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Frequently asked Questions

Here you can find some questions and answers about Connected Lighting in general

What is The Connected Lighting Alliance?

The Connected Lighting Alliance is a non-profit initiative to promote and stimulate the development of open standard wireless lighting solutions that are maximally interoperable and provide value to end users, founded by leading companies in the lighting industry and open to parties that subscribe to the objectives of the alliance and can make a meaningful contribution.

Who are the founding members of The Connected Lighting Alliance, why are they involved, and what do they bring to this effort?

The Connected Lighting Alliance was established by General Electric, Lutron, Osram, Panasonic, Philips, and Toshiba. All members share the vision that industry standardized wireless interfaces for lighting controls will benefit consumers by enabling the creation of interoperable, yet differentiated wireless systems and thereby facilitate accelerated adoption of wireless lighting systems. As the founding members of The Connected Lighting Alliance are located all over the world, this allows the alliance to operate and have an impact on a global scale.

What exactly is The Connected Lighting Alliance promising to deliver? What is the consortium’s scope?

The Connected Lighting Alliance encourages the development of a robust wireless lighting control environment, including component suppliers, solution providers, standards development bodies, and compliance testers. By doing this, the alliance strives to:

Align the lighting industry on a unified approach towards wireless connectivity
  • Create a low risk choice for customers;
- Ensure interoperability
  • Enable a stable shared platform that triggers industry growth
Focus the investments of suppliers and increase value chain support
  • Take cost out of the system

The initial focus of the activities of the Connected Lighting Alliance is on consumer lighting applications and commercial buildings.

Why are wireless lighting solutions important?

Over the past decade, the use of wireless connected devices has become widespread. Technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee are now found in many devices, improving their ease-of-use and capabilities. The rapid market adoption of smartphones and tablet computers is not only a prime example of this trend, but has also initiated a change in the way people control devices. Lighting products can also benefit from this shift towards wireless connected systems. It can make lighting controls easier and creates opportunities to offer new value added functionalities as well as help reduce energy consumption.
Although wireless lighting controls can be used for all types of lamps (linear fluorescents, compact fluorescents, incandescent, and high pressure lamps, etc.), the shift towards the use of LED lighting constitutes an important driver for wireless lighting controls. The advent of LED technology brings the potential of exciting new functionality (e.g. color) which will require innovative control mechanisms. Using wireless lighting controls, users will be able to switch, dim, change color, make group color settings, etc.  It enriches the consumer experience, in a very simple manner.

Why does the Connected Lighting Alliance focus on open standards, and what is an open standard?

An ‘open standard’ is a standard made available to the general public and developed (or approved) and maintained via a collaborative and consensus driven process. Open standards facilitate interoperability and data exchange among different products or services and are intended for widespread adoption. Such open standards are beneficial for consumers because they enable interoperable wireless lighting products and facilitate adoption of wireless lighting systems.
A more elaborate definition of open standards is provided by the ‘IPR Ad Hoc group’ of the International Telecommunications Union’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

Why is interoperability important?

Consumers value the convenience and simplicity of controlling light wherever they are, and the ambiance settings or lifestyle expressions they can create with lighting. Wireless networking and control enables and further improves these capabilities. However, there is a risk that consumers will be confused and frustrated by the diversity of incompatible wireless communication solutions on the market. The Connected Lighting Alliance aims to remove this barrier by focusing its efforts to support open standards and increase the number of companies that provide interoperable wireless connected lighting products. The alliance strives toward a future where a consumer can buy a lamp from company A, put it in a luminaire from company B, uses a control from company C or a wireless switch from company D, and have a total solution that works. This will increase consumer confidence to adopt wireless lighting products, and make it easier to connect multiple lighting products and control these as a system. In addition, the more a particular open standard is used, the better the economies of scale related to the components, taking unnecessary cost out of the system.

What are the activities of The Connected Lighting Alliance?

The scope of The Connected Lighting Alliance will include several activities:

Promote the growth of wireless connected lighting solutions by providing marketing tools, such as publications, and demonstrators for the education of both consumers and industry partners, or providing  grants to organizations for promoting open standards supported by The Connected Lighting Alliance    

Provide a forum where interested parties may meet to discuss technology issues and interoperability requirements related to connected lighting

Support and interact with open standards bodies in their development of standards that enable connected lighting

Promote the growth and development of the industry by supporting the voluntary creation and implementation of industry-standard compliance tests which assure the interoperability of connected lighting products.

How is The Connected Lighting Alliance organized?

In order to achieve its goals, the main activities of The Connected Lighting Alliance are performed by technical advisory workgroups (which analyze the open standards that can be used for a wireless interface and provide recommendations) and the promotion workgroup. The technical advisory workgroups are established by the Board of Directors of The Connected Lighting Alliance, which is responsible for the day-to-day governance.

The Board of Directors reports its activities and the progress of The Connected Lighting Alliance to the General Assembly, which reviews the activities of the alliance and elects the Board of Directors. The General Assembly, Board of Directors and Work Groups all have a chair and a vice-chair which are responsible for leading the activities of the bodies they represent. The Connected Lighting Alliance also has a Secretary General who promotes and facilitates communication between the members and between the bodies of the alliance.

Will membership to The Connected Lighting Alliance be open to all?

Yes, The Connected Lighting Alliance is open to all parties that are willing and able to contribute to its goals.

Will all members have equal access to all activities?

Parties that are interested in joining can apply for regular- or an associate membership. As can be seen from the table below (showing an overview of the rights and privileges of regular and associate members), regular members have more rights and privileges than associate members.

How can my company become a member of The Connected Lighting Alliance and what are the benefits of being a member?

Parties that are interested in becoming a member of The Connected Lighting Alliance can apply by completing the membership agreement, which is available on The Connected Lighting Alliance website, and sending it to the alliance’s Secretary General.

How much do I invest to become a member?

The membership fee is € 25.000 for regular members or € 2.500 for associate members

Where can interested companies get more information on The Connected Lighting Alliance?

Inquiries can be addressed to the secretary general of the alliance