There’s a legend about Thomas Edison being asked about the 10,000 experiments he did leading up to his first working light bulb. As the story goes, he answered with, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” It’s been 137 years since the first successful light bulb test, and for most of that time the electric light has not changed as dramatically as other century-old technology. That is until recently with the Internet age ushering lighting into new territory. According to IHS report, more than 92 million wireless lights will ship this year, and that number is expected to swell to more than 243 million by 2020.
The benefits of connected lighting are growing all the time, from cost savings and convenience to data analytics and even health and wellness, and these gains are driving adoption in commercial and industrial markets. Added to the cost benefits, the convenience of being able to control and monitor lighting is attractive. Developers in this industry are facing two external pressures. First, cost targets for this market are excruciatingly low. Second, virtually everyone knows how a light bulb should behave; flip a switch and it turns on or off. It’s simple and instantaneous. Anything that enters the market, therefore, needs to reliably work every time and in a manner consistent with the expectations built up over more than a hundred years of user experience.
Delivering on these two vectors depends on being able to deal with complex hardware, firmware, and software design. While a lighting manufacturer has expertise in lighting enclosures and power electronics, bringing the necessary wireless expertise to bear on these designs can be tricky.
This is why we’ve developed the Connected Lighting Reference Designs; to simplify development and provide a solution that optimizes cost and performance. The latest Connected Lighting Reference Design provides a wireless lighting solution in the industry’s smallest wireless module package and takes advantage of the latest EFR32MG chipset for multi-protocol future.
In addition to being based on our proven hardware, this reference design includes the ZigBee stack, backed by years of development and testing. The multi-board kit also makes it possible for engineers to develop in the latest Simplicity Studio tools and WSTK, and then test and verify their design while the wireless module is actually inside the real-life bulb.
The latest Silicon Labs Connected Lighting Reference Design (RD-0085-0401) includes:
Get Started with the latest Connected Lighting Reference Design