Cree Launches SmartCast Intelligence Platform and SmartCast Advisor App

Durham, North Carolina-based LED lighting firm, Cree, Inc. has introduced the SmartCast Intelligence Platform™.
Cree says that the platform is an intuitive lighting system that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide smart building solutions through a combination of hardware, software, and services. Cree reportedly developed all of the sensors, and software for the platform in-house.

Cree SmartCast Intelligence Platform infographic

The platform combines Cree’s SmartCast® Power over Ethernet (PoE) LED lighting network with the company’s analytics software. Networking pioneer, Cisco provides the network switch, which delivers the power.

Luxeon High Power

According to Cree, the analytics software transforms lighting and sensor data into actionable insights.

The system reportedly has the flexibility to work with future IoT applications that no one has thought of yet. “The beauty of using the TCIP standard is that when you are trying to deliver value beyond light, you have a bigger pool to develop those use cases.” Derek Loyer, senior product portfolio manager at Cree, said.

Loyer pointed out that Cree’s SmartCast has an open source Application Programming Interface (API) that allows third parties to rapidly develop light monitoring and control apps that use data from SmartCast luminaires and sensors. The SmartCast API employs Representative Case Transfer (ReST) to extract data for controlling and advising about SmartCast luminaires.

The company also contends that the integrated solution offers immediate energy and space utilization recommendations that lower maintenance costs and improve productivity.

“LED technology is the standard for lighting installations, and the Cree SmartCast Intelligence Platform™ solution demonstrates our ability to harness the power of this technology to go beyond illumination and energy savings to make buildings and the people in them more efficient and productive,” said Daniel Castillo, Cree president, lighting. “The platform combines intelligent LED lighting fixtures, integrated sensors, and our new software analytics tool, SmartCast Advisor™, to deliver on the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and improve the spaces in which we work and live.”

SmartCast Advisor App

SmartCast Advisor™, the first data analytics application available on Cree’s SmartCast Intelligence Platform, monitors buildings through the SmartCast PoE lighting network. Immediately upon installation, Cree claims that the application collects data and drives insights. The application includes an energy advisor and an occupancy (space usage) advisor.

Cree says that with the SmartCast Advisor application, building operators can locate underutilized space and repurpose it to optimize the productivity within their buildings. The system uses standard passive infrared sensor technology for motion and occupancy detection.  Each luminaire has a PIR sensor that monitors occupancy in an area of about 80 square feet, according to Loyer. The analytics bring together the occupancy data from all of the luminaries to create a kind of low-resolution picture of how much a space is used over a period.

SmartCast PoE Lighting Network Deployments

Cree points out that its SmartCast PoE lighting network is currently installed in a number of large customer sites. Loyer related an anecdote about a client that operates a sales and marketing office that was thinking about getting new office space. Instead of immediately looking for new office space, the firm decided to use Cree SmartCast Advisor to examine how much they used their office space.

They found that the space was very underutilized and that nearly half of the employees did their work from home. “They didn’t need a new building they needed to better utilize the space they had,” Derek explained. They switched to using a hotel-like office system where employees could “check in” to use an office room. Based on the recommendations from SmartCast Advisor, they were able to save on the expense of getting a new office.

 “The SmartCast Advisor™ application is the next step in Cree’s commitment to accelerating the adoption of advanced lighting controls and creating an open building intelligence platform that’s future-ready and easy to use,” stated Castillo. “The application is the first of its kind to extract the value of big data from a lighting network, and is in keeping with Cree’s commitment to a better light experience.”

Cree’s PoE Lighting network is now available on the SmartCast Intelligence Platform, and the SmartCast Advisor software application is currently available in a limited release.