How to Tackle Bluetooth Interference in Smart Lighting? 

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As you probably know, Bluetooth technology has redefined commercial and industrial spaces by providing robust, scalable, low-power wireless connectivity to lighting network. Bluetooth technology optimizes the lighting system of retailers, healthcare facilities, and office spaces to have flexible control, energy savings, better lighting, environmental comfort, and building efficiencies for both building managers and occupants. That being said, sometimes, this Bluetooth interfere with other technologies and results in delays or disconnections. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how Bluetooth device interference occurs and how exactly you can fix or avoid it. 

What is Bluetooth interference? 

In a Bluetooth enabled lighting control system, you can easily set up and control smart lighting ecosystem via an app on your laptop or smartphone. Bluetooth sends signals over a 2.4GHz radio frequency covering short distances to enable the transfer of data between the two devices. The problem starts when the nearby devices are also using the same frequency. Wi-Fi, monitors, microwaves, wireless speakers, other Bluetooth devices and receivers are some of examples of devices with frequencies that can conflict with each other. When this occurs, you may notice that your devices are not successfully communicating, which may manifest as a variety of symptoms, such as the following: 

Unreliable connection: If you discover that your Bluetooth-connected device keeps disconnecting and inability to connect back to it. 

Slow signal strength: If your signal strength is consistently low, but you are close to your router, there may be some interference problems. 

Slow communication: When some devices in the network may experience a delay in communication  

What are the reasons for Bluetooth interference? 

Understanding the causes of Bluetooth interference will help you resolve and prevent future disruptions. Here are some possible reasons for Bluetooth interference: 

  • Overlapping frequencies: One of the common reasons for Bluetooth interference is overlapping frequency. For instance, both Bluetooth and WiFi may work on the same 2.4GHz frequency to communicate with other devices on the network. Microwave ovens, specialized hospital equipment and even fluorescent lights radiate electromagnetic signals that disrupt the 2.4GHz wavelength. 
  • Distance: The signal on your Bluetooth devices steadily deteriorates the farther away it is from the device it is attached to, as is evident. An example is that when sensor, controller and luminaire are farther away from each other, it can cause weaker connection.  
  • Physical barriers: If there are objects between devices, a Bluetooth connection is susceptible to connection loss. The objects such as refrigerators, metal doors, and metal studs in walls cause greater interference. Concrete, plaster, bricks also make it harder for Bluetooth devices to communicate.  
  • Outdated firmware: You need to update your firmware to the most recent version to avoid having excessive Bluetooth interference. 

How to stop Bluetooth interference? 

Frequent Bluetooth interference is annoying where your health facility or office abounds with multiple wireless devices. Here are few ways to eliminate Bluetooth interference: 

  • Check the distance between the devices in your Bluetooth mesh network at the time of installation. Devices should not be too close or farther apart from each other. 
  • Change your Wi-Fi’ channel: Ensure WiFi router is not connected to to avoid Bluetooth bandwidth to avoid interference. If you need help performing this, you can contact your manufacturer for instructions or let them do it.  
  • Use Bluetooth Range Extender:  Consider adding a repeater/ range extender to you network to cover the entire space 
  • Turn other wireless devices off: There might be many wireless devices running simultaneously, especially at hospitals, that cause interference. Turning off baby monitors, microwaves, or even your Wi-Fi routers when not in use will help you avoid this problem. 
  • Remove physical barriers: Different materials such as walls, glass, concrete, and bricks can degrade the signal and cause connectivity issues. 
  • Reset and Repair: Reset and re-pair your Bluetooth devices if you frequently experience connectivity problems with them. Check to see if your device has any firmware updates available. Updates should be made as soon as you can if there are any. 
  • Check the battery life: Bluetooth devices are wireless and rely on battery to transmit signals. When the battery is drained, device will start transmitting weak signals. To avoid this, keep the batteries fully charged. 

Conclusion 

Bluetooth interference happens often, but it’s easy to solve. With Bluetooth technology becoming increasingly used today, it’s best to keep informed and understand how to resolve or prevent this problem. We’ve come a long way in understanding how Bluetooth interference occurs and measures we can take to reduce or prevent it. By following the best practices to avoid signal disruption, you can ensure that you’re correctly combatting interference from different sources. 

Still, facing symptoms of Bluetooth interference? Get advice from our lighting experts now. 

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