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The Future Design For The Next Generation LEDs
Aug 24, 2016

LEDs have continued to evolve as the years roll by.  Lots of exciting designs have been seen in many of them.  The future promises to be more surprising when it comes to LED designs.  In this write-up, we’re going to be examining the future design possibilities expected of the next generation LEDs.

Actually, brighter and cheaper LEDs do come up every few months.  All kinds of modern day designing processes are used in manufacturing them.  So many manufacturers have come into the business.  Today, many of our lighting products are fast becoming brighter and affordable. This is because of the changes noticed in the designing of LEDs.  There are specific aspects to be considered in the future designs of LEDs. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Lighting Control 
This is one unique aspect that must be considered in the future designs of LEDs. There’s the possibility of an interface of the light with a lighting controller.  This is likely to take substantial time and money to implement.   It’s likely to involve special hardware and software products.  There may also be circumstances whereby you may want to communicate with your light.  Some large installations of lights in big offices may require central control. They may need to be put off in the evening time when every staff member has closed for the day. Again, they may also need to be turned on in the morning. Hence, there’s a need to integrate a central control unit for all the lights so that workers may not need to walk around every morning and evening to put them on or off as the case may be.

DALI Protocol 
There’s also the future possibility of integrating DALI protocol for digital dimming. This is expected to add extra flexibility to lighting systems. It will also help in controlling up to 64 luminaries from a single pair of signal cables.   This kind of approach is expected to benefit larger installations of lights in office buildings a great deal.  It will also be useful where intelligent lighting systems are mainly used for presence detection, daylight harvesting and other advanced energy management techniques.

Actually, the term “DALI” refers to a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface which is designed to replace and enhance the traditional 0 – 10 V analog dimmer.  It serves as an open lighting control protocol   that is backed by major manufacturers of lighting systems.  It has also been   designed as the most suitable control standards for most fluorescent ballasts.

A typical two wire DALI network is designed to support up to 64 lighting devices.  It also uses Manchester encoding mechanism which makes the polarity of the wires interchangeable. This results in fool-proof installation at any time.

Meanwhile the DALI protocol  has a relatively low baud rate of 1200 bit per second. However, this is sufficient to turn on, turn off or dim a light source.  DALI is also an addressable protocol; hence   devices can also be addressed individually or in groups.  A  DALI master device can easily control a single light or groups of light while a DALI command can be extended from typical level dimming   and scene setting to incorporating environmental sensors for motion sensing and ambient light.  The DALI standard can also include extensibility of the manufacturer’s specific commands.

ZigBee Open-Standard Technology 
The ZeeBee open standard technology is yet another future design possibility reserved for the next generation of LEDs. The ZigBee protocol is being spearheaded by various utility companies. They use it to enhance energy inside homes where different appliances can accommodate and control themselves.  The electric usage is broadcast from an electric meter with the hope of helping consumers to use their home appliances better. They can easily turn off unnecessary appliances while using the necessary ones at the same time.

It’s expected that in the foreseeable future, the display panel   of the ZigBee could morph into a control panel which will help in controlling lights and other needed appliances.  All ZigBee devices are expected to run a complete software stack to ensure interoperability.

Power-line Communication 
This is also another feat that is expected in the future designs of LEDS. It’s simply another wired communication technology that requires no dedicated wire.  The command control functions can easily be sent and received on 110 or 220 VAC wires.

Actually, there are already variations of power-line communications existing here and there.  Frequency shift keying (FSK) is one of the most popular choices. It has a low data rate for the command and control functions.   High frequency communication on 69 Hz power line is usually used in the method. 

Meanwhile the quality of power-line communication actually varies.  There’s an error correction system   involved. For instance, the Forward Error Correction helps in reducing the error rate and also improves the bandwidth of the medium.  The data rate can also achieve 30 kbps or higher.

When compared to a regular switch, the power line communication requires an MCU to run on a given network stack. That notwithstanding, it has lots of benefits. The software stack can make the network to expand thereby connecting and controlling every smart appliance plugged to the power line.  Many utility companies have started evaluating power line communications as a unique complementary technology.  They use that for Smart Energy Home Area Network.

In all, the future still holds a lot for LEDs and their designs.  Several manufacturers have come into the business. As a result, several kinds of LEDs are being produced on regular basis. The LEDs of yesteryears are likely to become obsolete in the near future.  The future designs seen in the next generation LEDs are quite awesome. LEDs    will be becoming more   useful and less expensive. This will   in turn make so many lighting systems to become brighter.  Several control systems are being developed. The future of LEDs is indeed bright.    The rate of development seen in LED designs    is quite tremendous. It actually matches the rate of changes seen in the area of scientific technology.