EU funds hunt for invisible light switch

THE EUROPEAN Union has announced that it is funding the hunt for ‘an invisible light switch’.

The move follows a growing belief among lighting engineers and forecasters that the light switch will become increasingly outdated in a world of connected, smart lighting.

The goal of the taxpayer-funded project is to eliminate the need for any switches for lighting by combining presence detection and smart light control.

The team tasked with ridding the world of light switches includes engineers from Osram and scientists from the University of Verona and the Italian Institute of Technology.

Leading the group is Doctor Fabio Galasso, head of the computer vision R&D activities at Osram, Professor Marco Cristani, who heads the department of vision, processing and sound at the University of Verona, and Doctor Alessio Del Bue, head of the department of visual geometry and modelling of IIT. The project members target two main goals: the understanding of the light and scene structure in a space as well as the understanding of the human factor in an illuminated scene.

The IIT is developing what it is calling a ‘light visibility map’, showing where in a scene luminaires are visible, while the University of Verona is focusing on how people perceive a space.

The idea is that each person in a home or office perceives the entire space as ‘all lit’, while lights, which are not visible by the person, are switched off by the system.

The project reflects the ‘growing demands for office lighting that offers maximum comfort and sense of security for users while granting large savings in energy consumption’, Osram said in a statement.

Bringing the goal of the project – the invisible light switch – into applications, ‘may be possible by 2019’. 


  • ‘Is the light switch dead?’ Is the theme of one of the many discussions and presentations on smart lighting at LuxLive 2017 in London on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November 2017. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.




No comments yet.

Leave your comment