Smart Lighting: History
Please note this is an old version of this entry, which may differ significantly from the current revision.
Subjects: Others

Smart lighting is a lighting technology designed for energy efficiency, convenience and security. This may include high efficiency fixtures and automated controls that make adjustments based on conditions such as occupancy or daylight availability. Lighting is the deliberate application of light to achieve some aesthetic or practical effect (e.g. illumination of a security breach). It includes task lighting, accent lighting, and general lighting.

  • lighting technology
  • automated controls
  • illumination

1. Energy Consumption

Lighting applications represents 19% of the world's energy use and 6% of all greenhouse emissions.[1] In the United States, 65 percent of energy consumption is used by commercial and industrial sectors, and 22 percent of this is used for lighting.

1.1. Minimizing Energy Usage

Smart lighting enables households and users to remotely control cooling, heating, lighting and appliances, minimizing unnecessary light and energy use. This ability saves energy and provides a level of comfort and convenience. From outside the traditional lighting industry, the future success of lighting will require involvement of a number of stakeholders and stakeholder communities. The concept of smart lighting also involves utilizing natural light from the sun to reduce the use of man-made lighting, and the simple concept of people turning off lighting when they leave a room.[2]

1.2. Convenience

A smart lighting system can ensure that dark areas are illuminated when in use. The lights actively respond to the activities of the occupants based on sensors and intelligence (logic) that anticipates the lighting needs of an occupant.

1.3. Security

Lights can be used to dissuade those from areas they should not be. A security breach, for example, is an event that could trigger floodlights at the breach point. Preventative measures include illuminating key access points (such as walkways) at night and automatically adjusting the lighting when a household is away to make it appear as though there are occupants.

2. Major Techniques

2.1. Smart Lighting Control

The use of automatic light dimming is an aspect of smart lighting that serves to reduce energy consumption.[3] Manual light dimming also has the same effect of reducing energy use.

2.2. Use of Sensors

In the paper "Energy savings due to occupancy sensors and personal controls: a pilot field study", Galasiu, A.D. and Newsham, G.R have confirmed that automatic lighting systems including occupancy sensors and individual (personal) controls are suitable for open-plan office environments and can save a significant amount of energy (about 32%) when compared to a conventional lighting system, even when the installed lighting power density of the automatic lighting system is ~50% higher than that of the conventional system.[4]


A complete sensor consists of a motion detector, an electronic control unit, and a controllable switch/relay. The detector senses motion and determines whether there are occupants in the space.[5] It also has a timer that signals the electronic control unit after a set period of inactivity. The control unit uses this signal to activate the switch/relay to turn equipment on or off. For lighting applications, there are three main sensor types: passive infrared, ultrasonic,[6] and hybrid.

Daylight sensing

In response to daylighting technology, daylight-linked automated response systems have been developed to further reduce energy consumption.[5][7] These technologies are helpful, but they do have their downfalls. Many times, rapid and frequent switching of the lights on and off can occur, particularly during unstable weather conditions or when daylight levels are changing around the switching illuminance. Not only does this disturb occupants, it can also reduce lamp life. A variation of this technology is the 'differential switching' or 'dead-band' photoelectric control which has multiple illuminances it switches from to reduce occupants being disturbed.[8][9]

Occupancy sensing

Smart lighting that utilizes occupancy sensors can work in unison with other lighting connected to the same network to adjust lighting per various conditions.[10] The table below shows potential electricity savings from using occupancy sensors to control lighting in various types of spaces.[11]


The advantages of ultrasonic devices are that they are sensitive to all types of motion and generally there are zero coverage gaps, since they can detect movements not within the line of sight.[6][11]


Motion-detecting (microwave), heating-sensing (infrared), and sound-sensing; optical cameras, infrared motion, optical trip wires, door contact sensors, thermal cameras, micro radars, daylight sensors.[12]

3. Smart-lighting Emergency Ballast for Fluorescent Lamps[13]

The function of a traditional emergency lighting system is the supply of a minimum illuminating level when a line voltage failure appears. Therefore, emergency lighting systems have to store energy in a battery module to supply lamps in case of failure. In this kind of lighting systems the internal damages, for example battery overcharging, damaged lamps and starting circuit failure must be detected and repaired by specialist workers.

For this reason, the smart lighting prototype can check its functional state every fourteen days and dump the result into a LED display. With these features they can test themselves checking their functional state and displaying their internal damages. Also the maintenance cost can be decreased.

3.1. Overview

The main idea is the substitution of the simple line voltage sensing block that appears in the traditional systems by a more complex one based on a microcontroller. This new circuit will assume the functions of line voltage sensing and inverter activation, by one side, and the supervision of all the system: lamp and battery state, battery charging, external communications, correct operation of the power stage, etc., by the other side.

The system has a great flexibility, for instance, it would be possible the communication of several devices with a master computer, which would know the state of each device all the time.

A new emergency lighting system based on an intelligent module has been developed. The micro-controller as a control and supervision device guarantees increase in the installation security and a maintenance cost saving.

Another important advantage is the cost saving for mass production specially whether a microcontroller with the program in ROM memory is used.

4. Smart Lighting Ecosystem

Smart lighting systems can be controlled using the internet to adjust lighting brightness and schedules.[10] One technology involves a smart lighting network that assigns IP addresses to light bulbs.[14]

4.1 Information Transmitting with Smart Light

Schubert predicts that revolutionary lighting systems will provide an entirely new means of sensing and broadcasting information. By blinking far too rapidly for any human to notice, the light will pick up data from sensors and carry it from room to room, reporting such information as the location of every person within a high-security building. A major focus of the Future Chips Constellation is smart lighting, a revolutionary new field in photonics based on efficient light sources that are fully tunable in terms of such factors as spectral content, emission pattern, polarization, color temperature, and intensity. Schubert, who leads the group, says smart lighting will not only offer better, more efficient illumination; it will provide “totally new functionalities.”

5. Advances in Photonics

The advances achieved in photonics are already transforming society just as electronics revolutionized the world in recent decades and it will continue to contribute more in the future. From the statistics, North America’s optoelectronics market grew to more than $20 billion in 2003. The LED (light-emitting diode) market is expected to reach $5 billion in 2007, and the solid-state lighting market is predicted to be $50 billion in 15–20 years, as stated by E. Fred Schubert,[15] Wellfleet Senior Distinguished Professor of the Future Chips Constellation at Rensselaer.

6. Inventors

  • Alexander Nikolayevich Lodygin – carbon-rod filament incandescent lamp (1874)[16]
  • Joseph Swan – carbonized-thread filament incandescent lamp (1878)[17]
  • Thomas Edison – long-lasting incandescent lamp with high-resistance filament (1880)[17]
  • John Richardson Wigham – electric lighthouse illumination (1885)[18]
  • Nick Holonyak – light-emitting diode (1962)[19]
  • Howard Borden, Gerald Pighini, Mohamed Atalla, Monsanto – LED lamp (1968)[20][21]
  • Shuji Nakamura, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano – blue LED (1992)[22]

The content is sourced from:


  1. Bahga, Arshdeep; Madisetti, Vijay (2014-08-09) (in en). Internet of Things: A Hands-On Approach. VPT. pp. 50. ISBN 978-0-9960255-1-5. 
  2. Khanna 2014, pp. 475-476.
  3. Khanna 2014, p. 478.
  4. Galasiu, A.D.; Newsham, G.R., Energy savings due to occupancy sensors and personal controls: a pilot field study, Lux Europa 2009, 11th European Lighting Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, September 9–11, 2009, pp. 745-752
  5. Khanna 2014, p. 476.
  6. Khanna 2014, p. 480.
  7. Khanna 2014, pp. 482-484.
  8. a b c Li D, Cheung K, Wong S, Lam T. An analysis of energy-efficient light fittings and lighting controls. Applied Energy [serial online]. February 2010;87(2):558-567, Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA.
  9. Hung-Liang C, Yung-Hsin H. Design and Implementation of Dimmable Electronic Ballast for Fluorescent Lamps Based on Power-Dependent Lamp Model. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. July 2010;38(7):1644-1650, Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, M
  10. Bahga, A.; Madisetti, V. (2014). Internet of Things: A Hands-On Approach. Vpt. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-9960255-1-5. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  11. The energy observer, Energy Efficiency Information for the Facility Manager, Quarterly Issue – December 2007, Occupancy Sensors for Lighting Control
  12. "Already Efficient, LED Lights Get Smarter". Martin LaMonica. 
  13. J. M. Alonso, J. Diaz, C.Blanco, M. Rico, A Smart-Lighting Emergency Ballast for Fluorescent Lamps Based on Microcontroller
  14. "An Internet Address for Every Light Bulb :: NXP Semiconductors". 2011-05-16. 
  15. "Rensselaer Magazine: Winter 2004: Looking Into Light (Page 2)". 
  16. Edison Electric Light Co. vs. United States Electric Lighting Co., Federal Reporter, F1, Vol. 47, 1891, p. 457.
  17. Guarnieri, M. (2015). "Switching the Light: From Chemical to Electrical". IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine 9 (3): 44–47. doi:10.1109/MIE.2015.2454038. 
  18. "John Richardson Wigham 1829–1906". BEAM (Commissioners of Irish Lights) 35: 21–22. 2006. 
  19. "Inventor of Long-Lasting, Low-Heat Light Source Awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Washington, D.C.. April 21, 2004. 
  20. Andrews, David L. (2015). Photonics, Volume 3: Photonics Technology and Instrumentation. John Wiley & Sons. p. 2. ISBN 9781118225547. 
  21. Borden, Howard C.; Pighini, Gerald P. (February 1969). "Solid-State Displays". Hewlett-Packard Journal: 2–12. 
  22. "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014". Nobel Prize. 
This entry is offline, you can click here to edit this entry!
Video Production Service