Can this collaboration switch on huge electricity savings?

03-04-2017 |   |  By Paul Whytock

City lights views at night are great visually but they are a greedy consumer of the world’s electricity resource. Here are the facts. Nearly 20% of all the electricity consumed globally is for lighting and approximately 80% of that is being consumed by office buildings, industrial sites and street lighting. About 20% of that 80% is used by residential lighting.

A major reason for this high electricity consumption is the take-up of smart adjustable lighting technology is just not happening. No matter what location we’re talking about, when the lights are left on it’s always at a continuous brightness level.

However, thanks to a consortium of four organisations; Infineon Technologies, Bernitz Electronics, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology and the Technische Universität Dresden this situation could change. They are behind a project called OpenLicht that is aimed at reducing the excessive waste of electricity by unnecessarily bright continuous lighting in buildings when they are unoccupied.

This three-year research project aims to create open development platform for smart lights and lighting systems that will operate intuitively. This will include the self-learning networking of light sources with sensor data embedded in the network and with the profiles of individual users programmed into them.

In a smart home such a platform could individually adjust the light settings for every single light source in every room in the house relative to the level of natural daylight. The self-learning components would adjust brightness and light colour automatically to current temperature and weather data and the personal preferences of occupants.

The OpenLicht project will work on three particular application areas. Professional lighting for industrial users, mood lighting for domestic situations and light modeling for designers, architects, artists and lighting manufacturers. At the end of the three-year project the partners hope to present demonstrations for each of these applications.

Another key element of OpenLicht will be the establishment of networking technology for sensors and actuators using man-machine interfaces for smart building infrastructures.


By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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