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    Bluetooth low energy: Control LED color and brightness with a smartphone

    By Majeed Ahmad | March 27, 2017

    Bluetooth mesh networking and beacon functionality are now allowing smart lighting startups like PURillume to simplify installation complexity, reduce energy consumption, and automate lighting controls merely by using a smartphone or a tablet.

    PURillume’s LED lamps for hospitality and residential markets can be color tuned wirelessly using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) encrypted connections from a master lamp, smartphone or tablet. These energy-efficient LED lights, according to PURillume, are brighter than a conventional 150W bulb. And they can adjust the brightness output up to 3,250 lumens.

    PURillume claims that even at its maximum lumen output, the company’s Orchid LED lamp consumes less than a 60W incandescent bulb. Moreover, to further boost energy efficiency, these lights feature sleep/sunset mode, alarm/sunrise mode, and nightlight mode.

    PURillume uses a single-chip BLE solution from Nordic Semiconductor for inter-device communications between LED lamps across a mesh network. Nordic’s sixth-generation BLE chipset combines 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio.

    Lighting control is a basic technology ingredient whether we are talking about smart city or smart building or smart home applications. And wireless technology is a fundamental building block when it comes to implementing smart lighting controls.

    So far, zigbee and Wi-Fi have been the popular wireless connectivity mechanisms for smart lighting applications. Now Bluetooth low energy is the new kid on the smart lighting block, primarily because unlike zigbee and Wi-Fi, it doesn’t need a hub or gateway to communicate with light bulbs.