Key lighting market and customer trends
The founders of the TALQ Consortium have recognized the following trends in outdoor lighting:
- Accelerated introduction of LED luminaires in road and urban lighting
- Growing need for tailor-made lighting
- Professionalization of city operations management to increase efficiency
- High pressure in the society to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions
The way outdoor lighting systems are operated and managed has changed greatly over time. In traditional lighting scouting team were driving during the night to spot failed lights. Paper maps and files were used to manage the maintenance of the lighting installation. Light levels could not be changed; the lighting remained at the same level throughout the night. The energy consumption of the lighting installation could only be estimated.
In intelligent lighting operation it is possible to remotely monitor the lighting installation and failures are automatically reported. The system can smartly plan and route the maintenance work to minimize street blockages and maintenance effort. Smart systems can dim the lights during low traffic hours to save energy or enhance lighting to improve safety. Intelligent systems are in addition often capable of accurate measuring of the consumed energy.
Interoperability in outdoor lighting networks
Controllable Outdoor Lighting Networks are already used in many countries. The systems consist of a central computer/server or Central Management System (CMS), and networks of connected light points, the so-called Outdoor Lighting Networks (OLN), that can be controlled by the CMS. Some manufacturers have developed their own proprietary technologies while others are using similar protocols. Interoperability between systems and system components of different brands is required to enable municipalities to benefit from systems from various manufacturers. See picture below.
The lack of a standardized communication between CMS and OLN leads to the situation that a city/region may have different systems that are non-interoperable and therefore difficult to integrate, operate and maintain. This lack of standard is overall hampering the adaptation of these systems. The TALQ Consortium therefore aims at standardizing the interface between the CMS and the OLNs, see picture below.
In this way it will be possible to connect OLNs of different technologies or vendors to a CMS of a different brand.
The TALQ interface will be a specification for information exchange, suitable for implementation on various physical transport systems. TALQ will focus on the so-called application layer of the interface protocol and will neither define the physical layer nor network layer. This approach will foster competition and will help to grow the market for the benefit of the end-users.