What's the Future of Intelligent LED Lighting?
- Time of issue:2020-05-15 18:43
What's the Future of Intelligent LED Lighting?
- Time of issue:2020-05-15 18:43
With the advancement of science and technology, the quality of human life has increased. The demand for intelligent lighting has become ever more urgent. It has the characteristics of low power consumption, flexible use, convenient operation and easy to personalize, and has great potential for development.
However, intelligent lighting technology is still in the early stage, and there are some problems in its development.
1. Poor interoperability: interoperability is the basis of intelligent lighting. However, information produced from various devices have difficulty in sharing with each other, and interoperability standards of various industries are not uniform, which makes interoperability difficult and cannot fully utilize the advantages of intelligent lighting.
2. There is no unified port standard: the physical port and software port of smart products made by various manufacturers are not unified, limiting intelligent lighting technology from been mass adopted;
3. Product’s functions are not tailored to actual requirements: at present, there are various kinds of intelligent lighting products, with huge variety of functions, but whether it satisfy the needs of consumers is debatable;
4. Investment can not produce profit as it should have: While the investment in R&D, production, sales and maintenance of intelligent lighting is relatively large, profits are getting smaller. Huge investment struggles to obtain profit it deserves;
5. Lack of quality assurance: intelligent lighting brings users better experience, it require more advanced technology to provide this effect. However, intelligent lighting technology is still in its early stage, quality usually can not be guaranteed.
1. Cross-industry cooperation is the trend, breaking the industry barriers and establishing unified interoperability standards are the right way forward;
2. Compile unified production standards and enhance the interchangeability of intelligent lighting parts;
3. Strengthen the application oriented mindset, providing users with the products they needs;
4. Reasonably plan products range to increase the proportion of service in total revenue;
5. Increasing technology investment is vital in guaranteeing good quality.
The advance of smart lighting is reflected in making the best response after reasonably analyzing and handling large amounts of data. It shows that the data is the basis of smart lighting. However, the big data industry is still facing difficulties in sharing information resources, high data security risks, and unsound industrial ecology.
Information barriers reduce the efficiency of resource allocation in the big data industry. The development of big data industry needs free flow and sharing of data information. Otherwise, data integration cannot be realized, and the value of data will be greatly reduced.
The weakness of data security management increases risks of the development of big data industry. Data security and privacy protection are global problems during the development of big data industry. This is mainly reflected in three aspects: First, the massive storage of data increases the difficulty of data security. Once a large amount of data is damaged or lost, the consequences are unimaginable. Second, in the era of big data, stronger safety awareness is necessary as data is diverse and complex. But in reality, either the security awareness of enterprises or individuals has not been changed from the traditional non-information era. There is a huge potential risk. Third, cyber attack brings data security risks. With the widespread use of big data in government, finance, and public utilities, the loss brought by data leakage far exceeds the industry. It’s a national security issue.
At present, protection for the global big data security is limited, coupled with the lack of laws and regulations for big data security, and there are flaws in the network information management system, which greatly increases the development risk of the big data industry. What’s more, the industrial ecosystem has shortcomings that hinder the formation of big data industry chains and industrial clusters. An important feature of the sustainable development of industrial health is the formation of a complete industrial chain and a multi-level ecosystem. China's big data industry is still in its infancy, mainly reflected in: the scattering of big data enterprises of various fields; uncoordinated industrial development, policies, platforms, innovation, and environment; unclear division of labor among big data enterprises, insufficient communication and cooperation, and insufficient synergy; the lagging development of big data industry associations and alliances.
In the internet era, big data and smart cities are inseparable from "interoperability". Nowadays, the IoT era has come. “Interoperability” has been mentioned again. Connection is the first step of intelligent lighting. However, there is no unified industry standard for intelligent lighting. Basically, they are all individual fighters. There are still some problems in the specifications and interoperability between products. Real intelligent lighting is what has scenes and automation, and what can be interactive with other smart devices. Therefore, in order to achieve interoperability, there have to be a unified standard for intelligent lighting. However, there are still some difficulties, which are embodied in the following aspects.
1. It’s difficult to decide between commonality and personality. Smart light products are diverse not only because users demands differ but also because manufactures’ understanding upon scenes differ. Personalization can promote the development of smart lighting, making the world more colorful. At the same time, it brings poor compatibility, which is not conducive to interoperability.
2. Artificially-created barriers. Some big companies or pioneers in the industry, in order to protect their existing market, often create barriers artificially so that other manufacturers' products are unable to connect with their products. These big companies or pioneers usually modify port definitions / specifications to prevent other vendors’s products from connecting into their system. Or they may add special ports / functions so that the functions of other vendors’s products become incomplete. They may set self-identification functions to reject other vendors' products. They may modify standard protocol definitions to hinder product communication with other vendors, and other examples like these. These practices restrict users’ willingness to experience different products, hinder the free circulation of goods, and infringes on customer rights in some way.
3. Cross-industry unification is difficult. It is well known that realizing intelligent lighting is not only a matter of lighting companies. It also involves different industries. Cross-border cooperation between different enterprises is necessary. For example, in the field of smart home, smart lighting is one of its important scenes, which requires smart lighting and smart home to be integrated effectively. But there are many brands of home appliances, and their ports and communication protocols are different. Therefore, if we only unify industry standards for lighting, it’s still a long way to go before users benefit the most from smart home, from IoT era. Promoting the standardization of home appliance industry will inevitably involve other home appliance business segments. Which business segment dominates the standard is another question.
The following ideas may help to achieve interoperability:
1. Balance the commonality and individuality for the sake of stable and sustained development of IoT. Whether to build a standard systematic ecological platform, form a unified application and management standards, and then integrate the software and hardware of different personalities through the opening of the ports become the key to the development of the IoT. Whoever builds a systematic ecological platform can occupy the commanding heights of the IoT industry.
2. Home appliances of different categories and different uses need to be integrated into the same network for communication, setting and control. Standard ports and related communication protocols that can be connected to each other are necessary for speeding up IoT promotion.
3. Despite the conflict of interests, some relevant department, uniting home appliance enterprises, establishes unified industrial standards, and strengthen the core technology research and development, information base and other links, so that IoT can be expected to become a universal application instead of being a concept. We can learn from the PC field, which Intel, IBM and Lenovo and other companies actively built PC standards so that products between different vendors could be interoperable. In the server, storage, communication fields, general products eventually replaced the traditional specialized devices. Users will benefit the most.
The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) is an open digital lighting system with advantages of security, reliability, flexibility and interoperability. All products can communicate with similar products without barriers as long as they meet the standard protocols. Both direct agreement makers (big company clubs) and users (small and medium-sized companies) have to comply with its standards, which effectively curb the possibility of artificially creating barriers.
The Konnex (KNX) system is a global control standard for residence and building that controls all devices of lighting, security and surveillance in a building. KNX is with good development, interoperability and perfect communication mechanism, which can effectively integrate different types of home appliances. The DALI system can effectively access the KNX system through a gateway to achieve interoperability with other different types of products.
The essence of current smart lighting is dimming and color temperature changing. Unlike traditional dimming power supplies, smart lighting power supplies work with various applications and software. Nowadays, there are too many APPs and users have begun to dislike them. In addition to the use of various gimcrack sensors, which make the scenes confusing, the actual effects are not what users really want. In the construction of smart cities, the smart street lamps, as a basic carrier, are also full of various functions, however, there’s not much breakthrough in real humanized smart control or energy saving. What’s more, many APPs are complicated to use. Users need to be trained or explained before using those APPs, which is not thoughtful enough for the elder and children. Application scene is more important for smart lighting than for traditional lighting. Only by researching into more scenes and learning users’ actual needs, can we design user-friendly products which are easy to install, to use and to maintain.
The easy-to-use Human Machine Interface (HMI) devices are recommended, such as scene panels which can be preset by users so that the light changes according to the size of the room and ambient luminance.
Input & Income
According to relevant statistics, the industry scale of global smart lighting may reach 24.341 billion US dollars by 2020. So far, China has invested more than 14 billion US dollars in smart lighting, the investment and income are not balanced, though. The main reason is that at the present stage, enterprises are mostly working for occupying market share and user resources in smart lighting. Only a few of them manage to cover operating expenses and make profits.
To expand the scale of income, reasonable product planning and service revenue proportion increase are necessary. Traditional lighting is just for product transaction whose main benefit is only reflected in the profit value of the product itself. Smart lighting is a different business model which is more of service value, and its revenue is persistent. For example, smart lighting in a classroom, different scenes can be set depending on the ambient luminance, course mode, student numbers and other special needs. Not only the product itself, but also the service for the whole system makes value.
At present, most of whom engaged in the field of smart lighting are small and medium-sized enterprises. They lack necessary technical accumulation and research and development, and the product quality is not guaranteed. This is the most important part. From the current projects, product quality cannot meet expectations, which is quite a serious problem. Once there are quality problems, suppliers may lose customers’ trust and be turned down for another opportunity.
Increasing technical investment is a key. Expanding market scale is not through increasing sales of cheap products, but through developing and manufacturing utilitarian products of greater innovation to actually meet the needs of more users.
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