Optilight – Mathematical Optimizations for Human Centric Lighting (STW, 2016-2020)

Optilight in een interdisciplinary project funded under NWO-STW, aiming to make lighting control systems more centered towards the human user. This requires not only better insights in how humans experience light but also demands quantified models and optimization algorithms that are executed by automated lighting control systems. HTI collaborates with departments of Electrical Engineering, Built Environment, and Mathematics & Computer Sciences in this project, all partners in the Intelligent Lighting Institute and as such also part of the TU/e – Philips Flagship on Lighting. 

Despite the growing scientific understanding of the impact of light on, for instance, wellbeing, performance, circadian rhythms and sleep, benefits of this understanding cannot (yet) easily be harvested in practical systems. We lack scalable algorithms that can be used in automated systems and that can be deployed in different environments without extensive tuning by experienced lighting experts. Scalability towards broad deployment is a key sub goal of this project. Although control theory and optimizations using statistical signal processing are well established areas, to date they are not widely used for lighting control. 

The goal of the present project is to collect all relevant insights on employees’ lighting needs related to wellbeing, health and performance and the effects of lighting on their functioning. The impact of light will be described in terms of probabilistic expressions to model the quantified effects and determine how much statistical variation can be expected. This includes the role of both perception (vision, visual comfort), visual experiences (appraisals, preferences) and non-image forming pathways (alertness, concentration, entrainment).