Near field communication combined with domestic lighting

nflNear field communication (NFC) technology is gradually entering the mainstream, thanks to its integration in various items, from bank cards to smartphones. Now, a pair of companies is looking to make it a staple of the domestic lighting market, according to Electronics Weekly.

During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which took place in Las Vegas earlier this month, a new range of lighting control solutions, based on the use of NFC, were showcased by NXP and EnOcean.

NFC Management
The idea is to alter the way that traditional light switches operate by making it possible to control LED lighting solutions using a smartphone’s NFC chip, opening up a whole world of potential applications further down the line.

LED lights are available online and big names in the electrical components industry stock a wide array of LED types and options. Suppliers like RS and Premier Farnell have extensive ranges on offer. They also provide background info on individual products that can prove to be handy for your DIY projects. The new developments could be used with the current LED stocks. For example, the LED lights available from RS Components could soon be manipulated in a way other than by a simple on-off switch on the wall which has to be physically pressed to activate. Instead, upon entering the room, a person will tap their phone on a compatible NFC pad and the lighting will adjust itself as is appropriate to various parameters.

With white and coloured LED lighting arrays combined with NFC technology at the CES 2014 presentation, it is clear that these companies have extensive ambitions. Lighting can be managed via an Android-based smartphone once the NFC link has been established, according to a statement from NXP.

The switches which act as NFC pads are also able to operate without the use of a built-in battery, which is due to the presence of a generator that is activated via the rocker they include. This is a clever and efficient touch that is in keeping with the eco-friendly innovation offered by all LED lighting solutions.

It will be interesting to see whether NFC has the ability to broaden its influence in the home control and lighting market, as there will doubtlessly be other manufacturers working on competing alternatives.

Reflecting Benefits
There were other beneficial developments to LED lighting technology announced this week, including the emergence of a new silicone moulding for lamps from Dow Corning, which is far more reflective and resilient than previous equivalents.

We are told, 98 percent of the light which hits the surface of the compound is reflected, which means that it does not waste illumination by absorbing it. This in turn gives it impressive thermal properties, and it can remain stable even at temperatures higher than 150 degrees Celsius.

Because of the resilience exhibited by the compound, it can be moulded directly to the LED module itself rather than requiring a small divide to prevent overheating. This creates a number of possibilities for usage and allows it to work better than the polycarbon and acrylic compounds which are already in use, according to the manufacturer.

Reflective moulding for LED lighting ensures that as much of the light generated by modules is usable as possible, and inefficiencies are being eliminated across the board thanks to the creation of new products like this.

Indeed, it is possible to envision a future in which both domestic and commercial lighting systems can be managed via NFC and take advantage of the efficiencies which are associated with advanced compounds encasing lamps themselves.

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