In Smart Life: The Intelligence of Electronics Improving Our Lives, Part 1 of this blog series I introduced the smart life as a new trend of the electronics industry whose goal is to improve the life of customers by means of the industrializing the market of products of the following types:
- SMART SENSING
- SMART LIGHTING
- SMART MOTOR CONTROL
- SMART BRAIN
- SMART POWER
Smart lighting electronic solutions have been presented by STMicroelectronics Company at the i-Sedex 2014 edition in Seoul, Korea. STMicroelectronics extended its portfolio of integrated power ICs for LED driving by adding some features for the remote control of the LED lights, thus realizing a smart remote control process on a real time basis: Smart lighting.
Smart lighting activity consists of the sensing of the illumination level of a controlled ambient, like, for example, a room of a smart house, by means of ALS (Ambient Light Sensor) IC (see Figure 1). The ALS system has an integrated proximity sensor, in order to add the further feature of sensing the presence of hosts in the room; hence two different datasets are available, containing the information of the illumination level required by the room. A central computing integrated core, like, for example, a microcontroller, is the central part of the smart lighting system, an it processes the data, and by crossing the datasets is able to take actions like switch off the LED lights in case of no human presence to save energy.
Remote control of LED lights can be performed by the users smart device (i-phone, tablet, pc) and this feature is realized by means of a wireless communication protocol at a communication frequency up to 1GHZ, to ensure a high level of integration of the smart light control system and above all an effective remote control of the LED lights in terms of energy savings and, furthermore, in terms of easy on-demand regulation of the illumination of a room of a smart building.
As it is shown in a demonstrative video that is loaded in the vimeo website and linked to the website of the Solenica company, this robot senses the sunlight direction, by means of optoelectronics sensors, and it directs some reflective screens in that direction in order to illuminate a certain point of a smart house, for example a plant, as showed in Figure 2.
The source of energy that feeds the robot, by mean of photovoltaic integrated cells and, at the same time, the energy that illuminates the smart house, is the solar energy, that is totally renewable and the possibility to direct the reflected sunlight is a really effective solution to illuminate a particular dark point of the house. This solution leads to the saving of a large amount of electric energy, thus reducing the carbon emission footprint for each habitant of the smart house down of a ton. The Solenica robot has been utilized also in a park in Rome, the Bio-Park, to illuminate a cage for parrots that was unutilized because of poor exposure to the sunlight as showed in the bottom part of Figure 2.
Do you like the smart lighting approach? Do you think that the utilization of renewable sources of energy, that consecutively have a low impact on the environment reducing the carbon emissions, like the case of the Solenica robot, will effectively make life better for human beings that live in that environment? What other utilizations of the smart lighting solution do you see as an option?