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MaxLite Introduces a New Lighting Control Ecosystem – c-Max Network Partners

By Line Goyette

The lighting controls market appears to finally be growing. Specifiers and electrical distributors report that they are quoting more projects with lighting controls, and more projects are implementing a controls package.

At the same time, there are many options on the market, from fixture manufacturers offering lighting controls, some of which are proprietary, to lighting controls companies offering both hardware and software, and control companies offering only software platforms.

MaxLite, who launched its c-Max Lighting controls (c-Max Basic and c-Max Network) couple of years ago and grown its controls ready luminaire portfolio during this time recognized that while c-Max helped address most controls needs, customers were seeking more choices to better suit their application needs.

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We met with Umesh Baheti, Senior VP Product and Engineering New Technologies, at MaxLite, to discuss this new ecosystem. “For the last three years we have been working on controls and while we have differentiated ourselves with our unique USB-C based plug and play design, we asked ourselves, how could we continue to innovate and make c-Max more compelling for contractors, specifiers and customers.

We wanted to put together a perfect synergy of innovation and efficiency that unlocks access to advanced lighting controls by combining, seamlessly, MaxLite’s controls ready luminaire portfolio with industry-leading technology partners’ control solutions. The c-Max Network Partners model now creates a multi-tier technology agnostic controls offering built on the c-Max value proposition to meet customer price and performance requirements.”

Why create this ecosystem?

No one-size-fits-all solution exists for all environments and lighting applications. A solution that works well in an office setting might not be optimal in a hospitality setting. One way to address and recognize this diversity is to take an ecosystem approach. By creating c-Max Network Partners ecosystem, it presents users with choice of controls platform that aligns with their specific use case. Even large tech companies like Microsoft and Google have ecosystems that offer comprehensive platforms that provide seamless user experience. Our vision with c-Max was to always scale the platform and meet the customers where they are. The ecosystem model ensures flexibility, market relevancy and credibility from other industry leading control partners. Given c-Max is a true plug and play controls platform, it seamlessly integrates c-Max Network Partner solutions with MaxLite’s controls-ready luminaires. Furthermore, as luminaires become more intelligent, they’ll handle additional tasks beyond illumination. We have to scale that ability with most effective resourcing while providing maximum reliability. We’ll rely on our partners – the right people at the right time for the right solution.”

Scaling current network controls to enterprise level through c-Max Network Partners

Our goal is to scale current network controls to an enterprise level through c-Max Network Partners, and further enhance c-Max to be a simple, versatile and future-ready platform that meets today’s lighting controls needs while enabling future IoT solutions. How to best make this happen? It’s to build on c-Max’ value proposition and enhance its use cases without customers having to change fixtures and providing customers the ability to scale rapidly with interoperable devices while supporting a broad ecosystem. We are adding more functionality and features so customers, and their contractors, can easily add or swap sensors and have their system enabled, and supported, via hardware, apps, data analytics and strong technical support thereby ensuring a comprehensive ecosystem . Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, c-Max provides options that align with your specific needs. Very important to our vision is the ability to let customers choose a controls agnostic solution. Whether it’s proprietary protocols or open standards, c-Max remains adaptable.”

c-Max– Technology Agnostic

 Idea here is to seamlessly scale technology-agnostic controls, offer multiple level control solutions all while adhering to c-Max’s core value proposition. It is a true plug and play platform.”

Baheti explained three key tenets of the platform:

1. Simplicity: Plug and Play Installation

At its heart, c-Max is designed for ease. Whether you’re an electrician or a facility maintenance professional, our plug-and-play approach simplifies sensor installation. Say goodbye to complex 0-10 V wiring—Just connect, configure, and illuminate.

2. Versatility: Energy Efficiency in a Compact Form

Compact yet powerful—that’s the essence of c-Max. Packed with energy-saving features, it transcends form factors. From indoor to outdoor applications, c-Max maintains consistency. Our technology bridges the gap, ensuring uniformity across a diverse portfolio of products. Efficiency knows no bounds.

3. Future-Readiness: Scalability and IoT Integration

Project flexibility is paramount. With c-Max Network Partners, adding sensors becomes effortless. No need to dismantle luminaires from the ceiling—our scalable technology accommodates change. Enhanced IoT use cases? Absolutely. We empower choices that transcend controls technology and connectivity protocols. Agnostic? Absolutely.

Bluetooth Technology

MaxLite chose Silvair as its technology partner due to their full-technology stack for advanced wireless controls based on Bluetooth NLC open standards. “As an early adopter of this new standard, MaxLite is one of the first luminaire companies to have its Bluetooth NLC qualified interoperable devices now provide new functionality and features with the easy swap of sensors,” said Baheti. “Bluetooth lighting control offers economies of scale, faster innovation and global interoperability.

The Silvair solution is designed to support large-scale installations deployed in commercial environments. It offers powerful commissioning, fine-tuning, and everyday management features. It also offers flexible access to data via in-app dashboards or API and the web and mobile apps allow easy commissioning and provisioning.

Baheti shared that the Bluetooth Mesh protocol is the most scalable, fully open low power IoT network standards and offers thousands of nodes in a single network capable of handling hundreds of data packets per second with an ultra-low latency. It is also a proven highly cybersecure, IoT network that has been standardized upon by multiple vendors and manufacturers globally. With Bluetooth NLC protocol, the lighting control solutions are based on the first full stack standard for wireless lighting control.

Both MaxLite and Silvair agreed, based on their shared vision of making wireless controls more accessible and sustainable, that their innovative partnership is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, making advanced lighting controls more intuitive, efficient, and adaptable to the customer needs.

To learn more about c-Max Network Partners visit www.maxlite.com/cmax

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