For years, Leviton Security & Automation (the division formerly known as HAI) has offered a ZigBee-based solution for energy management and lighting controls, especially for light-commercial applications.
But it was built around a traditional home automation panel, required a serial-to-ZigBee adapter, and was more of a collection of products than a complete solution.
Now Leviton is stripping out the panel and bringing the full energy suite to a new platform called Lumina Gateway, featuring Lumina RF technology. The ZigBee-enabled (proprietary) Lumina RF ecosystem includes a small wireless gateway, a full suite of devices, programming logic and the new Leviton Cloud Service.
“This is a powerful new product family from Leviton with two internal business units joining forces to attack and automate the under-served small commercial market,” says Greg Rhoades, director of marketing for Leviton S&A.
For the portfolio, Leviton developed new ZigBee-enabled 10A light switches, as well as occupancy sensors, motion sensors and door/window sensors. Leviton (as HAI) already had the ZigBee thermostats and load control modules (5A, 15A, 30A) that are included in the new Lumina RF suite.
On the IP side, Leviton’s OmniTouch 7 touchscreen and already-supported IP cameras can be integrated into the ecosystem. Somfy motorized shades can be integrated, as well, for control of natural light.
IoS and Android apps (free) are available to end users for monitoring their properties, and they can schedule email and/or SMS alerts upon an alarm event (e.g., temperature drops below a threshold or the front door opens when it shouldn’t).
It’s important to note that Lumina RF is meant for light commercial applications only, with support for only 40 RF devices.
Importance of the Leviton Cloud Service
Leviton (back when it was HAI) was one of the first manufacturers to offer remote access and monitoring of home automation, security and energy management. But the company has always employed Web servers built into its hubs for Web-based communications.
So the Lumina Gateway news is significant for two big reasons, only one of which is the launch of an entirely new energy-management offering for light-commercial markets. The other is that the new offering represents Leviton’s move into a cloud-based architecture for home and building control.
And while the Lumina Gateway is the only product using the Leviton Cloud Service at this time, “that is certain to change with future products,” says Tom Morgan, director of product management for Leviton S&A. “Lumina Gateway is our next generation controller so it is the platform for future products from Leviton.”
As we have noted many times in the past, a cloud-based architecture offers many benefits over local Web-based services: It allows the integration of IP-based products and services not originally supported locally; it serves as a valuable platform for dealers to manage their clients’ programs and systems; it usually simplifies remote access; it can be the best way to secure a system.
In the case of Leviton, the cloud service handles security and network configurations for the Lumina Gateway, so there’s no need for port forwarding or DDNS, which can be complicated and can undermine the integrity of the network.
Also, the cloud service is a tool for installers, enabling them to download installation software, register projects, manage user credentials, and easily monitor clients’ systems.