Case Study

Outdoor lighting on mesh network


Our client – a leading player in outdoor lighting – needs wireless command and control systems to make the best use of their ground breaking technology. The commercial case for new lighting technologies ramps up hugely if they are under smart control – on or off when needed; multi-level brightness settings for power conservation; condition monitoring to allow precision preventative maintenance; and the ability to use the lamps for more than mere illumination. While municipalities can use closed radio bands, they are expensive. Plus, commercial users may not have access to them and so a low cost, unlicensed solution was needed.

Our Approach

The system requirements included a number of unique features, such as very low normal data rates, occasional fast response, significant network asymmetry, geographical zoning, long range, small footprint. Actually, most applications that Venture work on have their own set of unique feature, so atypical is the norm!

The Venture team translated the system requirements into a wireless network specification running in the unlicensed ISM 900MHz band, and then set about customizing mesh network configuration and messaging protocols to optimize the design against the parameters. Once performance had been verified analytically, we built a prototype system using the building blocks of RFOS. With the basic operation proven, we then tuned the designs of the nodes, hubs and gateways to provide a truly optimized system. As well as the radio systems, Venture has provided all the electrical and electronic design and the system level software.

The Result

Within four months of pushing the button, our client had the first working prototypes of the entire system. The system performance, including range, exceeds anything that could have been achieved with any of the wireless standards or by using pre-certified modules. In particular, we beat the business-critical cost target for the node, i.e. the module on the lamp, by a significant margin. Our client expects the new system to drive considerable new business to their door.