Woman controlling the lights of her house using a home automation system

What Are Bluetooth Mesh Lighting Networks?

LEDs (light emitting diodes) have increasingly become one of the most popular lighting solutions. Data compiled in recent years demonstrates that these lights are more efficient than their traditional fluorescent counterparts.

Light-emitting diodes come in all shapes and sizes, with seemingly everyone now having a bulb or two in their home. Many companies hope to increase the number of smart Wi-Fi lightbulbs in the country. These new smart lightbulbs will join millions already in the United States.

Sometimes, a conventional lightbulb can seem static and dull. If you’re hoping to spice your lighting up, there’s a way you can use Bluetooth Mesh lighting networks to add a little more color, life, and surprises.

What are mesh Bluetooth lighting networks? Read on to discover the answer!

Introducing the Bluetooth Mesh Network

You may have heard of Wi-Fi wireless lighting systems. These systems generally involve an individual network of devices.

In contrast, Bluetooth Mesh lighting systems utilize large collections of devices. Your Bluetooth Mesh system can link:

  • Switches
  • Heating
  • HVAC systems
  • Sensors
  • Light fixtures
  • Shades

These systems then use a Bluetooth chain to message across devices to perform isolated functions. For example, you could use this network to turn on the second-floor administrative office’s lamp.

This Bluetooth Mesh networking provides unheard-of levels of convenience to buildings. You can use these networks in your office or house to link your devices in unprecedented ways.

These systems work most famously with lighting systems. However, you may wonder how this network operates. We’ll explore this in greater detail in the next section.

How Bluetooth Mesh Lighting Networks Work

How does a Bluetooth Mesh lighting network operate? First, let’s talk about alternative wireless lighting systems.

Other wireless lighting systems link various devices to a single router. This router collects and distributes the commands and data to the various devices. The technology industry refers to these devices as “nodes.”

Bluetooth systems operate differently than their other wireless alternatives. These systems remove the router or gatekeeper device from the system. Instead, the network uses each independent node to relay commands to their eventual destination.

Why does this matter? When you connect every device to a router, a single point makes or breaks the system. If the router goes down, the entire system falls apart.

The Bluetooth Mesh system avoids this problem. If one node goes down, the system will redirect the message to its destination node through other devices.

These systems refer to this means of transmission as “flooding.” Flooding means there are numerous paths to a message that can make it to a node. So, as long as most of the nodes function, the command can still reach its final destination.

The Benefits of Bluetooth Mesh Lighting Networks

We’ve already discussed one benefit of Bluetooth Mesh systems. Their flooding operation avoids the weakness of relying on a single router to uphold the system.

Flooded mesh systems are much more efficient than the alternative methods. They make it easy to control multiple devices through a single network. It’s also helpful for sending multicast messages across several devices.

However, there are several other benefits of this system. First, these networks are scalable. They can grow with the needs of your building.

Each node in your network is an element that you can address. Each node has a primary element, and many have secondary elements. The number and structure of these elements throughout the network do not change throughout the node’s lifetime.

This fact means that switches will always remain the same, and sensors will never stop being sensors. These devices and components retain their uses throughout the network’s growth. Because of this, you can add new elements to the system.

Another benefit of these mesh systems is their interoperability. The system allows vendors to implement software that mixes and matches their products. This approach hosts significant interoperability on any Bluetooth Mesh network.

Finally, Bluetooth mesh designs prioritize security. Compromising these systems becomes challenging because the nodes have individual security systems.

The Drawbacks of Bluetooth Mesh Lighting Networks

While Bluetooth Mesh systems include many benefits, they also have a few drawbacks. Each node in a mesh network bears increased responsibility.

After all, each node essentially acts as a router. Likewise, each additional node also makes the network more complicated.

Nodes must track messages from 5-10 neighbor nodes. Every message contains an exponential increase in the amount of data it has to handle.

In doing so, the system could become overbearingly complicated. These complications could take a toll on your network and increase your data load.

Another issue is that the initial network setup can be cumbersome. It’s easy to add nodes to an existing mesh network. But, installing a mesh network is often a much more complex process.

Latency issues can determine where you place your nodes. These issues may also cause you to add dedicated nodes specifically for forwarding your commands. You may need to add equipment throughout your building to route messages throughout the network.

Finally, the increased power consumption in your nodes causes a strain on your workload. Every node must draw additional power to ensure the system works correctly.

This problem may not be an issue for large devices. However, smaller nodes may struggle more with providing this power.

Find the Best Network Products

As you can see, a Bluetooth Mesh network can provide increased convenience to your building. These lighting networks improve efficiency and benefit your home.

So, how can you begin building your network? First, find the best nodes and kits to install the system.

To that end, consider shopping for these products on our website! We offer several products and resources to help you improve your lighting. Shop around to find the products you need!

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