Category: Products + Technology

LiFi Can Now Work Around Corners And Be Securely Coded To End Devices

LEDs Magazine recently reported that engineers from Cisco are now claiming that light-based communications, known as LiFi, is gaining the capabilities to work around corners and be securely pre-coded to end devices.

LEDs Magazine recently reported that engineers from Cisco are now claiming that light-based communications, known as LiFi, is gaining the capabilities to work around corners and be securely pre-coded to end devices.

Li-Fi, or light fidelity, is a technology that uses modulated light waves from LEDs or lasers to transmit data. It is like Wi-Fi in that it provides wireless internet connections, except where Wi-Fi uses radio waves (RF), Li-Fi uses visible light or IR.

The IEEE has been working on a standard for Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) as a way to intentionally redirect radio signals in complicated deployments. A research paper in March, whose authors include LiFi pioneer Dr. Harald Haas, claim that RIS-equipped Li-Fi environments ‘can lead to enhanced physical leader security’ in several different ways. For example, an RIS system can detect intruders, and then emit artificial noise in the intruder’s direction as a jamming technique. RIS elements can be pre-coded in a way that only legitimate users can decode, the authors state.

LiFi RIS can create a wireless network that only works with designated devices, allowing for an ‘intentional’ approach to network design. Radio waves don’t offer this type of precision.

The full article can be read here.

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Product Monday: Ubicquia Platform Creates Smart Cities With Existing Streetlights

Ubicquia has released two streetlight platforms designed for smart cities that integrates Wi-Fi, 4K cameras, directional microphones and neural artificial intelligence (AI) processors.

Electronics 360 recently ran an article about a smart city platform startup called Ubicquia. The new company has released two streetlight platforms designed for smart cities that integrates Wi-Fi, 4K cameras, directional microphones and neural artificial intelligence (AI) processors.

Called UbiHub, the platforms are compatible with more than 360 million existing streetlights worldwide and can be installed in seconds into the existing streetlight photocell socket. The platforms allow cities and law enforcement to transform existing streetlights into a network of connected digital assets. UbiHub can enhance existing use cases by:

  • Enabling faster crime detection, investigation, and deterrence.
  • Reducing traffic congestion.
  • Improving pedestrian safety.
  • Increasing bicycle lane utilization.
  • Expanding city broadband deployments to commercial areas and parks.

The UbiHub AP6 is a triband Wi-Fi access point that gives communities and municipalities the ability to enable public Wi-Fi. It uses power over Ethernet to support third-party equipment including cameras or license plate readers.

The more advanced UbiHub AP/AI includes the same features as the AP6 but also integrated dual 4K cameras, direction microphones, a neural AI processor and 15 days of video storage.

The platforms are managed and monitored by Ubicquia’s cloud visualization and analytics management system called UbiVu. The system also support APIs that integrate with third party video management systems, evidence clearance platforms and police real-time crime centers.

Ubicquia has already deployed the systems to several cities in the U.S.:

  • West Hollywood, California – The city is using the platforms for smart city traffic and curb management capabilities for data on traffic, bicycle and pedestrians as well as public safety measures and future planning development needs for its residents.
  • County of Hawai’i – UbiHub is being used to bring free, high-speed internet to Pana’ewa Park, a recreational and educational area in a zoological and botanical area of the county. The city said the deployment of the streetlight platform is an important step to expanding its broadband and closing the digital divide throughout Hawai’i Island.
  • Ontario, California – 12,500 UbiCells were deployed in Ontario, California, for smart lighting analytics and energy savings. The city said the system helps address the digital divide by rolling out public Wi-Fi and boosting public safety in one platform.

The full article is available here.

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Wireless Power Transfer Has Potential For Lighting

A 2020 CABA White Paper, Application of Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) in Smart Homes and Buildings provides an overview of WPT technology, as well as a market evaluation for the technology, including key global companies.

A 2020 CABA White Paper, Application of Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) in Smart Homes and Buildings provides an overview of WPT technology, as well as a market evaluation for the technology, including key global companies. Some potential applications of wireless charging to lighting include:

  1. Wireless charging of cell phones and other devices from desk lamps.
    WPT transmitters integrated into lamp bases could charge devices laid upon them.
  2. Reduced risk with electrical products installed near water. WPT eliminates power cords and wiring. Imagine more safely putting lights in sinks, bathtubs, showers and other areas near water. Both the transmitter and receiver/luminaire could be fully sealed against water.
  3. Potential for better and safer mobile battery-powered lighting, without electro-mechanical charging contacts.

The CABA WPT white paper can be downloaded here.

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Product Monday: Pharos Architectural Controls Transform Ely Cathedral

As part of the Church of England’s commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030, renovations are being undertaken at the historic Ely Cathedral in East Cambridgeshire, England. To help achieve this, the lighting at Ely Cathedral is currently being upgraded to a more energy-efficient and sustainable system. 

Ely Cathedral is located in the city of Ely, in East Cambridgeshire, England The site can be dated back to AD 763, when it began as an abbey church built by St Etheldreda. The current building dates from 1083, and Ely was elevated to cathedral status in 1109.

As part of the Church of England, Ely Cathedral is committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. To help achieve this, the lighting at Ely Cathedral is currently being upgraded to a more energy-efficient and sustainable system. The work has been split into phases, with phase 1 focusing on the exterior of the Cathedral’s Octagon Tower.

While the Cathedral is primarily a place of worship, it is also an important heritage attraction, a venue for music and events, and an occasional location for filming. It was important to ensure that any new lighting scheme was capable of showing the architecture off to its full potential, while supporting a range of uses and enhancing the Cathedral’s daily round of worship. The new system will reveal more of the detail and beauty of the building, while being less visually intrusive.

The project’s goal was to remove the existing flood lighting and create a more flexible and controllable design, while offering increased energy efficiency. The flexibility of the lighting controls is important, as it allows the Cathedral to use colors and dynamic lighting to mark special occasions or events, such as red, white and blue for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, or the colors of the liturgical calendar. The previous lighting allowed for only a single color. In addition, the new system has removed the need for someone to change the lighting manually when required, which incurred time and cost.

To deliver the control aspect of the exterior lighting design, Pharos Architectural Controls were used. A Pharos TPC (Touch Panel Controller) is now used by the Cathedral, offering a customizable 4.3” touch screen with a single Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) network connection. The touch screen interface allows Ely Cathedral to create multiple pages of controls and configure their appearance to provide immediate visual feedback.

The Pharos TPC allows for control of lighting levels and playbacks that can transition between scenes, timelines, effects and pixel-mapped media. To increase functionality, a Pharos EXT was also used. The EXT is an extension for the Pharos TPC and together they form a standalone, mains-powered lighting control system with flexible output and show control options. The EXT also provides local DMX and DALI output for the TPC, as well as power and other hardware interfaces.

Project credits: 

Lighting Consultant: Lighting Perceptions

Installation: Bullens

Stakeholder: Funded by Friends

Lighting Control: Pharos Architectural Control

Lighting Fixture Manufacturer:  Studio Due

More information on Pharos Architectural Controls is available here.

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Product Monday: Reinventing The Candelabra

In June, Alva Lighting, based in Berkeley, CA, released its Helen wall sconce. A contemporary reinvention of the classic candelabra wall sconse.

In June, Alva Lighting, based in Berkeley, CA, released its Helen wall sconce. A contemporary reinvention of the classic candelabra wall sconse. Designed to be flush to the wall to avoid damage common in high-traffic corridors. Featuring a vandal-resistant, architectural resin shade material that can be easily cleaned and is virtually indestructible. A high-performance LED module provides even illumination, and energy- efficiency. The Helen is ENERGY STAR Certified, IK10 impact rated, UL damp location listed, ADA compliant, and CA Title 24 JA8 Certified.

The company takes sconces very seriously. It’s the only thing they make, both indoor and outdoor versions. Alva serves a variety of commercial verticals, including hospitality, multifamily, retail, and healthcare. The Helen fixture was recently specified in a Pittsburgh, PA hospital project. See the image below.

The Helen sconce specs include:

  • 10W
  • 5 year warranty
  • 100+ LPW
  • Triac & ELV dimming
  • 120-277VAC input
  • Field-replacable LED module
  • 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K CCTs

The spec sheet and IES files are available here.

 

 

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DLC’s LUNA QPL Identifies Environmentally Responsible Lighting

Skyglow, light trespass, glare and color remain issues in outdoor lighting design. For the first time, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) addressed them in technical requirements released December 2021, resulting in recent publication of a new Qualified Products List (QPL) as a subset of its QPL for solid-state lighting. LUNA version 1.0 identifies outdoor LED luminaires that save energy and promote responsible outdoor lighting.

Skyglow, light trespass, glare and color remain issues in outdoor lighting design. For the first time, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) addressed them in technical requirements released December 2021, resulting in recent publication of a new Qualified Products List (QPL) as a subset of its QPL for solid-state lighting.

LUNA version 1.0 identifies outdoor LED luminaires that save energy and promote responsible outdoor lighting.

My contribution to the July issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR breaks down the new technical requirements and what to expect from the LUNA QPL.

Check it out here.

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Emergency Lighting That Preserves Architectural & Interior Design Integrity

Discovered at LightFair 2022 – Concealite -The company specializes in emergency lighting and other building life safety equipment designed to disappear into the wall until there is an emergency.

One of my more interesting finds at LightFair was Concealite’s booth. An example is their 5000 Series Emergency Lighting, which includes a self-contained battery system (see image).

Typical emergency lighting fixtures are obtrusive and interrupt the aesthetic beauty of interior designs. Concealite offers an elegant alternative to “bug eyes”. Only when the system is activated, do the high-powered lamps become visible, rotating 180 degrees to begin operation. The result is a clean, almost invisible installation that does not conflict with building interiors. Additional features include:

  • Units can be customized in the field using paint, wallpaper, or applique finishes.
  • Designed for wall or ceiling installations, including gypsum board, plaster, or acoustical tile.
  • Choice of standard 90 minute, 2 hour or 4 hour operation.
  • Self-diagnostic controls are an available option.
  • Vandal-resistant
  • Listed to UL Standard #924 when installed in accordance to Article 700 of the National Electrical Code.

The company has applied the same approach to motion detectors, offering a discreet and vandal-resistant alternative to visible surface mount detectors. Only when the commercial or residential security system is activated does the detector become visible, rotating 180 degrees to begin operation (image above).

Similarly, the company offers concealed UV disinfecting lighting, fire alarms, and exit signs. To learn more, visit their website here.

 

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Cree LED Was Colorful At LightFair

David enjoyed a product demo from Cree LED at LightFair. Their booth emphasized their latest color LEDs, as well as their RGBW packages.

At LightFair, I enjoyed a product demo from Cree LED. Their booth emphasized their latest color LEDs, as well as their RGBW packages. The big splash was their recently released XLamp® Element G (XE-G) LEDs. The XE-G line includes 9 direct emission colors and 8 phosphor-converted (PC) colors. With 17 colors and a full portfolio of white options (6500K-2700K; 70-90 CRI), the new XLamp XE-G LED family delivers industry-leading output/efficiency, in a small form factor.

Equally interesting were the RGBW LEDs, the XLamp XM-L Color Gen 2 LEDs. They enable high output, up to 1,400 lumens, and color mixing for directional RGBW luminaires. The XM-Ls do all of this in a tiny 5.0 x 5.0 mm package. The XLamp XM-L Color Gen 2 LEDs feature the smallest possible distance between LED die, creating a small optical source for excellent optical control and efficient color mixing. Gen 2 also includes a new High-Intensity version that further reduces the optical source size for even greater levels of optical control.

More information is available here.

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Product Monday: The Esterno Cristallo Collection Beautifies With Outdoor Crystal & LED Wall Sconces

Allegri Crystal by Kalco Lighting has introduced its Esterno Cristallo Collection of outdoor wall sconces for commercial and residential applications. The collection combines beautiful Firenze crystal with LED technology and features Firenze crystal encased in a matte black frame, crafted from stainless steel, for elegant outdoor aesthetics and long-term performance.

Allegri Crystal by Kalco Lighting has introduced its Esterno Cristallo Collection of outdoor wall sconces for commercial and residential applications. The collection combines beautiful Firenze crystal with LED technology and features Firenze crystal encased in a matte black frame, crafted from stainless steel, for elegant outdoor aesthetics and long-term performance.

Designed for both commercial and residential applications, the Esterno Cristallo contemporary collection includes:

  • Esterno Arpione features clear Firenze crystal spears accentuated by sharp lines to provide an ultramodern look enhancing any elegant outdoor setting.
  • Cilindro Esterno, clear crystal rods form a cylindrical silhouette to create a sleek, contemporary outdoor light. Dimmable high-power LEDs shine from within, highlighting the crystals within a simple matte black frame.
  • Glacier Esterno merges Allegri’s most innovative crystal collection featuring a clear chiseled spear design with state-of-the-art LED technology.
  • Tenuta Esterno features precision-cut square, oval and octagonal shapes in Firenze crystal strands encased in a stainless steel matte black frame.
  • In Lina Esterno, simple silhouettes are wrapped in Firenze crystal strands. They’re lit from within, making the crystals glow, and providing beautiful ambient light.
  • Lucca Esterno features faceted crystal rods gathered together by a jewelry-like band in two  distinctive looks; brushed champagne gold or polished chrome. Light reflects off the crystal center with a soft glow in both directions.

The handcrafted stainless-steel fixtures are specially coated with marine grade, UV-resistant fluorocarbon paint that can withstand the harshest elements. For more information about the Esterno Cristallo collection, visit allegricrysal.com.

 

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Product Monday: Toggled iQ – Networked Lighting Controls With Sophisticated Simplicity

At LightFair (LFI). David met with Dan Hollenkamp, COO of Toggled. Dan provided a product demonstration of their advanced, yet simple, wireless networked lighting control system, Toggled iQ.

While at LightFair (LFI), last month, I enjoyed a product demonstration from Dan Hollenkamp, COO of Toggled. The company is probably best known for its LED tubes (TLEDs) at Home Depot and other retailers. It was very interesting to learn about their advanced, yet simple, wireless networked lighting control system, Toggled iQ.

Here’s what I found interesting about it:

  • It’s based on a proprietary Bluetooth Mesh that allows up to 32,000 nodes on a network. That’s a lot of nodes!
  • They offer a sensor that detects motion, daylight, temperature, and humidity. It updates to the network every 5 minutes, and just two AA batteries can operate it for 10 years. That’s a long battery life and a nice bundle of four sensors in one. Image below.
  • Utilizing edge intelligence, the networked system distributes programming to wall controls, smart lamps, and luminaire controllers. If WiFi goes down in a building, disconnecting the system from the cloud / internet, each device will continue to operate normally, because they have stored their own instructions / programming within each device.
  • Smart TLEDs have light output sensors that alert the user to diminished output. The software can enable cost analysis between TLED replacement or increasing power to the smart lamp.
  • There is a plug load controller that can pair with the occupancy sensor to turn off plug load when a space is vacant.
  • At LFI, the company unveiled its Toggled iQ luminaire controller to give control over individual luminaires, connecting them with the Toggled iQ network lighting control system. The controller provides a dimming and color control interface between existing 0V to 10V dimmable luminaires and the Toggled iQ network lighting control platform. When paired with other Toggled iQ offerings (such as sensors, switches, and the free Toggled iQ app) the controller can enable daylight harvesting, occupancy/vacancy-based control, or schedule-based control, as well as customized lighting scenes, from an individual luminaire within the connected network. Image below.

Toggled’s parent company is Altair, a data analytic & AI platform company. It’s clear that Toggled’s significant move into networked lighting controls enables greater synergies between Toggled and Altair, with each leveraging the strengths of the other. More information about the Toggled iQ system is available here.

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