Marina pioneers IoT lighting platform

THE LIGHTING at an East European yacht marina is being controlled using Internet connected luminaires communicating using the LoRa platform.

The high-technology installation at the harbour in Tallinn, Estonia, is being seen as a demonstration of the suitability of the low-energy LoRaWAN protocol for outdoor lighting applications. 

LoRaWAN – which stands for long range wide area network –  is a technology new to the lighting industry which uses the unlicensed spectrum below 1GHz to transmit and receive information. It is one of a number of wireless platforms vying for dominance in the sector's 'protocol war'.

The LED luminaire heads are dimmed and switched by Dali drivers which are in turn controlled by LoRaWAN devices.

The lighting of the pedestrian areas and the harbour breakwater at Haven Kakumäe marina are controlled remotely via an IP68-rated LoRaWAN device in each of the 45 luminaires.  Each of the LoRaWAN devices are in turn connected to a DALI-enabled driver which allows switching and dimming of the LED sources.

The LoRaWAN devices are connected wirelessly to an on-site gateway, which links all the lighting to the internet. Here software tools can configure in real-time the response of the lighting to the conditions, including movement at the facility.

The authorities at Haven Kakumäe also have the option to connect with external applications via APIs to use the data in third-party systems.

Although the harbour is still testing the full solution, the controllers already provide better control over lighting allowing real-time control of street lights, say the suppliers Nordic Automation Systems.

The ability to monitor light intensity, work mode and movement means that unnecessary over-lighting can be avoided, which in turn allows energy saving.

The installation was designed and commissioned by KEHA3 and Nordic Automation Systems.

LoRa is one of many wireless protocols competing for dominance in the lighting sector, and the success of this project will be widely watched in the industry.

At LuxLive in London last November, Bluetooth introduced its recently-agree mesh network standard, another technology vying to become the default platform for lighting. 

Pictures: Margus Triibmann/KEHA3

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