Despite the rapid pace technology advances at, there are still people that think commercial lighting cannot be sustained wirelessly. Even though wireless networks are widespread, there are still many myths about them that people believe. Wireless systems have been used successfully with commercial smart light projects. They have been implemented in ways that prove to work just as well as wired systems. Here are some common myths about commercial wireless lighting systems and the truth about them.
Wireless networks are unsecured
As long as a wireless system is installed correctly, there is little security risk associated with it. With more and more systems, like lighting, becoming connected and dependent on the internet and cloud networks, security threats are bound to increase but so is protection.
Authentication and encryption are the foundation of cybersecurity strategies. Encryption is essential in wireless protocols, and authentication stops unauthorized access to lighting controls. These safeguards prevent viruses, unwanted intruders, and Trojan horses (programs created to breach security while performing a seemingly harmless action). Authentication and encryption need to be implemented into a wireless system from the onset to prevent service disruption.
There should also be end-to-end security strategies in place – from front end software to control logic to end nodes inside the device – to strengthen protection against unlawful access. It is paramount that lighting control system devices understand that the commands they are receiving are from authorized users and devices.
Not enough bandwidth
Bandwidth determines how fast a network is and while wired networks do have more bandwidth than wireless networks, that does not mean performance is compromised. Wired networks use radio waves to communicate with the devices they are connected to. Wireless networks use a combination of filtering and optimization techniques, which makes them perform just as efficiently as wired networks.
You can also fine-tune your commercial wireless lighting network to reduce lagging. Since sensors on your lighting network are continually collecting data to work, they can become overloaded with information that is not useful. Data filtering can help filter useless data, speeding up your connection. It works by refining data input to just include what is relevant so that repetitive or irrelevant information does not get processed.
There are two main methods used to ensure wireless reliability: mesh and point-to-point. Mesh allows each node (a connection point on a network that can store, send, or receive data) on a network to communicate with other nodes on the same network. Point-to-point allows two nodes on the same network to communicate directly with each other – like a phone call.
Wireless mesh networks have nodes that can communicate with every device it is connected to, and transmit messages to neighbouring nodes. If a disruption occurs, mesh networks can heal themselves by automatically re-routing data. Mesh networks are scalable, reliable, and robust because of the multiple pathways they have built-in that provide better coverage.