A bright idea for wasteful office lighting
March 26, 2010, 7:57am PDT | Length: 00:02:41
Commercial office buildings are one of the main culprits of the current climate crisis. They consume large amounts of electricity and release excessive carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Adura Technologies has developed a mesh-based lighting system that is reducing costs and consumption inside buildings. The technology consists of wireless radios that plug into florescent light fixtures giving employees more control over their personal lighting space. Adura has also created a dual motion sensing-personal control system that is being used at UC Berkeley that allows students to break the hard-wired connection and control their lighting from their desktop PCs.
>> Sumi Das: Ah, the city skylight. A nice sight to see on an evening stroll, but those illuminated office buildings are also one of the main causes of the current climate crisis, wasting large amounts of electricity and releasing excessive carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
>> The problem really is a lot of these buildings are set where they only know where the breaker panels are, you know, this mass lighting, and they have no way to control it.
>> Sumi Das: One innovation hitting the market is a new lighting system that allows building managers and workers more control over their day-to-day lighting usage. San Francisco-based Adura Technologies is developing the platform. The idea is that no longer does an entire floor of lights need to be turned on.
>> We can control lights in specific areas, put them at different levels, and that granularity allows all kinds of possibilities.
>> Sumi Das: The way it works, the lights are connected using wireless radios.
>> That radio inside the fixture can communicate with the other lights in the building as well as with the, the Internet, and that radio controls a switch in the fixture. So by installing this device in the fixture, we're breaking the connection between the wired circuits, how lights are typically controlled, and allowing them to be controlled however we want to control them, independent of how they're wired.
>> Sumi Das: Users can then control the lights remotely or from a wall switch via an Ethernet connection. Adura says it's more cost effective and doesn't require an extensive building retrofit because the lighting system is not hard wired into the infrastructure. The technology was originally created by researchers at UC Berkeley, and at the university, there are various demos running the technology. One application is at the school's architecture studio where students tend to work 24 hours a day. The system is a dual, personal-control, and motion-sensing system.
>> These devices are now connected with a motion sensor so that in specific areas and individual studios, when people are working there, we can control the lights according to the occupancy. Important thing about our system, though, is we also have a switch in the wall, and our system allows the integration of, of individual personal control and the automated motion control. So if the students want the lights on when the motion sensor doesn't think they should be on, they can turn them on. If they want them off, they can turn them off.
>> Sumi Das: Adura's goal is to connect these lights to a central web hub so that ultimately building managers can control, track, and monitor their own energy usage. After all, you can't control what you can't measure, an adage that Adura stands by. For ZDNet, I'm Sumi Das.
==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Technologies ====