Electronic Design
Recent ZigBee Standards Target Lighting Applications

Recent ZigBee Standards Target Lighting Applications

A brief introduction to two new ZigBee standards:  Light Link for lighting control and ZigBee IP for Internet connectivity.

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Two new standards from the ZigBee Alliance are a great fit for lighting applications: Light Link and ZigBee IP. Based upon the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for personal area networks, ZigBee works in the 2.4-GHz unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band and adds extra layers to the protocol to implement wireless mesh networks (see “What’s The Difference Between IEEE 802.15.4 And ZigBee Wireless?”).

Light Link is a ZigBee application as well as an open global standard designed for consumer lighting and control products. It lets consumers implement wireless control over all of their LED fixtures, light bulbs, timers, remote controls, and switches (see the figure). For example, they can easily change lighting remotely to develop the right environment for ambiance or a task. It also helps manage energy consumption.

With ZigBee Light Link, consumers can control all of the enabled lights in the home from a tablet or smart phone by way of a wireless gateway or router.

With Light Link, all of the various lighting products form a self-organizing, self-healing mesh network that can be controlled over the Internet via computers, tablets, or smart phones. The protocol also makes it easy to add new items or delete items. Best of all, the ZigBee Alliance’s testing program ensures that all certified products interoperate for foolproof application. The Light Link standard is now fully ratified and ready for distribution. Go to www.ZigBee.org/LightLinkfor more information.

ZigBee IP is an open specification for IPv6-based wireless mesh networking solutions that provides Internet connections to control low-power, low-cost devices like LED lighting. It targets companies creating wireless solutions for energy management or commercial and consumer applications. It enhances the basic IEEE 802.15.4 standard and ZigBee mesh architecture by adding network and security layers and an application framework.

The IP application provides a scalable architecture for IPv6 networking and lays the foundation for the Internet of Things without the need for intermediate gateways. It offers a cost-effective and energy-efficient wireless mesh network based on standard Internet protocols such as 6LoWPAN, IPv6, PANA, RPL, TCP, TLS, and UDP. It also features proven security using the TLS1.2 protocol, link layer frame security based on the AES-128-CCM algorithm, and support for public key infrastructure using standard X.509 v3 certificates and the ECC-256 cipher suite. A ZigBee Alliance testing program will certify interoperability. Details are available at www.zigbee.org/IP.

ZigBee Alliance


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