responsive emotional control of lighting

With the advancement of camera vision systems, digitally controlled light fixtures and IP-networked controls, architectural lighting systems are poised for tremendous application innovations.

One example is as such:  In a conference room, a stereo vision system tracks the number of occupants in that room (not just “dumb” occupancy status like most old-style IR motion detectors).

With this capability, a designer could decide that when the room is occupied by only one or two people, they want it to take a more cozy feeling – therefore, a warmer color temperature, perhaps with more focused lighting.


But when the room is filled with many people, they want it to create a more calm, expansive feeling – therefore, a cooler color temperature, perhaps with more ambient lighting.


This is a deceptively simple example that shows how modern, digitally connected and controlled lighting systems can provide new functionalities simply not possible with older lighting technologies like DALI or 0-10v sensor systems.  Lighting systems become “smart” – they can be responsive in more precise ways than previously imagined.

I’m a big proponent of using camera sensors for lighting controls.  Yes, there will be endless fears about the dangers of “big bother is watching”…but the potential benefits of camera vision systems outweigh the Orwellian whining.

But these systems open up a world of new challenges for how to demonstrate the design concepts, document and specify the concepts, and commission them in field.

This example was part of an article I wrote for LightSpec in 2012, a publication from Philips Lighting.  The images were created for my article by an external agency for Philips Lighting.