Zhaga | Smart standards. Smart Lighting.


Does it make sense to connect street lighting devices to the internet? Makes sense to install sensors on, in or on street lighting devices. The answer lies in the fact that governments now implement the Smart-City identity on a large scale in our society. This means that it is time to “normalize”. We have searched for a universal solution that we can all apply. It seems to be there now.

Most of us know the NEMA connector. This is often used abroad, especially in the United States. This is a large connector that is supplied with mains voltage and basically only switches. Often used for light / dark detection. This connector is only suitable for the top of the fixture. The water resistance (IP rating) is not guaranteed on the bottom or side of the fixture.

New times, new technologies.

The idea was taken up within the Zhaga standardization committee and a new connector was developed. Important requirements:
– Smaller connector so that integration into street lighting is easier
– Suitable for all mounting directions
– Equipped with standard fitted connections so that interchangeability is guaranteed
– Suitable for low voltages so that the development of sensors and communication becomes easier
– Standardized protocol to communicate with the driver
– Universally applicable so that there will be sufficient competition on applications

If the connector is built into the fixture, all modules fit into it that have been developed according to the Zhaga specification. At the moment the specification is not yet public, but that will not take very long and then it will be publicly available.

For example, a simple light / dark sensor can be built into the module, but a camera or an air quality sensor can also be built in, for example. In addition, communication means can be built in such as a Lora or Sigfox communication, but also Zigbee or any other system. Several connectors can be fitted and connected to a fixture.

It could be conceivable to install a light / dark sensor combined with a communication module on the top. At the bottom of the fixture there is also a connector where there is, for example, a camera module. So in the end a lot can be done.

What is a substantial advantage over current practices?

Many luminaires are equipped with communication resources afterwards. These are often prescribed by the purchasing party. What we often see is that these combinations do not necessarily meet all applicable requirements. That is because it is impossible for the manufacturer to examine all combinations. He has to do that legally, but in practice it is often built in what the customer wants. This is partly understandable.

The advantage that the connector brings is that the fixture is not changed. The certifications therefore remain intact. That saves a huge burden for the manufacturer because he runs less risk of not meeting the legal requirements.

The benefits for the user (municipality) are various.
– If a module is defective, easy repairs can be made
– No obligation to immediately equip all luminaires with modules “afterwards” inserting a module has become a breeze
– Upgrading or updating is easily possible by replacing some of this module. If you first only have an air quality sensor and later also want to install a camera, that’s no problem.

All in all, the cost of a fixture will be a fraction higher due to the prior fitting of such a connector. However, the costs to install a module (or not) are of course much lower. There are also much fewer risks with the intervention of the fixture itself. This is certainly an interesting development because we do not yet know at all what we ultimately want to attach to sensors on the luminaire.

Read more about Zhaga here.


The Zhaga Connector.


The new Zhaga: smart standards, smarter lighting.


Zhaga opens new business opportunities in the digital lighting and service models by expanding the scope of interface specifications. The NEW Zhaga will contain interfaces for smart components such as sensors and connectivity modules and will focus on interoperability. This step is reflected in the new slogan “Smart standards. Smarter lighting “and the new vision mission vision.

March 13, 2018

The Zhaga “Strategy” Task Force, led by Giovanni Scilla, chairman of the steering committee, has investigated the possibilities that Zhaga offers for recent trends in the lighting industry. Particularly relevant here are the combination of LED lighting and digitization of lighting, the need of light designers and architects for components that can be easily assembled, even at a late stage, by means of
of standardized interfaces, as well as requirements for lighting systems in a perspective of a circular economy.

In addition to creating specifications for electrical, mechanical, optical, thermal interfaces for components to be used in LED fixtures, the NEW Zhaga will also include interfaces for smart components such as sensors and connectivity modules in its scope. It focuses on interoperability and opens up new business opportunities in digital lighting and service models.

The latest Zhaga specification, book 18, is already an indication of the new direction. It defines a standardized interface between LED outdoor luminaires and modules for detection and communication, bringing the internet of things to the market for outdoor lighting via smart, upgradable, future-proof luminaires.

With the new Zhaga scope, manufacturers can make LED luminaires with Zhaga-compliant components, which can be upgraded and maintained depending on the design choices of the luminaire manufacturer and the luminaire’s ease of maintenance. This will be an important contributing factor to speed up the acceptance of smart fixtures on the market. Legislation also develops policy
in that direction, where the EU stimulates the circular economy and requires removability, repairability and usability in luminaires. By providing interface specifications for interoperable components, Zhaga paves the way for fixture manufacturers to comply with upcoming legislation.

Over Zhaga

Zhaga is a worldwide association of lighting companies that standardizes interfaces of components of LED fixtures, including LED light motors, LED modules, LED arrays, holders, electronic ballasts (LED drivers) and connectivity fit systems. This helps to streamline the supply chain of LED lighting and simplifies the design and production of LED luminaires.Zhaga continues to develop specifications based on the interrelated themes of interoperable components, smart and connected lighting and usable fixtures. For more information, visit www.zhagastandard.org.