Switch or cell phone? The smart answer is both

Casambi knows that “smart” lighting isn’t just about controlling lighting from your mobile phone. The company’s technology also works seamlessly with EnOcean’s Easyfit switches, explains Casambi’s Product Marketing Manager Saara Guastella

It’s over 130 years since the modern light switch was invented, and more than 50 years since the first dimmer switch. Things have come a long way since then, and we now have the ability to control lighting wirelessly via the digital devices we all carry in our pockets.

Figure 1. The Casambi App.

Today’s mobile electronic devices are incredible tools for controlling lighting. Intuitive touchscreen control, advanced computing power and high-speed connectivity make them ideal for tasks like commissioning lighting, setting up preset scenes and animations, or controlling colour in a sophisticated and professional manner.

Casambi harnesses these abilities, allowing users to control luminaires directly using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – the cutting-edge communication technology that’s built into every smartphone, smart watch and tablet. All the user needs is a Casambi-ready lighting system, and an Android or iOS device equipped with the Casambi app.

But despite the numerous obvious advantages, smart devices are only one part of the solution. After all, users can’t always be expected to have a smartphone or tablet to hand, charged, unlocked, and with the app installed, ready to go. When someone wants to simply switch or dim the lights right now (or when a guest or occasional visitor to a home, restaurant, hotel or office wants to do so), the good old-fashioned light switch is still hard to beat.

Fortunately, there’s no need for users to choose between the two. Now that EnOcean’s Easyfit self-powered switches are compatible with BLE, they work seamlessly with Casambi.

Easyfit’s BLE switches are the perfect complement to Casambi’s app-based control. Once paired with the network, they provide a quick and familiar way for users to switch or dim lights, while the Casambi app can be used when a switch isn’t to hand, or to access more advanced functions such as colour changing, timers and sensor control.

Figure 2.Easyfit Single/ Double Rocker Wall Switch European Design for BLE.

Thanks to Casambi’s user-friendly interface, commissioning the Easyfit switches is simple. They can be instantaneously paired with a complete network of devices, rather than users needing to systematically pair switches with individual receiving units. This allows the Easyfit switches to be used as portable remote controllers across the entire Casambi network. The control logic of the switches can also be easily changed on-the-fly using the Casambi app.

Casambi prides itself on its slick, intuitive user interface, which nonetheless provides the power and precision of a professional lighting control system. It’s designed so that anyone can commission and use the system – with no need for expensive specialist staff or complex training.

The app employs gesture control: users simply tap a luminaire to turn it on or off, swipe side-to-side to adjust brightness, up and down for colour temperature, or hold to change the colour. Timers can also be set based on time and date (even taking sunrise and sunset into account) or lights can be controlled using motion sensors. It’s easy to group luminaires and set up light scenes and animations to create the perfect ambience.

Casambi’s unique gallery feature makes control more intuitive than ever. Users simply take photos of a space, or upload a floor plan to the app, and mark the positions of the luminaires. The images then appear in a gallery in the app, with luminaires shown, and users simply tap the one they want to control. No more having to come up with names for each luminaire and try to remember which one is which.

One of the best things about the combination of Casambi and a device such as Easyfit is that they can be introduced with absolutely no new wiring – reducing installation costs dramatically, and makes Casambi and Easyfit a particularly attractive choice for retrofit applications and buildings where fitting new cables is a challenge or prohibited. Sensitive heritage buildings can now benefit from the best in digital lighting control, just as easily as a new build. Casambi and Easyfit are also a great option for pop-up venues, where only a temporary set-up is required.

App-based lighting control has huge advantages, but Casambi knows that it isn’t about to replace the humble light switch just yet. A truly “smart” lighting control system must embrace the familiarity of switches, and combine it with the best in cutting-edge digital control. In this way, Casambi and EnOcean are working together to take the complexity of smart lighting away and put control in the user’s hands.