Bluetooth mesh networking to the professional lighting sector

Nordic-powered sensor enables lighting manufacturers to deliver Bluetooth mesh networking to the professional lighting sector

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Nordic-powered sensor enables lighting manufacturers to deliver Bluetooth mesh networking to the professional lighting sector

The ‘Fixture-Integrated Sensor’ from Murata can be integrated into a wide range of luminaires, allowing users to configure and control lighting network from a smartphone

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Murata has released its ‘Fixture-Integrated Sensor’ for the professional lighting sector, employing Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide wireless mesh networking between individual sensors, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphones and tablets which offer a single point from where the sensors can be commissioned, configured, and controlled.

The ‘Fixture-Integrated Sensor’ combines occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and 0-10V dimming control in a compact form factor, and can be integrated into a wide range of new or existing luminaires, enabling lighting manufacturers to deliver wirelessly-controllable and sensor-equipped lighting fixtures with minimal RF engineering expertise. The sensor employs Bluetooth mesh software which enables users to instantly and simultaneously control up to hundreds of Bluetooth mesh-equipped lights from smartphones or tablets.

Once installed, the luminaires just need to be connected to mains power and can then be provisioned (“commissioned”), configured, and controlled directly from a mobile device using either smart-light maker Silvair’s iOS ‘Platform’ or Nordic’s iOS and Android ‘nRF Mesh’ intuitive apps. The nRF Mesh app, for example, enables a range of management features for use in Bluetooth mesh networks, allowing simple provision and configuration of Bluetooth mesh networks and devices. Either app allows the user to create lighting zones, enable and disable sensors, pair with switches, as well as set desired lighting levels.

Bluetooth mesh allows devices within a Bluetooth LE network to communicate directly with companion devices without recourse to a central hub device. Such a system extends communication range, flexibility, and reliability. Key applications for Bluetooth mesh include professional lighting installations, back-ends for managed beacons, and industrial monitoring.

Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC is a powerful multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF52832 combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex™ M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dBm RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC’s powerful processor and generous memory can support the sensor’s complex mesh software, while the radio’s sensitivity ensures good range.

The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.

“We selected Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC because of the capabilities of the Arm processor and the large memory capacity,” says Takeshi Sato, General Manager of IoT Business Promotion Department, Murata. “The availability of technical information from Nordic is also impressive.”

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