LED Lighting Drives Efficiency & Control

Display portlet menu

LED Lighting Drives Efficiency & Control

LED lightbulbs hanging in a row on green background

Switching to LED-based lighting can dramatically reduce energy use and lower replacement costs in a wide variety of lighting installations.

According to recent Energy Star publications, LED-based lighting can use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. This can dramatically cut energy costs in large installations. Additionally, LED-based lighting can last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting and two to five times longer than fluorescent lighting. This can significantly reduce service costs related to bulb replacement and disposal.

Even more savings can accrue when inherently efficient LED-lighting is combined with intelligent lighting controls that can adapt and direct light to the precise area where needed and thus eliminate “wasted” light. A familiar example is the control of lighting in a conference room based on occupancy. The light switch can detect movement, perhaps through the use of infrared motion sensors and power switches all under MCU control. Lights can be automatically turned on when people enter the conference room and turned off when they exit. A similar system could be used to adjust lighting levels in an open cubical office environment based on occupancy of a specific cubical, amount of ambient lighting from windows, and even the task the person is doing in the cubicle (perhaps to reduce directed lighting glare on a computer screen). MCUs with a variety of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) capabilities and low-power communication interfaces, like those in the TI MSP430 Family, can be used to manage remote installations efficiently.

Adaptive lighting can also play a role in the home to improve lighting efficiency. Adjusting lighting for reading or watching TV can make lighting task-oriented. An intelligent lighting system could learn to respond to common tasks with just the right amount of light placed in the precise area of need. As an element in the Internet of Things, LED lighting might even be controlled via distributed intelligence replacing or augmenting a centralized controller. LEDs could communicate directly with each other to “negotiate” the most efficient lighting solution.

Architectural lighting can benefit from adaptive controls as well, with the amount of light directed at a building or bridge based on measurements of ambient lighting, traffic conditions, and perhaps even the real-time cost of power. Architectural lighting, not needed for safety reasons, could be “dialed back” if real-time energy costs are too high or if toll revenue has been too low. Power and cost savings are available once intelligent lighting controls and the associated communications infrastructure are available.

Real-Time Lighting Controls Improve Lighting Efficiency and Reduce Costs

Commercial opportunities for using LED lighting are all around as well. Mood lighting on merchandise displays can be adjusted depending on where customers are standing or walking, drawing attention to items of interest (perhaps even based on their most recent Google searches). Some of the most innovative commercial lighting applications would use advanced MCUs that support multiple serial interfaces, like the LPC1100 Family from NXP, to implement capabilities like wireless signaling, complex sensing and even line of sign communications as an element of the Internet of Things. For example, LED lighting fixtures could send and receive coded messages with consumers, perhaps using Infrared light. This would locate the consumer within the store and allow vendors to offer incentives on complementary purchases. Want a discount on avocados to go with your salsa? The produce aisle is just around the corner.

These are just a few examples of the many possible energy savings available by combining LED lighting, multiple communications protocols and MCU control into an integrated adaptive lighting system. What innovative lighting application do you see in our future?

Related Articles
strip of LED lights
PoE + LEDs: An effective pairing, with some limitations
March 17, 2017
Using the evolving Power over Ethernet standard to supply DC power to LED-based lighting in place of using the AC line offers both new options and some serious concerns.
colorful tunnel
AC/DC Supplies: Design and Make, or Just Buy?
March 8, 2017
How to implement the ubiquitous AC/DC supply is a complicated decision with many factors and perspectives, ranging from technical to regulatory ones.
metal and glass building with electrical activity
All-Around ESD and Heat Protection
March 7, 2017
See why LED lighting systems require high-performance ESD and overtemperature protection to achieve the best lifespan, maintenance costs and reliability.
close-up of orange car headlights
Automotive LEDs Deliver Greater Design Flexibility for Safety, Style and Efficiency
March 7, 2017
LED lighting has been making major inroads into the automotive market for two key reasons: safety concerns and energy consumption.
building exterior heavily lit by LED lighting
Driving the LED Revolution for Light and for Art
March 6, 2017
The emergence of LEDs as a usable and hugely beneficial light source has created a massive impact in the global lighting market. Old incandescent technology – if an approach that sees light created as a consequence of a conductor glowing and where
blue digital screen
LEDs: The Eyes and Ears of the Internet of Things
March 6, 2017
It may seem to be a stretch to assert that LEDs play a truly important role in the future of the Internet of Things. After all, by themselves, they’re just lights. However, with sensors tucked neatly inside and a bit of intelligence...
blurry servers in a data center
Securing LED Networks in the Age of the Internet of Things
March 6, 2017
Recently, in Nuevo Arenal, a little sleepy village in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, a dozen criminals cut the lights to the town’s main street during the quiet 3 a.m. hour, and then injured...
conceptual image of energy bulb with energy icons
Internet of Things: Using Wireless-Controlled Lighting to Reduce Energy Costs
March 6, 2017
Traditional mechanical wired lighting systems offer users few cost effective options in managing usage and controlling lighting expense.
corner view  of orange micrchip
Avnet WTWH Basics of LEDs
March 3, 2017
Using the evolving Power over Ethernet standard to supply DC power to LED-based lighting in place of using the AC line offers both new options and some serious concerns.
stage led lighting in green and blue
The Challenge of Dimming LEDs
March 3, 2017
One of the major issues that continue to plague light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is the challenge of dimming.
hand holding an illuminated LED bulb
LEDs Shed Light on New Applications — From Fighting Insomnia to Healing Wounds
March 3, 2017
LED use has dramatically increased as performance improves and costs decrease. Recently, nontraditional applications of LEDs delivering surprising quality-of-life improvements have grown in number.
LEDs and Their Rapidly Changing Form Factor
March 3, 2017
From street lamps to industrial applications, LED use goes well beyond screwing an LED light into a desk lamp. Historically, retrofit LEDs have often emulated the form factor of the lamps they were replacing.
Related Events

No related events found