MeshTek Labs Deploys Smart Lighting Network in California Greenhouse

Dallas-based MeshTek Labs (a B2B spin out of Ilumi) has built a robust internal horticultural control network that allows the ability to control schedules, light scenes and settings, and more.

MeshTek Labs, a Dallas-based IoT company, announced a partnership with California Lightworks, a Canoga Park, California-based company, on a smart lighting mesh network running more than 2,000 devices.

The deployment sits inside a 52,000-square-foot greenhouse handling horticultural products. The network includes AI and edge-computing tech, Bluetooth enabled two-way communication, and MeshTek’s “RealSchedule,” which places the lighting schedule within the light fixture.

“Meshtek Labs’ proprietary and patented networking and management platform, proven simplicity and control are at the grower’s fingertips,” said Swapnil Bora, CEO of MeshTek Labs, in a statement. “Our industrial grade BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) mesh IoT platform provides the ability to control the environment by managing the light spectrum for maximum growth, by filling in light where there were shadows and by allowing the operators to easily and quickly control and change schedules as needed. Built in AI and edge-computing and connectivity revolutionizes networking and control of devices.”

[Image: Courtesy MeshTek]

The control a smart lighting network offers horticulturists can be invaluable. Yields are affected by conditions such as reduced natural light in the winter and even the coastal morning fog often experienced in California.

The combination of California LightWorks’ LED grow lights and the MeshTek Labs’ Bluetook mesh network achieved 500 micromoles. The 100 percent digital spectrum control allows the horticulturists to impact fruit and flower yields with heavy red lighting.

“If a cultivator wants to be a high yield producer but at low cost, that can’t be accomplished with Mother Nature alone,” said George Mektarian, CEO, California Lightworks. “Even though the location is an ideal natural growing environment, the greenhouses needed supplemental lighting and control to deliver high yields and that’s where California Lightworks and MeshTek Labs came in.”

MeshTek’s greenhouse application can be tailored for any size grow facility and it offers standard turnkey options as well as customizable bespoke solutions. According to the company the set-up process for greenhouse operators is as easy at attaching a plug-and-play controller to the driver in a lighting fixture, downloading an app which has mobile and desktop versions, and creating an account to pair the app to the network. From there the user has control over the mesh lighting network.

The company received backing from Mark Cuban after an appearance on “Shark Tank.”

“MeshTek Labs’ and California Lights’ recent installation of grow lights networked on the MeshTek Bluetooth mesh platform at a horticultural facility in California illustrates the brilliance behind the company’s patented mesh technology and the positive impact on product yield afforded by efficient communication and control among the LED lighting fixtures,” Cuban said.

[Image: Courtesy MeshTek]

Ilumi goes B2B

MeshTek’s story can be traced all the way back to 2010. Bora and Corey Egan, at the time MBA students, won first prize at the Better Idea Competition at the University of Texas at Dallas with an app-controlled LED light bulb. That win led to the creation of the Ilumi bulb and a later 2014 appearance on “Shark Tank,” which ended with Cuban adding the company to his portfolio.

The Ilumi smart bulb was named Best Bluetooth Product of 2016 by Bluetooth SIG. The business has been named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 most Brilliant Companies and ABI Research’s Hot Tech Innovators.

This August, MeshTek Labs was created as a “spin out” of Ilumi to better reflect the company’s business-to-business positioning. The company says MeshTek is now defined as the B2B division of Ilumi, but operates as an independent organization with Bora at the helm.

“Swapnil Bora has the dedication, entrepreneurial spirit and engineering know-how to take on the rapidly changing Internet of Things (IoT) and LED lighting marketplace,” Cuban said at the time of the announcement. “Under his leadership, we expect to see MeshTek Labs revolutionize how devices are controlled with edge computing and how connectivity will impact daily business activities.”

The rebranded company takes the Ilumi Bluetooth Mesh to commercial smart LED lighting applications, such as the greenhouse partnership with California LightWorks. There’s also opportunities in infrastructure, industrial buildings, landscape and outdoor spaces, garages, hospitals and hospitality, and residential.

According to the company, there are more than 150,000 MeshTek devices operating worldwide, and MeshTek Labs looks to provide customer support tools for its IoT platform with built-in AI and edge-computing capabilities.

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