Luminaire Controllers2024-03-04T17:14:01+00:00

Luminaire Controllers

TSmarT Luminaire Controller Nodes are compatible with all types of luminaires on the market. They are available with external mechanical formats, based on NEMA or ZHAGA standards, and there are also special mounting kits for luminaires that cannot equip these type of sockets. Tellink always recommends the use of external controllers as they provide a clear demarcation point between controller and luminaire. However, there are also available versions for installation inside the luminaire. Communication between the Controller and the luminaire (driver) can be carried out through different interfaces: DALI, DALI-2/D4i, ZD4i, 1-10V, 0-10V, or PWM.

Tellink TSmarT controllers can equip radio transceivers that allow them to communicate with different types of LPWAN networks (Low-Power Wide-Area Networks), specific for IoT applications, such as NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, and Cat-M1. In addition, TSmarT Nodes can also communicate via traditional 2G/4G cellular networks.



No installation required, and its use does not affect luminaire certifications. "Plug & Play" operation. Designed for luminaires equipped with Zhaga (Book 18) socket and optimized for latest generation LED drivers compatible with DiiA DALI 2-D4i (ZD4i) standards.



No installation required, and its use does not affect luminaire certifications. "Plug & Play" operation. This Node has been designed for luminaires up to 400W rated power, equipped with NEMA socket (according to ANSI C136.41) and dimmable drivers via PWM, 0-10V, 1-10V, DALI or DALI2-D4i interface.



Designed for installation inside the luminaire, along with dimmable drivers via PWM, 0-10V, 1-10V or DALI interfaces. The installation of a Node inside any luminaire invalidates its certifications, and requires luminaire recertification including the controller.



Designed to install a standard TSmarT-ZHAGA Node on luminaires that are not equipped with a Zhaga socket.



Designed to install a standard TSmarT-NEMA node over luminaires that are not equipped with a NEMA socket.

Personalized design



None of the standard TSmarT Node models may fit your project needs. In this case, Tellink could make a custom design, as long as it is economically viable. We are manufacturers.

Available Communications


How is NB-IoT different from LTE-M?2024-04-04T13:00:37+00:00

Both NB-IoT and LTE-M (also known as Cat-M1) are next-generation LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) cellular networks, specifically designed to provide IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity. 3GPP is the body that regulates these two standards, and all other cellular communications standards. Both technologies are provided by a telecommunications cellular operator, require a SIM card, and use exclusive frequency bands, in which no one else can transmit signals. However, they are not the same.

LTE-M offers higher communication speeds, allows mobility and voice communications, but the cost of the radio transceivers is higher and the battery life is shorter. For its part, NB-IoT offers a lower speed, it is not designed to connect objects with mobility, but it allows the design of very low-cost devices with longer battery life. Although both technologies are applicable to design Luminaire Controllers, NB-IoT offers advantages. For this reason, most operators in Europe have chosen to deploy NB-IoT networks, while only some opt for LTE-M.

What to do if a luminaire cannot equip a ZHAGA or NEMA socket?2022-06-09T16:01:05+00:00

There are some cases of decorative luminaires, lanterns or projectors that cannot be equipped with a standardized ZHAGA or NEMA socket from the factory. However, since the ZHAGA connector for Luminaires is much smaller than its NEMA equivalent, there are very few luminaires that cannot be equipped with the ZHAGA connector from the factory. However, Tellink has exterior mounting kits availabe for this special luminaires, thus allowing the use of ZHAGA or NEMA standard Tellink controllers.

Does Tellink allow you to customize or modify the functionalities of its products?2022-06-09T14:41:05+00:00

Tellink is the manufacturer of all the products it sells, except for some accessories. This includes luminaire Controllers, Cabinet Controllers, and the TSmarT IoT Lighting Management Platform. All our products can be customized, or incorporate special functionalities to adapt to the specific requirements of a project, as long as it makes business sense.

Are remote controller firmware updates necessary?2022-06-09T14:29:08+00:00

Firmware updates to remote devices are not only necessary but essential. In an IoT world in which millions of devices are connected, it is essential that these devices have a mechanism to periodically update their firmware. If this does not happen then remote devices will not be able to adapt to new security threats that appear, nor to improvements in communications protocols, or solve problems not detected when they were manufactured, to mention just a few examples. The result will be that devices will be exposed more easily, and their useful life will end up being much shorter.

All devices manufactured by Tellink, including Panel Controllers, Luminaire Controllers and Hubs allow remote updating of their firmware versions. Tellink's "Device Management" team has defined protocols and procedures for periodic updating of the entire fleet of connected devices.

Is the Tellink Lighting Remote Management System Integrable with Third Party Platforms?2022-06-09T14:16:39+00:00

Yes, both cabinet controllers and luminaire controllers can be integrated with third-party applications, such as municipal Smart City Platforms, Energy Efficiency Applications, or CMMS from other companies, to mention just a few examples. The integration is available through Tellink powerfull API (Application Program Interface).Application Programming Interface) of the TSmarT Platform. In fact, it is common for this to happen. This integration can be carried out only to export information to other applications, but total control of the Telemanagement system could also be taken, including action orders to field teams.

Additionally, third-party applications could also integrate directly with Tellink hardware devices, without having to go through the TSmarT Platform, although this type of integration requires more effort on the part of developers.


Are Cabinet control system and luminaire control system interdependent?2022-06-09T14:05:23+00:00

No, both systems are completely independent, although complementary. Customers can install one of them, the other, or both together. In particular, Tellink intelligent luminaire control system does not depend on any element of streetlight cabinet. Both systems only come together at the software platform level.

Is there a risk of 2G (GPRS) and 3G networks shutdown?2024-04-04T13:01:15+00:00

The short answer is yes. Globally, 2G and 3G will disappear in the coming years, and in some countries they have already disappeared. It is inevitable, since the frequencies currently used by 2G and 3G will be necessary for 5G (remember that NB-IoT is part of the 5G ecosystem). Most operators have already announced a specific date for the shutdown of 3G networks. For example, Movistar in Spain will turn off 3G in 2025. Some have also set a date for the turn off of 2G, although later than for 3G, given the high implementation of 2G (GPRS) in the field of industrial M2M. It must be remembered that legacy 2G (GPRS) or 3G modems ARE NOT compatible with 4G, and it would be necessary to replace them in the event of the GPRS networks being turned off.

Those responsible for the projects are recommended to take this circumstance into account when choosing the solutions to install. Tellink has Lighting Remote Management solutions in Panels with 2G modems, and others with dual 2G+4G modems. Tellink always recommends the use of dual 2G+4G systems, to avoid the possible risk of shutting down 2G networks, but the cost is higher. The decision ultimately rests with those responsible for each project.

What communications networks are the most recommended for streetlighting Cabinets?2024-04-04T13:07:48+00:00

Streetlighting Cabinets are distributed throughout the municipal area. This circumstance makes unfeasible the installation of wired communication networks. For this reason, practically all streetlighting Cabinets use wireless communication networks (radio) to communicate with the lighting management software platforms.

Among the possible alternatives for wireless communications, subject to international standards, there are basically two options: traditional 2G/4G cellular networks, and new IoT LPWAN (Low Power Wide Access Network) such as NB-IoT or LoraWAN. However, NB-IoT or LoRaWAN networks are not designed to communicate large amounts of information with high frequency, as required by any modern Cabitet Remote Management system, since to use them it would be necessary to limit the volume and frequency of the information reported from the Cabinet.

Therefore, although Tellink has all the options available, the use of 2G (GPRS) or 4G (LTE) cellular networks is recommended for communication with the streeetlighting Cabinets.

What does DALI2 (D4i) provide compared to other dimming alternatives?2022-06-09T10:25:35+00:00

The light regulation (dimming) orders to the luminaire ballasts had been carried out using proprietary analog methods, some of which ended up becoming de facto standards, such as signals between 0-10V, or between 1-10V, or PLM (modulation by pulse width). Later, in the 90s of the 20th century, the DALI protocol appeared (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) sponsored by the DiiA Alliance (Digital Illumination Interface), which for the first time defined a digital protocol for sending regulation orders to the ballasts or Drivers of the Luminaires. The IEC 62386 standard collected the DALI protocol and made it an international standard. DALI then became the most widely used standard for this function.

With the emergence of the IoT (Internet of Things), the DiiA Alliance in 2019 launches its new standard, called DALI2-D4i, for the DALI Intra-luminaire bus, in which the standard was expanded with additional features and functions for the world of IoT. Controllers that conform to this new standard, in addition to sending on/off and dimming commands to the compatible LED Drivers, they will also be able to access standardized information on luminaire Identification, energy consumption, and fault registers, among others. The new standard also defines the way to include sensors on the luminaire communication bus. In this way, a new world of possibilities opens up in the field of predictive maintenance and data mining with countless applications. At the same time, the DiiA Alliance partners with the ZHAGA Consortium, and they promote the joint ZD4i standard (ZHAGA Physical socket and DALI2-D4i protocol). Currently, practically all LED luminaire and Driver manufacturers have adopted the ZD4i standard, and only manufacture luminaires and drivers that conform to this new standard.

It is important that stretlighting managers keep the ZD4i standard in mind when choosing the luminaires and controllers to include in their projects, so that they avoid installing solutions that may become obsolete during the life of their new lighting infrastructure. Tellink' TSmarT luminaire controllers support the DALI2-D4i and ZD4i protocol and are working in massive deployments with thousands of connected luminaires since 2019.

Why should all luminaire controllers have GPS?2022-06-08T12:39:54+00:00

Luminaire controlllers are low-cost devices. In this context, some lighting managers wonder why increase their cost by adding a GPS module if luminaires have a fix position and they do not move. It's a reasonable question.

The truth is that TSmarT Nodes incorporate a precise GPS module for two reasons. Firstly, the GPS module makes the installation of the Nodes “Plug & Play”, that means that they do not require any attention from the installers, with the consequent cost savings since controllers register and geo-position automatically, without human intervention. This cost savings, in many cases, exceeds the cost of the GPS module to be included in the controllers. However, there is a second, even more powerful reason: the GPS module ensures that TSmarT luminaire controllers have highly accurate local date and time at all times, regardless of whether communications with the Platform are operational. This allows Tellink controllers to ensure that an essential service such as Lighting is not interrupted under any circumstances, even if communication systems or application servers are temporarily unavailable. In this way, a TSmarT Node can guarantee the lighting on/off and dimming of the luminaire for years, with a precision of milliseconds even if the communications network or servers are not available.

Consequently, the GPS module could be considered a kind of "life insurance" for the operation of Lighting, with a level of precision infinitely higher than traditional solutions based on real-time clocks, backed by batteries, which suffer inevitable drifts in time.

Is it better to use NEMA or ZAHA?2022-06-08T12:02:53+00:00

Both NEMA and ZHAGA are international standards for physical connectivity between external controllers and streetlights. The NEMA standard has its origins in the USA, and was defined several decades ago by the ANSI, which is the North American organization in charge of coordinating and regulating the different technological and industrial standards and regulations in the USA. Later on it spread to some European and Latin American countries. ZHAGA, on the other hand, is a more modern standard (2018) and was originated in Europe. It was published by the ZHAGA Consortium, and later on it spread globally. Unlike NEMA, ZHAGA has been more ambitious in its objective of standardizing interoperability, and focuses not only on the physical conection but also on the protocol to exchange of information between the luminaire Drivers and controllers by the launch of the ZD4i standard in partnership with the DALI Alliance. Furthermore, recently, the ZHAGA Consortium has reached an agreement with ANSI under which the logical standard for information exchange between the luminaire Driver and controller will also cover NEMA sockets in the USA.

In practice, the truth is that the ZHAGA luminaire socket is significantly smaller than NEMA socket, which allows it to be adapted to practically any luminaire without impacting its aesthetics. In addition, the NEMA standard requires that the external power supply of the luminaire firstly goes through the controller and then the controller will power the luminaire, with the consequent risk in case of overvoltages that affect the life of the controllers, causing a higher rate of breakdowns. This does not happen with the ZHAGA standard, since the controller is powered by the luminaire Driver (12/24VDC), with the consequent advantages in terms of lifetime extension and lower failure rate.

For all the above reasons, the ZHAGA standard, and particularly ZD4i (ZHAGA socket and DALI2-D4i LED Driver), are undoubtedly gaining ground and becoming the default standard, especially in Europe. It is important for lighting managers to take this into account when choosing the luminaires and controllers to be used in their projects, so that they avoid installing solutions that may become obsolete during their lifetime.


What are the practical differences between NB-IoT and LoRaWAN?2022-06-22T13:49:10+00:00

Both NB-IoT and LoRaWAN are next-generation LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network), specifically designed to provide connectivity in the IoT (Internet of Things) world. For open outdoor environments, such as public lighting, they currently represent the best option on the market. However, there are significant differences between the two of them.

NB-IoT connectivity must be provided by a cellular network operator, and it uses exclusive frequency bands, in which no one else can transmit signals. Naturally, this comes at a cost, as each Node must include a SIM card (physical or virtual) with an associated NB-IoT data plan, for which a monthly or annual subscription fee must be paid. Each card has an IP address, which is the most widespread addressing system worldwide. NB-IoT does not require any intermedium Hub/Gateway since luminaire controllers communicate directly with the operator's NB-IoT network.

If LoRaWAN is chosen, on the other hand, we will use free frequency bands, the use of which does not involve a direct cost. However, the client must install and maintain its own private network infrastructure (Network Concentrators, Gateways and Network Servers) which naturally entails a cost that must be considered. Furthermore, using free frequencies has its risks, since anyone can transmit on them as no authorization is required. Therefore, the chance of suffering interferences or reaching spectrum saturation situations exists, as IoT applications become popular and spread. For these reasons, the quality of service that NB-IoT can offer is superior to LoRaWAN. This circumstance must be taken into consideration when planning a very long-term investment (+10 years) such as the renovation of a municipality public lighting infrastructure.


What does “Plug & Play” installation mean?2022-06-08T10:44:44+00:00

"Plug & Play" installation of a Node on a luminaire basically means that NO installation is required. Tellink's external TSmarT Nodes, whether they use ZHAGA or NEMA plugs, are connected manually (without tools) on the luminaires, in less than 5 seconds. Once the luminaire starts operating, TSmarT Nodes automatically contact the Software Platform, register with it (if authorized), report their exact geo-position, and start operating. Therefore, TSmarT Nodes do not require installation, and installers do not have to worry about performing any geo-location tasks manually or using smartphone APPs, nor about registering the Nodes in the Software Platform.

Why is it recommended to use external luminaire controllers?2022-06-08T10:28:03+00:00

When the Nodes are installed outside the luminaire, a clear demarcation point is created between the Node and the luminaire. This is a great advantage both during the installation phase and in the case of having to make subsequent repairs for possible breakdowns. Besides that, the moment a controller is installed inside the luminaire, the electromagnetic compatibility (CE marking) and waterproofing (external antenna) certifications of the luminaire become invalid., making it necessary to re-certify the Node+Luminaire assembly. With external Nodes, this problem does not exist, since Node and luminaire separate certificates are perfectly valid.

We are here to help you

Answering inquiries or analyzing new projects

Go to Top