AllSeen Launches Initiative to Advance Smart Lighting

October 08, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

The AllSeen Alliance announced an initiative designed to change how people think about and interact with lighting in their homes and businesses. The Alliance's Connected Lighting Working Group will develop ways for IP-enabled, multi-color and energy-efficient LED light bulbs to work in creative new ways with each other and things including televisions, home security systems, home appliances, smoke detectors and door locks.

Members of the Connected Lighting Working Group are collaborating on lighting services for the AllSeen Alliance's AllJoyn open source Internet of Everything project, leveraging its capabilities for discovery, security and interoperability to develop a new AllJoyn framework for lighting called the Lighting Service Framework (LSF). The LSF will enable new levels of interoperability between connected devices and lights, but also provide third-party developers building applications a way to discover and control lighting in an open, common way across manufacturers. This breaks through the limitations and uncertain interoperability of current vertical solutions and proprietary interfaces in the market.

"Connected lighting has the potential to be one of the most dramatic applications of the Internet of Everything in homes and businesses," said the Lighting Working Group's chair, Marc Alexander, CTO at smart lighting company LIFX, an AllSeen Alliance member. "To meet that potential, lights need the ability to proximally discover one another and other things regardless of brand, platform or OS. That's why there is a strong need in the market for a connected lighting framework based on open standards."

Lighting is an area of exciting innovation in the Internet of Everything, which connects everyday devices, objects and systems in simple, transparent ways. Today, most innovation in lighting has focused on building a better light bulb. Compact fluorescents emerged to replace the traditional bulbs that are being phased out by worldwide energy standards, and more recently, bulbs using LEDs have emerged as the future of lighting.

But the most interesting changes are coming as lighting gets more intelligent. The new generation of connected lighting will be controlled by a smartphone application, home automation controller or directly from other connected devices. This smarter lighting enables control of individual or groups of lights based on a user's preference, mood or activity, opening up new experiences in the home.

For example, a smart doorbell could flash the lights indicating that someone is at the door. Or a smart home security system could strobe the indoor and outdoor lights in the event of a security incident and turn on a camera to record live video. A video game on a mobile device or game console could control the lights to make the lighting interactive with the gameplay. A wearable baby monitor could pulse the family room lights to indicate that the baby is waking from a nap.