A LEADING innovator in intelligent lighting says the focus on a winner in the protocol war is misplaced as a mix of technologies will be employed to make smart buildings happen.
Steve L’Heureux, the CEO of Igor, the power-over-Ethernet (PoE) specialist, says the emphasis on platforms was a distraction.
‘Our philosophy is that we are enabling smart buildings,’ said L’Heureux. ‘At last count, there were 19 protocols out there for connected lighting applications. We don’t define ourselves by the technology but by the needs of the customer.
‘The backbone is PoE, because of the reliability and security, but beyond that it could mean another technology such as Bluetooth or Zigbee or even Li-Fi.
‘Those hybrid systems are going to be the solutions of the future. The companies that survive will not be the ones that define themselves by their technology but by the customers’ problem they’re trying to solve.’
Interviewed at the LuxLive exhibition in London, L’Heureux, said the reason there weren’t more projects using power-over-Ethernet to connect light fittings was due to long lead times for new build and the fact that the lighting industry was ‘very conservative’.
‘It doesn’t embrace new technology,’ he told Lux interviewer Randy Reid. ‘By its very nature it’s careful about bringing new technology in. There’s some built-in resistance there.’
Additonally, PoE lended itself better to new construction than to retrofitting. He promised a new generation of new build projects with PoE installations would come on stream in 2018.
‘The conversations we are having with lighting manufacturers are dramatically different to the ones we were having with them two years ago.
‘Personally, I’ve seen the analogue-to-digital transition in two industries – the print and publishing industry and the broadcast industry – and the biggest established players, if they don’t adapt they will die. In the lighting industry the big players are understanding quickly that they need to adapt’.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW IN FULL:
+ LuxLive 2018 will focus on ‘property technology’ and include an on-the-floor conference on smart buildings. It takes place on Wednesday 14 November and Thursday 15 November 2018. See the floorplan HERE.