What is LonWorks?

BACnet FAQ Optigo Networks LonWorks
LonWorks, LonTalk, and LonMark — oh my! What does it all mean?

BACnet gets compared to a lot of other protocols on the market, including LonWorks, Modbus, and KNX. Over the next few articles, we’re explaining how each of these protocols are different, and how they stack up against each other. In this post, we’ll dig into LonWorks.

LonWorks is the proprietary protocol from Motorola/Echelon, that regulates the content of devices’ communication. It’s part of the LonMark standard, which also includes a LonTalk protocol to dictate how devices communicate with each other. 

Think of it this way: LonTalk says that A can talk to B, but cannot talk directly to C or D. The content of the messages between A and B is regulated by LonWorks, which says A can ask questions but cannot give answers. LonMark is the standard that encapsulates all of this.

We’ll be focusing on LonWorks here, though, because it’s what gets compared to BACnet the most frequently.

You might remember that BACnet emerged because of the problem with proprietary protocols. Before you panic though, LonWorks isn’t like the proprietary protocols of yore. In fact, it can be interworked with BACnet relatively easily — provided you design and integrate the two in a way that addresses the customer’s needs, as Gerry G. Hull writes. Meaning, in a way that doesn’t lock the customer in with a solution they don’t want, and that they can’t get out of. 

While many see LonWorks as somewhat outdated, it does still have a dedicated fanbase. Building Energy Resilience notes that unlike BACnet, Lon was designed as “both a data protocol and an electrical standard for digital communications.” It supports all different building automation systems, using peer-to-peer and master-slave communications. It’s an international standard (ANSI/CEA 709.1 and IEEE 1473-L), according to Facilities Net. Most importantly, any device carrying the Lon stamp of approval is verified: it has to be certified as working properly with other Lon devices, according to Facilities Net.

Recent Blog Posts

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Interview between Monica McMahen, Marketing Director, and Pook-Ping Yao, CEO of Optigo Networks.

The worlds of IT and Operational Technology (OT) are merging more and more these days as the Internet of Things grows in prominence.

We recently hosted a webinar on BACnet Secure Connect (BACnet/SC) with special guests Bernhard Isler from Siemens and David Fisher from PolarSoft, two main figures behind BACnet/SC.

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Data center expansion with OTI and Optigo Connect

DATA CENTER EXPANSION

Stack Infrastructure is a portfolio of hyperscale computing data centers. OTI completed work on Phases I and II, and returned for the Phase III build-out of a 4-megawatt data hall and brand new central plant. The Optigo Connect network put in place in Phases I and II was expanded on this project. The team achieved quick roll-out of a large, multi-service redundant network using the Optigo OneView management interface. Going forward, the facility management team can use OneView to remotely monitor equipment, manage power usage, and meet up-time goals.

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The Landmark is a sophisticated mixed-use high-rise in Mexico. The owners wanted to integrate all OT systems in the skyscraper, while maintaining separate networks for each application. The Landmark is the fourth joint project between Optigo Networks and MR Soluciones. Together, these companies provide robust services to meet any challenge.

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45 BENJAMIN WAY

Delta Building Automation (Australia) had a big job renovating the Headquarters for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) at 45 Benjamin Way. The building owner wanted to improve the building’s energy use and increase their National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) score to more than 4.5 stars, out of a possible total of six. Securing the network both internally and externally was a big priority, as well.

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Penn State University Optigo Networks Visual BACnet

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

When Tom Walker first started working at Penn State University four years ago, there were a lot of network issues. Buildings were dropping offline. Broadcast traffic was pushing 90,000 packets per hour. Walker was on the phone almost every single night because devices were down or had to be reset.

 

Torre Manacar Mexico City Optigo Connect

TORRE MANACAR

When MR Soluciones began work on Torre Manacar, they knew they needed a flexible and scalable network infrastructure to support a wide array of integrated systems. Optigo Networks was a natural fit for the massive project, designing a robust network at a competitive cost.

short

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Short Pump Town Center, an upscale retail center, underwent a complete renovation in 2014. The flexibility of Optigo Networks’ solution meant the retail center’s unknown final design was not a barrier to placing IP surveillance equipment in the field.

BOULEVARD MALL

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One tech support team at a manufacturer purchased an account with Visual BACnet in April 2017, for technical problems around the world.

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