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Light Beyond Illumination

  • Wout van Bommel
Chapter

Abstract

LED-based lighting can be used for more than illumination alone. By connecting a network of LED luminaires with integrated sensors to a network, it becomes the backbone of the Internet of Things (IoT). The data collected by the sensors of the IoT system are available in real time as input for direct smart actions of the connected building service installations such as lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. They are also available for data-driven decisions by facility management such as space allocation, cleaning and maintenance actions and in helping with diagnostics. Many of these decisions can be automated.

Light from LED luminaires can be used simultaneously for lighting a room and for wirelessly transferring data in that room. The term used for this emerging kind of wireless data transfer is “Visible Light Communication, VLC”. For VLC purposes, the light is encoded and modulated without affecting the illumination quality. VLC can be extended into a bidirectional data communication system with a down- and uplink. It is referred to as Li-Fi. It is a much-needed alternative for, or a complement to, the congested Wi-Fi wireless communication system.

The dual function of LEDs enables, apart from data communication, many new applications. Examples are the use of room lighting for indoor navigation and for sensing objects in a room. Using light as a sensor with only the light itself enables the determination of the contours of objects and even the pose and movements of persons (sitting, standing, laying, walking). This information, in turn, can be used as input for all kinds of automated reactions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wout van Bommel
    • 1
  1. 1.Van Bommel Lighting ConsultantNuenenThe Netherlands

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