What's Inside

  • Museon den Haag installs XIM Gen4
  • Braemar Gallery in Australia installs XIM Gen4
  • Introducing the Xicato Configuration Tool
  • Congrationations to Lux Award winners
  • About Beacons
  • Xicato and Enocean announce Interoperability at CES

 

Museon den Haag, Netherlands. Lighting design by Joost de Beij. Luminaires by Mike Stoane Lighting. Xicato XIM Gen4 Artist Series. Museon iBeacon app by Tapme Media.

Museon den Haag installs XIM Gen4

As an interactive museum for culture and science with an educational mission and an interdisciplinary approach, Museon is keen to inspire people to explore the world around them and develop their own knowledge and capacities. Museon achieves this mission by offering school groups and the general public a dynamic learning environment in a museum setting. As an intermediary for cultural education, Museon is therefore a valuable complement to the formal education system.

It was therefore natural for Museon to decide that Bluetooth beacons were a way to deepen the level of visitor engagement in the museum's exhibits, and to provide a richer educational experience. At the same time, they were refurbishing their lighting in order to save energy and improve lighting control. After seeing Xicato XIM Gen4 at an event at the Van Gogh, and especially upon the recommendations of both lighting designer Joost de Beij and museum app developer Tapme Media, who was shown the Xicato solution, Museon was convinced.

The opening of Museon den Haag in October 2016.

In fact, Museon was so interested in the XIM Gen4 that they agreed to be one of our Beta sites. After installing hundreds of fixtures, they have provided invaluable feedback to the Xicato team, ensuring that our final product was ready for general launch in November. 

The lighting was installed in September and October, and the opening in October featured a live telecast by UN Secretary General, Ban Kee Moon.

Braemar Gallery in Australia installs XIM Gen4

Opened in 1988, Braemar Gallery, which is located in the beautiful, historic Braemar House in Springwood, New South Wales, Australia, functions as a community gallery, hosting changing exhibitions that showcase works of local and regional artists. The gallery is a valuable community venue, with a particular interest in displaying works by local artists. Over time, Braemar Gallery has become well known for its high standards in art works of various mediums.

Breamar became the first of the XIM Gen4 beta customers, and was installed in September 2016.

"Primarily, the expectation for the Xicato light source was to illuminate teh artwork with an outstanding color rendering and maintained light quality throughout life," said Phil Regan, a member of the Blue Mountains City Council, who was the lighting designer and helped commission the lights.

"Commissioning track spots per picture took a fraction of the time than the previous situation with no ladders and no manual pots involved," Phil continued. "The possibility of data streaming via the lights gives us a completely new interactive dimension which can be updated with the minimum of fuss, such that our visitors are always aware of links between our art works and local events, for example. Impressed.”

"The Artist quality of the LED modules, immediately after installing first of the 3 gallery spaces, brought the wow factor in comparison to the old installation," said Ales Vasenda of 3S Lighting, who provided their 908 Series Track Spotlights for the project, and who was involved in the commissioning. "The art works and the timber floors of the gallery came alive under the new light. We are excited and impressed with this high quality product and all the possibilities the new Gen4 XIM module offers.”

Photography by Ales Vasenda

Introducing the Xicato Configuration Tool (XCT)

Click to see short video.

Soundtrack by Aaron Shuler

Xicato Configuration Tool (XCT) is a compact computer that allows luminaire makers to custom configure and brand Xicato Intelligent Modules (XIM).  Using XCT, customers can:
  • Permanently program the XIM lumen output to fit within the thermal constraints of a particular fixture or application
  • Pre-configure many XIM performance parameters, including dimming curve, output range, power-on light level and fade time, and wired-mode interactivity
  • Add a manufacturer-specific serial number
  • Add their company name, model number, lighting plan identifiers, support contacts, or other information to the data stored in the XIM module

Designed for Manufacturing

XCT is designed for the manufacturing production environment. Configuration files can be exported and imported. The tool checks the validity of the configuration for each module, and verifies that the configuration is properly loaded. Configuration of an XIM takes only seconds per module.

Sample XCT software screens

XCT provides benefits to:

  • Operations groups, by potentially reducing SKUs and inventory levels, since one XIM SKU can be used for fixtures with multiple output ratings
  • Engineering, by simplifying the matching of modules to heat sinks
  • Marketing, by giving them a powerful tool to brand a fixture with data that is reported over the XIM Gen4 wireless network to mobile and server-based apps such as Xicato XIMtroller and Control Panel
  • Customer Service, by allowing users to remotely discover the manufacturer, model, and serial number of a luminaire – information that is often unavailable even on the physical fixture itself
  • Lighting Designers, by providing data that allows them to verify that the luminaire they specified is the luminaire that is installed

XCT is available today from your Xicato representative or distributor. Contact us now for more information.

Contact Xicato

Congratulations to Lux Award winners -
Michael Grubb Studio and Kevan Shaw Lighting

Xicato would like to congratulate Michael Grubb Studio and Kevan Shaw Lighting Design for their recognition at the 2016 Lux Awards.

Michael Grubb Studio was awarded “Retail Lighting Project of the Year” for their design in the Lush retail chain. We are proud that our Artist modules were used in this project, within Optelma and Factory Lux luminaires. 

In selecting Artist, the faithful color rendering of the soaps made a big difference, particularly the ability of the Artist Series to bring out the true color quality of Lush’s signature product, which was not the case with their previous lighting.

Colorful soaps in the Lush store.

David Barbour, photographer.

KSLD was “Highly Commended” in the Outdoor Lighting category for their work on the historic Scott Monument in Edinburgh, Scotland. KSLD used Mike Stoane Lighting fixtures equipped with Xicato’s XIM modules.  The standard 83 Ra module provided the best look to the blackened masonry, adding subtle sparkle while other modules created a greenish tint.

About Beacons

What is a beacon?

One of the unique attributes of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – and of the XIM Gen4 module – is the ability to create beacons. Beacons are short messages that are transmitted periodically, which can be received by BLE-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. The word “beacon” also refers to the device that transmits the beacon messages.

Why beacons?

Beacons are a great way to provide services and deepen the experience of visitors, which is why they are increasingly used in museums, historical sites, hotels, casinos, and retail stores. Beacons enable services such as:

(1) Indoor mapping and wayfinding. The beacons act like little GPS satellites, allowing mobile apps to triangulate the user’s location on a map, and can provide directions to a restroom or cafeteria, or point them to a piece of artwork or merchandise. BLE beacons can operate indoors, and can be much more accurate than GPS.

(2) Location based information. The beacon can trigger a mobile app to provide multimedia information about e.g. a painting, a building, or a piece of merchandise that is close to the user.

(3) Data collection. Users “opt in” to let the application provide information to the service provider about where they wandered, how much time they spent in a store or gallery or at a particular exhibit, which beacons they looked at, what buttons they clicked, etc. This allows the proprietor to optimize the user experience.

The beacon app can provide directions or deeper content in a museum or retail store.
Image courtesy of Hellonet.it. 

Issues with beacons

Despite the promises of beacon technology and exciting use cases for enhancing visitor experiences, issues with the current beacon hardware prevents the technology from taking off. People that create beacon based software tell us this and faciliity managers confirm the dependability issues. 

Beacon devices themselves are typically cheap, plastic, battery powered warts that have to be stuck to a wall, under a shelf, behind a painting, or in some other visible location. This degrades the visual quality of the environment. Further, the fact that they are battery powered has several implications: First, the batteries (or the beacons themselves) have to be replaced every so often, which is a maintenance burden, especially when thousands of beacons may be deployed in a large facility. This problem is exacerbated by optimizing the beacons for improved user experience rather than battery preservation – more frequent, higher powered beacons make a better user experience, but eat up the battery. And the need to replace batteries compels the proprietor to put the beacons within reach, so they don’t have to pull ladders or lifts to service them. The problem with this is that, being low, the beacon transmissions are more likely to be blocked by objects or absorbed by the people in the space, impacting reliability.

The Xicato Solution

XIM Gen4 solves nearly every issue associated with traditional BLE beacons.

  1. Being in the lights, they are hidden from view.
  2. Being overhead, with line-of-sight to people in the room, there is less interference from objects and bodies.
  3. Being numerous, they can provide extremely precise, accurate location of users in the room, and can “instrument” many displays in the space.
  4. Having access to mains power, there are no battery-based constraints on transmission power or frequency.
  5. And being battery-less, they eliminate the ongoing burden of replacing up to thousands of batteries as frequently as every 6 months.

By solving the critical beacon hardware problems, Xicato XIM Gen4 can help much greater deployment of beacons. Without erratic user experience because of non-dependable battery operated devices  and withtout placing a burden on facility managers to keep replacing the batteries and monitoring their performance.

Lighting + Beacons Decision

Be aware that decisions about lighting and decisions about beacons are typically made by very different people. A lighting designer, merchandiser or exhibit designer cares deeply about lighting, but may have no understanding of beacons, and is very likely unaware that they can be embedded in lighting! Beacon related decisions are sometimes made by Information Technology, or by educational program managers, often after hearing about a new beacon product from a vendor or software developer. The decision to implement beacons is often opposed by Facilities or Operations, since beacon and battery maintenance is up to them!

XIM Gen 4 includes bluetooth beacon functionality and addresses dependability issues associated with current implementations.

What can you do?

Tell the Lighting people that the IT people want to talk to them about Beacons!  Educate them on what is possible, and maybe even connect them to some good solutions. There are many beacon software developers with various types of solutions out there. Some vendors that have impressed us include:

Contact Xicato for more information.

In the end you’ll be the hero by showing them that they can have state of the art lighting, wireless lighting control, and a dense, maintenance free beacon environment at the same time, with a single, cost effective, flexible solution!

Xicato XIM Gen4 Development Kit available for ordering

Order XIM Gen4 Dev Kit

Xicato and EnOcean to demonstrate BLE Interoperability for
Title 24 Compliant Smart Lighting at CES 2017

EnOcean BLE Switch Family

Xicato and EnOcean, the global leader in energy harvesting wireless technology, announced out-of-the-box interoperability between the XIM Gen4 and the EnOcean 2.4 GHz BLE portfolio of battery-free, energy-harvesting switches. Together with complementary sensors soon to be available from Xicato and others, these products create a simple, cost-effective solution for California Title 24 and other building code requirements. This solution will be demonstrated in the EnOcean booth #40464 at the CES show in Las Vegas on January 5-8, 2017.
“Xicato and EnOcean have been working together for over a year on this project,” said Menko de Roos, CEO of Xicato. “The almost simultaneous launch of XIM Gen4 and EnOcean’s compatible Bluetooth switch creates instant lighting solutions that meet and transcend building codes to deliver highly customizable, cost-effective, wirelessly controlled lighting environments of all types.”

“Xicato and EnOcean share the commitment to industry leadership in wireless lighting control and the Internet of Things (IoT),” says Dr. Wald Siskens, CEO at EnOcean. “The combination of EnOcean’s energy harvesting wireless switches with the powerful features of the XIM Gen4 allows users to create and control simple or complex lighting scenes and effects, and enables simple, flexible installation of lighting applications. Our solutions enable wireless, maintenance-free control and eliminate the complexity and cost associated with wired or battery-powered wireless solutions.”

EnOcean BLE switches can be purchased from EnOcean distributors worldwide.

Upcoming Events

  • ForumLED - Dec 8 - 9, Lyon, France
  • CES: The Consumer Electronics Show, Jan 5 - 8, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Light School - Feb 7 - 9 - Business Design Centre London
  • Strategies In Light, Feb 12-14, Anaheim, California