FACILITY MANAGERS at a major university are trialling Internet-connected lights in a bid to better allocate rooms and buildings and control both heating and lighting.
Over 1,000 square metres of the University of Oulu in Finland feature luminaires with built-in sensors which gather information about how occupants are using the space. University managers can use this information to allocate space to various departments.
With around around 16,000 students and 3,000 staff, Oulu is one of the largest educational facilities in Finland.
The trial – funded by the Finnish government – is also testing a number of other emerging technologies. For instance, the lighting infrastructure is hooked up to a 5G network, the next generation of mobile phone connectivity that is set to supersede the 4G platform.
By tapping into 5G, the participants in the project – which include lighting controls manufacturer Helvar – are exploring the wider range of services and capabilities that faster wireless networking will provide in the near future. 5G represents the next major advance over today's 4G in mobile networking speeds and capacity. It is expected to be generally ready by around 2020.
Some pundits believe the leap will be necessary to support the billions of devices that will connect to the IoT — estimates vary wildly but several prognosticators expect around 20–30 billion devices to be part of the IoT by 2020, up from several billion today. Lights, windows, door locks, security cameras, refrigerators, heating systems, and many other items will be part of it.
Helvar has connected around 100 LED luminaires to the 5G network at Oulu. ‘5G connectivity is just one part of this pilot project,” said Helvar senior adviser Max Björkgren.
‘In addition, a series of new real-estate lifecycle services based on a wireless self-learning lighting system will be tested and evaluated.
‘Multiple sensors can be hooked onto the lighting network to provide useful data and support IoT,’ Björkgren said. ‘The key benefit is that lighting plays an integral role in bridging between IoT and building usage.’
- Learn more about internet-connected lighting at the Gooee IoT Arena at LuxLive 2017, taking place on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November 2017. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE