetooth Mesh in Commercial Lighting
If every light in the office supports Bluetooth, it means that the entire building is covered with a Bluetooth mesh network. In this network, all Bluetooth devices can communicate with each other, and users can therefore communicate with all BLE device in the building. What’s the use?
In addition to meeting daily lighting needs, Bluetooth mesh networks can also fully integrate non-lighting functions. For example, BLE lighting devices can also have Bluetooth beacon functions to help tourists find the places they want to go to in buildings. Or the lighting system can also collect a series of data from BLE building sensors, making it available for information analysis and real-time use. To sum up, Bluetooth mesh lighting control systems can bring potentially significant opportunities for commercial smart buildings.
By adding a Bluetooth mesh network, whether it is a large-scale office building, parking lot, or even a street, you can get a smart lighting system covering all types of applications, and use BLE mesh network as an industrial-grade platform for distributed wireless building service platform, to realize localized control of multi-floor smart building, greatly improving operational efficiency and increasing flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. At the same time, Bluetooth mesh technology is efficient and energy-saving, which makes Bluetooth smart lighting one of the core technologies for building a “smart city”.
Communication Protocol List for Smart Lighting System
At present, what affects the quality of smart lighting most is the communication protocol. Besides Bluetooth mesh, are there any other communication protocols suitable for smart lighting systems? Yes, the mainstream communication protocols currently on the market include WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc. Each with its own advantages and disadvantages in practical applications.
Early smart lighting systems mainly used Wi-Fi protocol. However, W-iFi modules consume high energy, have large volume, and high cost. They are mainly used in the field of household smart lighting.
ZigBee protocol can support up to 65,000 devices for networking, and consumes less power, and enjoys high stability and security. It is very suitable for use in smart lighting systems. However, if you want to remotely control it through a mobile phone APP, you need to use a zigbee gateway.
Bluetooth Low Energy is the latest technology adopted by the Internet of Things in recent years. Because smartphones and tablet computers are already equipped with Bluetooth modules, making Bluetooth enjoy an unparalleled advantage in wide application. In addition, the low power consumption and low cost advantages of the Bluetooth module make it very suitable for an smart lighting control system.
Benefits of Using BLE mesh Lighting Control
Improve Value for Your Smart Lighting System
The smart lighting system that supports Bluetooth mesh network can add more additional functions besides its main purpose of lighting, so as to maximize the value of the overall smart lighting solution and help smart lighting solution supplier sell higher value, ensuring a higher return on investment.
Interoperability among Multiple Brands
A big advantage of Bluetooth mesh networking is interoperability. That is, you can use components from different companies and brands in the same building and they are still compatible with each other. Interoperability has always been the foundation of Bluetooth mesh. When you’re shopping for wireless headphones or a wireless speaker, you don’t have to think about whether an audio source created by one company is compatible with another company’s synchronizer, all thanks to Bluetooth-based interoperability. Products that support Bluetooth mesh networking have also adopted the feature.
With the continuous promotion of Bluetooth mesh, the number of companies around the world that can manufacture standard-compliant Bluetooth mesh network components is increasing. If these wireless lighting products can meet the standards, a globally interoperable Bluetooth mesh network ecosystem can be established, so that efficient interconnected lighting systems can truly be popularized in commercial spaces.
Low Power Consumption
Reducing power consumption is equivalent to prolonging the battery life of the product, and its importance is self-evident. Bluetooth mesh inherits the very low power-consuming characteristics of Bluetooth low energy. There are two device characteristics in Bluetooth mesh: one is Friend, and the other is Low power node. The low power consumption performance of the node can be guaranteed by these two device characteristics. The power consumption of Bluetooth protocols is lower than that of ZigBee protocol.
Bluetooth Broadcasting Technology
Although the Bluetooth mesh standard has not been launched for as long as Zigbee, asset positioning, motion trajectory description and navigation based on low-power Bluetooth broadcast technology are all features that Zigbee does not have. Bluetooth mesh can create large-scale networks based on thousands of devices, which will provide an ideal choice for building automation, wireless sensor networks, asset tracking and other application scenarios.
How Dusun IoT Help Smart Lighting Development
Smart lighting has become an inevitable trend in the lighting industry. but if a traditional lighting companies want to make intelligentization of its traditional lighting products, it may face many problems such as long development cycle, high cost, incompatibility, and inability to have its own cloud platform, mobile phone APP, and networking modules. Each section needs the support of a professional team.
To resolve these problems, Dusun IoT provides a complete smart lighting solution, allowing lighting manufacturers to realize lighting intelligence at a minimum cost and obtain the maximum value-added of lighting products. By offering a complete set of lighting components, including drivers, switches, sensors, light controllers and Dusun IoT’s BLE mesh gateways, you can easily build simple to complex smart lighting products, and flexibly choose the desired features to match your customer’s needs. Also, by connecting the Bluetooth lights to the cloud through Dusun IoT’s Bluetooth mesh gateway, users can use smart phones, ipad and other mobile devices to control them anytime and anywhere.
Learn more about What is a Bluetooth Gateway
Benefits of Smart Lighting Control Solution by Dusun IoT
The connection is much more stable.
Dusun IoT’s products are designed for professional lighting applications, so our standards of reliability, scalability and security are all enterprise-level;
Compatible with multiple devices.
All Dusun IoT solutions have passed the certification of Bluetooth SIG. This means our BLE device will work with qualified Bluetooth mesh networking devices from other vendors;
Quick to market
Dusun IoT provides flexible modular customization and productized smart lighting devices, making your smart lighting product will get to market faster;
Easy connection to third party software
It is more convenient to for your to connect Dusun IoT devices with third-party lighting control APP and application, so as to perfectly adapt to the control system you prefer;
Our smart lighting devices can provide just the right amount of light when needed based on your settings, reducing lighting loads through cloud command or sensor triggers, reducing your energy costs;
Bluetooth mesh technology creates a high standard of security to prevent data theft or loss between devices;
Open Bluetooth mesh API
allow your smart lighting system to quickly access Bluetooth Mesh light control components;
Supports multiple network node types
Our Bluetooth mesh gateway can relay messages from one point in the network to any other point by bidirectional channels connecting multiple nodes.
Why use ble mesh?
Large-scale device networks may be built using Bluetooth mesh. It is best suited for control, monitoring, and automation systems where hundreds or thousands of units must interact with one another.
Is BLE mesh better than WiFi?
Wi-Fi devices consume up to 10 times as much power as BLE mesh-based devices. Because it needs a constant power supply, it has additional costs. BLE Mesh, on the other hand, was developed to utilize less energy for home automation. It consumes around ten times less electricity than WIFI.
What is the difference between Bluetooth and Bluetooth mesh?
Bluetooth and mesh technology both use radio frequencies to communicate data wirelessly, although Bluetooth can only send data to up to two direct connections at once. Mesh weaves a web of various connections between each member of the group.
Do I need a separate router with a mesh system?
While a mesh network may undoubtedly replace your current router, it cannot do so completely. A mesh network has a unique mesh router, much like with a conventional router/modem network configuration.