Cloud-based street lighting design takes off

Cloud computing widens the pool of knowledge available to tackle a calculation, meaning what would have taken large chunks of brain power and time in the past, can now be conquered in seconds. 

A British company is hoping to revolutionise street lighting design using the power of Cloud computing. The new system allows users to automate the analysis of luminaires, enabling manufacturers and lighting departments to calculate how a product would perform in a number of different road configurations and luminaire arrangements. 

The browser-based ACE (Advanced Calculation Engine) technology is able to calculate the results for many different luminaires, across a multitude of road, pole and luminaire configurations, which often number many thousands, or millions, of calculation scenarios.

Traditionally, desktop street lighting design applications will perform a single set of calculations for a single luminaire with one road and luminaire configuration.

The calculations enable consultants, planners and highways authorities to cost-justify lighting improvements with increased confidence, while ensuring that they conform to standards such as EN13201 in Europe, CIE standards and IES RP08 in the USA.

Street lighting manufacturers have been beta-testing the ACE system and will be the first to use the new online service. 

Developed by Lighting Reality, the company describes ACE as a ‘luminaire intelligence solution’. In addition to proposing the optimal configuration for any location, manufacturers will also be able to use the system to refine existing and future luminaire performance and potentially compare existing luminaires to new chip, lens data or to competitors’ products, provided the data is in the public domain.

Comments 2

Picking up on WilliamK's comment, I suspect that the real issue here is not a single example of cloud-based design activity, but more to do with the extent that 'cloud-based computing' may become a norm among the lighting design and engineering community. On one level it may just be another file storage device (at its crudest) but we look to be headed towards a place when a cloud-based industry is compeyent to take over the management of lighting installations, perhaps offering a one-stop shop for scheme design, management and analysis - and that will affect the traditional route to market for many manufacturers who think its just a case of selling fixtures and walking away, with fingers crossed until the guarantee period is over.

While software to deliver the design calculations described could certainly be useful, the fact that it resides in a cloud arrangement is of really quite minor importance. The reality is that relatively few folks design large outdoor lighting systems, and so the market for the software is fairly limited. So while this posting is an interesting press release, the cloud portion is of fairly minor value, sort of like describing some CEO's hair color when making a new product announcement.

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