TELOS MESH: A NEW WIRELESS CONTROL SYSTEM FOR GROW LIGHTS

"Telos mesh is a secure, precise and wireless control solution that will revolutionise the way that growers control their Telos LED’s. Here at Telos we don’t release a new product every week. Instead, we think about what the future of horticulture is going to look like and try to develop unique solutions and technologies that are going to make the biggest impact. This new innovation is the result of two years of hard work by our R&D team, and we’re really proud of what they have achieved."

What are the benefits of Telos Mesh?

Telos mesh drivers are the world’s first bluetooth-integrated waterproof drivers for horticulture and when paired with the Telos Mesh software provide revolutionary new functionality for growers. 

Traditional linking controllers have used ‘telephone wire’ cables to daisy chain a limited number of units together. Using a completely wireless system such as Telos Mesh you can reduce the set-up time and amount of clutter within the grow area. 

Conventional 0-10v dimming usually is a fairly limited technology that adjusts output in incremental steps by turning a knob on the driver or ballast. Changing the setting adjusts the brightness of the light by a consequence of changing the wattage of the power supply.

HOW DOES TELOS MESH WORK?

The diagram below shows multiple Telos systems communicating together without a wifi connection. Instead, Telos Mesh uses the latest Bluetooth Mesh standard for communications. Telos mesh is an “offline” and “decentralised” network, meaning it doesn’t require a router or an internet connection. Each light within the network has a latest gen micro processor and functions like a small computer with its own independent operating system.

When a new network is created on a phone or smart device this creates new network encryption keys and addresses. Each light that is added to a network stores all the addresses and network settings meaning once you’ve set the network up you don’t need to stay in range for schedules and dimming levels to continue to work. Each light has a range of around 50m and can talk to any other lights on that network within that range. But that’s not all; each light added increases the strength and range of the network by passing on and relaying messages. For example, if we positioned one Telos every 50m between our HQ and the moon we could send a message to dim the last light in the chain on the moon from a local smart device. Each light would receive and relay the message until it reaches the light closest to the moon.

The TEch

Telos Mesh is a powerful new communications tool and offers scalability from 1 light to several thousand. Actually, the only limit of the network is the memory of the small on board computer and we worked out that the network should safely support 3,000 lights on a single network! Okay, maybe not all the way to the moon then, but still impressive.

Is it Secure?

Privacy and Security is at the core of the Telos Mesh design and all commands are sent with end to end encryption. Firstly the user is in control, the bluetooth functionality doesn’t turn on until activated by the user using the touchpad.

When bluetooth is activated you can connect to the network in around 30 seconds. Once connected, the system will stop broadcasting/advertising. Advertising is important for most bluetooth devices like a pair of headphones as it allows you to find and connect to devices more easily. Advertising isn’t needed with Telos mesh as once added to a network there’s no need to disconnect and reconnect later. 

The device switches permanently from “advertising” to “listening mode” where it listens for encrypted messages sent from the app. This means that you can’t find devices using bluetooth sniffers or bluetooth listening devices and the only device that can talk to the networks is one that has the network encryption key. If the network login or smart device that created the network is lost, then you need to reset each light on the network using the touchpad. Although this could be a long process, it guarantees the privacy and security of the network. 

There is an additional option for backing encryption keys and mesh setting to the cloud, this is useful for larger projects when multiple devices need access to the mesh controls.

PRECISE PPF™ + Schedule

With Precise PPF™ you can specify the exact PPF output of your Telos LED using the app without being limited to increments. The system takes into account the changes in LED efficiency at the required wattage and the lifetime degradation of the LED performance to calculate the exact power output needed to achieve the requested PPF level. Compared with a 0-10v dimming system this provides a much more accurate and repeatable solution for growers

The app also displays the active power consumption and efficiency at different output settings.

The app allows you to easily group lights together and you can have multiple groups within the same mesh network. Schedules can be created to turn the lights off and on throughout the day and separate schedules can then be applied to different groups of lights within the same network. You can also apply a PPF setting to each group of lights. These combined functions are really useful for advanced growers who will be able to control multiple tents with plants at different stages of the lifecycle using the same smart device. 

The app has an integrated sunrise and sunset mode which helps the plants to wake up and acclimatise slowly when the light period starts. When it’s time for the lights to switch off again the simulated sunset helps to smooth out the temperature change within the grow area, making it easier to maintain the correct environment for your plants.

Grow Rooms & Precise PPFD

Grow Rooms is a powerful and long awaited feature for V2 of Telos Mesh. Growers can now create seperate “grow rooms”, such as vegetative or flowering, and add lights into a respective space and make global adjustments that will affect the entire room. Lots of valuable data is available on this page, users can quickly view photometric and power data such as currant wattage being used and what efficiency the lights are running at.  

When setting up a room, in order to access the most important information it is recommended to input the grow room dimensions and wall material. If this is done so by the user, the Telos Mesh app will generate an accurate average PPFD reading at canopy level for the entire room. Something that was only previously achievable by use of expensive PAR and quantum sensors.

Precise PPFD is a unique feature to the Telos Mesh app, as explained breifly in the previous section; will generate an average PPFD reading at canopy level for the entire grow room.

This feature is accessible through the “Rooms” page, found at the bottom menu on the Telos App.

In order to pull through the most important data, the user must set up a “grow room” by entering in the room dimmensions and wall material, for example, 1.2 x 2.4m (grow tent foot print) and white mylar for the wall material.

The app will then take this data (as well as verified photometric data) from Telos and some 3rd party lighting to generate the Precise PPFD reading. Something previously only attainable with expensive PAR and quantum sensors – is now readily available in the palm of your hand.

Any changes to the quantity or intensity of your lighting is immediatly reflected in the average PPFD value.

Network-Lock

In version 2 of the Telos app, the decsion was made to upgrade the “Privacy-Lock” feature to “Network-Lock”. Previously with privacy-lock, the user would have to enable this feature for each light that was required to be hidden from devices seeking a Bluetooth connection, this was done on the node page for each light. Depending on how many lights are connected to the network, activating privacy lock on all lights could take up some time.

Network-lock is much quicker and easier to use and makes protecting your privacy even simpler with the latest version of Telos Mesh. After installing the update, you will find network-lock is now accessible on the settings page. When this is activated by the user, all lights on the network will be automatically switched into lock mode at once and you will visibly see the status LED switch from blue (Bluetooth) to purple (Lock-mode). You no longer have to activate it light by light.

Lock-mode works by preventing the lights from sending Bluetooth advertising signals, meaning your lights cannot be seen by anyone outside of the network. It also prevents from accidental changes to your power settings. The network will remember all of your settings and continue to follow your schedules whilst in lock mode.

As an added layer of security, manual intervention is required to deactivate lock mode. Tap 5 times on the touch sensor of any node to deactivate network-lock from all the lights on the network instantaneously. You can now reconnect to the network and make adjustments to your settings.

RTC Module

Telos has always supported existing customers with upgrades; this update will activate the cutting edge real time clock hardware contained within your Telos Mesh driver since launch. This is a tiny on-board electronic device that keeps track of the time. Accurate timekeeping is very important to keep your growing schedules running consistently.

Most real time clocks are powered by a button cell battery which dramatically limits the lifespan of the device. Telos choose to pair the RTC with a supercapictor rather than a battery. The RTC is constantly keeping time, but if the power is cut the supercapacitor kicks in and the light will continue to keep time for another 24 hours.

The Future of growing

Need More Information?

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