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February 9, 2024
Discover how Bluetooth® NLC is paving a new path for lighting control and making it easier to illuminate your world with seamless connectivity.
Light switches have gone from our walls to our smartphones with the advent of smart home technology, but now, with Bluetooth® Networked Lighting Control (NLC), lighting up your world has become easier than ever. Developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a worldwide collaborative initiative composed of nearly 40,000 member companies, Bluetooth NLC is the first full-stack standard that introduces multi-vendor interoperability to smart lighting environments.
With Bluetooth NLC, there’s no more brand segmentation — you can control all your lighting devices from one place for connectivity that’s seamless and centralized. This protocol not only expands control access to users who prefer a mix of manufacturers to brighten their homes and offices but makes it simpler for product developers to craft devices that meet today’s standards while pushing the boundaries of innovation. Let’s explore why this matters.
Bluetooth NLC reimagines how we control and manage lighting in homes, offices, commercial spaces, and even public areas, transforming traditional lighting systems into smart, connected ecosystems. Architecturally, this protocol standardizes the radio through device layers for all-around compatibility.
But besides interoperability and centralized networked lighting control, Bluetooth NLC offers an array of additional benefits, including:
As technology has advances, consumers and businesses have increasingly embraced the benefits of smart lighting solutions. In fact, it’s projected that Bluetooth NLC lighting shipments will surpass wired devices by 2027.
However, the growth of wireless lighting control has highlighted the need for standardization in the industry. With various manufacturers developing proprietary systems, interoperability and compatibility issues have arisen. Standardization is the key to ensuring that different devices and systems can communicate with each other across brand lines.
Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) laid the foundation for wireless lighting control by introducing the concept of energy-efficient communication. Defining how devices transmit data over radio frequencies, Bluetooth LE meant that smart home lighting systems could operate with minimal power consumption. This marked the first step towards transforming traditional lighting systems into intelligent, collaborative networks.
While Bluetooth LE paved the way for wireless lighting control, it had certain limitations, particularly in terms of communication topologies. Devices primarily communicated in a one-to-one or one-to-many fashion, restricting their ability to create intricate networks — until Bluetooth® Mesh came along.
Bluetooth Mesh added a communication layer to the Bluetooth stack that supported many-to-many wireless topologies, allowing devices to relay messages and extend communication throughout an entire network. It was revolutionary technology, enabling the creation of complex and comprehensive networked lighting control systems. But brand segmentation left many devices incompatible with each other, leading to unresolved connectivity issues.
Now, with Bluetooth NLC, silos created by proprietary solutions are no longer a barrier to interoperability, allowing users to mix and match devices and components from various manufacturers. It’s a monumental shift for the lighting industry, facilitating a more open and fluid ecosystem, much to the advantage of consumers, businesses, and developers alike.
So, what does a world with Bluetooth NLC look like? Here’s a closer look at how the full-stack protocol revolutionizes smart lighting and networked lighting control for users and developers.
As a member of Bluetooth SIG, Telink played a pivotal role in the development of Bluetooth NLC, and we’re thrilled to keep iterating on products for the future. In the meantime, Telink offers state-of-the-art SoCs and SDKs that enable manufacturers to create innovative and interoperable lighting control products with Bluetooth NLC based on a fully certified platform. With our commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable, and foresighted solutions, we help manufacturers bring lighting products to market quickly and efficiently while working towards technology that will bring forth the next generation of IoT products.