Acuity Brands
Acuity Brands

According to a September 2014 Goldman Sachs’ report, it is estimated that by 2020, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) has the potential to connect 28 billion “things.” The IoT will also revolutionize the lighting and controls industry, providing an excellent medium for an integrated, multi-service IoT platform. Why? Where there are people, there are lights; where there are people, there will also be the need for connectivity. Lighting controls provides a means to deliver valuable IoT services:

  • Indoor navigation and wayfinding
  • People and asset locator
  • Space utilization analytics
  • Video with edge analytics
  • Parking management analytics

Given the purported benefits of the IoT, one might believe that typical barriers, lack of network connectivity, proving return on investment, or cost, would be among the obstacles to delivering value-added IoT apps. However, according to a February 2016 survey, “Redefining the Connected Conversation: IoT Trends, Challenges, & Experiences” by James Brehm & Associates, 64 percent of business executives worldwide felt security was the biggest barrier to IoT. Lighting control wireless networks also suffer from this stigma as they have not typically been viewed as a potential medium to deliver more than code compliance and energy savings. That is changing rapidly as new and established lighting/lighting controls companies are evolving to support IoT. However, the lighting industry as a whole has not made strides to effectively secure these networks, falling prey to one of the largest barriers to IoT growth.

The new high-performance, multi-application wireless lighting controls platform from Acuity Brands, nLight® AIR, delivers an industry-leading 5-Tier Security Framework and breaks down barriers to IoT growth. Using a defense-in-depth security strategy, nLight AIR employs multi-layered security including:

Security Layer Description
1 - Application Data Encryption Prevent unauthorized viewing of application data
*** Most wireless lighting controls solutions stop here ***
2 - Mutual Entity Authentication Validates identity prior to data exchange and prevents unauthorized devices from infiltrating the network
3 - Message Confidentiality Encrypts the communication link and secures it from beginning to end to prevent eavesdropping on data
4 - Message Authentication Prevents unauthorized users from injecting malicious information into a message string
5 - Authentic Firmware Update Provides digitally signed software by Acuity Brands preventing malicious software updates on devices
Acuity Brands

During the procurement process of high technology products, the buyer may often assume the vendor has considered a complete security framework. Or, the buyer does not always know the right questions to ask, focusing on application features and benefits rather than risk to the organization. With nLight AIR, Acuity Brands is moving security to the forefront. Application features and benefits will be of little value in an unsecure wireless network. Believe the IoT hype or not, in many ways, it has already become part of our daily lives at home, work and play. Acuity Brands is doing its part to ensure you experience all of the benefits of the IoT with the confidence that your lighting solution is truly secure, end-to-end.

For more information on nLight AIR please visit For additional training resources please visit Acuity Academy.