Rogier van der Heide shared a technical concept via LinkedIn which he has submitted to the upcoming Lux Awards program. Rogier is taking the capabilities of “LiFi” or “coded light” and applying them specifically to museum applications.
LiFi is quite simple: Stealing a page from how all fiber-optic communications systems function, the drivers in light fixtures include circuitry that can flash the LED sources at extremely high frequencies (far higher than human perception) which can be detected by digital cameras in mobile devices. At their simplest, LiFi-enabled fixtures broadcast just their serial number. But this unique ID tag, transmitted out in the light stream of the fixture, provides powerful opportunities to simplify the control of “smart lighting.” The Lifi-coded signal can be detected in the direct beam of light, or even from reflected illuminated surfaces. Looking at a scene with multiple light sources or illuminated surfaces, software can take a snapshot of that scene, detect the highest point of intensity for each source and automatically assign control icons overlaid onto each light source.
To quote his share:
The “LightWatch” uses lifi to enable “Aim and Adjust” and “Point and Prove” – two unique, exciting technologies that enable collection and aggregation of detailed vital data, intuitive programming of the lighting, and sharing insights across the team.
I would also like to point out that LiFi-enabled fixtures have the potential to radically reduce the commissioning time and labor required for “smart” lighting systems. You skip the whole step of identifying each fixture and assigning addresses. Since each fixture broadcasts its serial number, you can use mobile apps and devices to identify each fixture from its own light emission.
Success to Roger and his collaborators.