COINS Construction Industry Grand Challenge winner: Controlling lighting locally per desk
Christel de Bakker, PhD candidate of the Building Lighting group, presented her research idea at the Coins Construction Industry Grand Challenge in London at the 8th of February. She won the sustainability challenge as well as the overall Bouygyues Special Discretionary R&D Award given out to the most promising application of all seventeen ideas.
Her idea involves controlling lighting locally per desk to save energy on the lighting consumption of open-plan offices. It tailors the lighting to the individual occupancy patterns within the space and thereby the lighting is only switched on when and where it is really needed. It anticipates the current trend of smart lighting solutions which have occupancy sensors at almost every luminaire and hence enable this type of control. However, saving energy should not come at cost of users’ comfort. In combination with IoT, the increased use of sensors allows us to identify individuals and thus to tailor the lighting to the preferences of each user. Christel conducts several user studies to determine which lighting distributions are preferred. Currently, these are performed in controlled lab environments, but Christel aims to also validate the strategy in the real office environment. The prices gave her a motivation and confidence boost to pursue these plans.