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Lighting Design

How the Internet of Things will transform Lighting Design

Commissioned work: Appeared first on chess wise

The Internet Of Things Takes Lighting Design To The Next Level.

Over the last decade intelligent lighting design has evolved far beyond the domain of stage lighting and other entertainment purposes. Intelligent lighting systems should be able to decide on their own how to offer the best performance for any given situation. What we now understand as intelligent lighting regards:

  1. its capacity to meet the requirements of a specific environment
    an office, a hospital or a theater all demand different things from a lighting system.
  2. its (automated) response to irregular events or circumstances
    whether this is a bright day, a work-holiday or an alarm situation.

Then, to contribute to a more circular, sustainable economy, intelligent lighting should be designed for maximum longevity and make efficient use of energy.
And the latest epiphany, driven by the rise of the Internet of Things, is that lighting infrastructures can be employed as digital highways. Where there are people, there are lights, suggesting that smart lighting infrastructures could develop into superhighways for big data and become a powerful driver for change in this world at more levels than we can imagine right now. Have you already come across the expression: The Internet of Light?

Lighting Design has become a multi-disciplinary expertise

Mainly driven by technological advancements, intelligent lighting design has become a multi-disciplinary expertise and regardless of how the trends will play out, this will heavily impact the role of lighting designers.

What Determines The Level Of Lighting Intelligence?

So what makes lighting system intelligent? You could think of the level of intelligence as a result of:

  • the variety and amount of sensors and controls in a lighting network
  • and the agility of its commissioning and management tools.

In concept; the more sensors in a network that monitor the environment- e.g. lux-, motion-, temperature- or sound sensors – the more data comes available for the system to accurately determine lighting requirements for a given situation. Next, the agility and features of its management system determines how easy you can adjust the settings and performance of the system and if you can view and change the settings remotely. The sky seems the limit. However in practice it is fair to say that there are still some (technological) challenges to overcome and some very conscious choices to make.

A Paradigm Shift For Lighting Designers

Let us start with the basics. Life as we know it, can not exist without light. The impact of light on our health, safety and sense of well being is a significant one. The good news is that digital technology has widened the lighting designer’s sphere of influence significantly. It creates a whole new palette of options for light designers to work with. The downside could be that the options are so mind-boggling and certainly not all that glitters is gold. Lighting designers should be able to properly assess the required technology to serve a purpose. The challenge is to take on the right approach to the design process.

Step 1: Human Centric Design

The first step for lighting designers is to determine the purpose of light within the context of human needs and expectations, taking in account that this will ultimately be weighed against the (environmental) costs. So before taking off with the technical requirements, the first step should be to assess the possible scenarios within which intelligent lighting needs to perform. The second step should be to decide on the environmental requirements and finally all these requirements should be weighed out against the budget.
A user centric approach is very important, because it will prevent a lighting designer from getting lost in mind-blowing options that digital technologies have to offer. You best take-off with a non technical approach and start with human centric performance requirements.

Step 2: Determine the required data

The second phase would be to assess the necessary information (data) that the intelligent lighting system needs to manage the different lighting schemes. This then determines the requirements for the sensor network; what sensors do you need to deliver the necessary data to the network, so that the network can determine how to operate it’s lights?

Step 3 Determine network requirements

The third and final phase is to specify the network requirements. In other words, what features should the network protocol (the IoT protocol) offer to operate your lighting design. For example: How many groups can you set up and can lighting fixtures be a part of more than one group? What is the switching interval? How easy is it to integrate new sensor and controls? How scalable is the network? Can the network be employed to control other systems than just lighting and serve as an Internet of Light?

Such specifications can have a significant impact on the performance of a lighting system and the customer experience. Now that the digitalization of lighting is a fact, lighting designers should have a basic knowledge of the connectivity (IoT) protocols because they can have a severe impact on the feasibility of the design. There are many connectivity protocols out there and it would be fair to say that each of them have their strength and weaknesses. (We have tried to benchmark a few of the most common wireless networks against our own network protocol MyriaMesh.)

CONSULT US! Chess Wise developed a wireless connectivity protocol called MyriaMesh. It delivers a wireless smart lighting platform. Our building lighting control and outdoor lighting control products can transform any (legacy) lighting infrastructure into a wireless network of smart lighting assets. Are you a lighting designer and would you like to know more about the lighting protocols of the future? Don’t hesitate to consult us. We love to exchange knowledge and experience. Together we create the future of lighting.