Motion sensors trigger lights at London university

AN INNOVATIVE outdoor lighting installation triggered by wireless motion sensors has been unveiled on the campus of the Royal Holloway university in London.

It’s hoped the project will give added security to students, lecturers and college staff who are often on site until late into the evening.

The Royal Holloway buildings – including lecture halls, cafés and student accommodation – are set in extensive park-like grounds with tree-lined paths.

The 200 LED luminaires are switched on at twilight at 10 per cent light output. When movement and presence are detected the lighting is faded up to between 50 per cent and 100 per cent depending on the location.

The two adjacent luminaires are also automatically faded up. If no new movement is detected the light output of these luminaires is returned to the predefined minimum level after a hold time of 30 seconds.

Luminaire control using data cables to be laid at the campus would have been extremely complex and costly. Instead, wireless sensors communicate with a gateway which in turn communicates wirelessly with the lights.

All the luminaires are linked to a mesh network which means that all the light points communicate not only with the gateway but also notify adjacent luminaires when they detect movement.

The motion sensor can therefore immediately switch on other luminaires in the wireless network.

The system architecture enables the lights to be activated much faster than is the case with other wireless systems in which communication among the light points always has to go via a gateway.

The motion sensors, the dimming levels and durations are all defined in the software. Facility managers at the university – which has 9,000 students across 18 departments – can adjust all the settings using this web application and maintain an overview on a smartphone, tablet or a PC.

The sensor has been developed for tough outdoor applications and for demand-led adaptive lighting. It adapts the brightness of the luminaires to the presence of pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles in a freely definable response profile, and reliably filters out interference from small animals and swaying tree branches.


  • The Safer Cities conference is one of a range of events taking place as part of the LuxLive 2018 exhibition at London ExCeL. The show is open on Wednesday 14 November and Thursday 15 November 2018. See the full programme HERE.