Environment

Clemson University flicks switch on innovative new lighting system

The Watt Family Innovation Center lighting is said to be the first large-scale PoE lighting installation at a major university campus
The Watt Family Innovation Center lighting is said to be the first large-scale PoE lighting installation at a major university campus
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LED lighting coupled with Power over Ethernet technology will deliver overall energy savings of around 70 percent when compared to similar buildings using conventional lighting
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LED lighting coupled with Power over Ethernet technology will deliver overall energy savings of around 70 percent when compared to similar buildings using conventional lighting
The Watt Family Innovation Center lighting is said to be the first large-scale PoE lighting installation at a major university campus
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The Watt Family Innovation Center lighting is said to be the first large-scale PoE lighting installation at a major university campus
The Watt Family Innovation Center is also said to boast the largest media façade installation in the US, with 45,000 Philips iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes
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The Watt Family Innovation Center is also said to boast the largest media façade installation in the US, with 45,000 Philips iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes

Using Philips' LED and Power over Ethernet (PoE) tech, the new intelligent lighting system at the recently opened Watt Family Innovation Center at Clemson University in South Carolina is set to deliver energy savings of around 70 percent.

We've seen Philips deploy this combination of technology previously at the Edge building in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which was subsequently certified as the most sustainable office building in the world by BREEAM. The Clemson University installation, meanwhile, is said to be the first large-scale PoE lighting installation at a major university campus.

The recently opened Watt Family Innovation Center uses "state-of-the-art information technology and special facilities" in an effort to provide an environment in which students can collaborate with faculties and leaders from industry and government agencies to generate ideas and solve problems.

Lighting technology is part of that. The use of LEDs instead of conventional lighting makes for a more efficient setup straight away and coupled with the functionality of PoE technology, the overall energy savings are pegged at around 70 percent when compared to similar buildings using conventional lighting.

LED lighting coupled with Power over Ethernet technology will deliver overall energy savings of around 70 percent when compared to similar buildings using conventional lighting
LED lighting coupled with Power over Ethernet technology will deliver overall energy savings of around 70 percent when compared to similar buildings using conventional lighting

PoE lighting uses Ethernet cables to power individual light points, meaning that data can be sent to and from the lights. Light point usage and conditions can therefore be monitored, as well as information provided by additional sensors that can be installed in the light fitting. Furthermore, the data capability can provide a greater level of control over LED lighting.

One means of saving energy employed by the system, Philips tells Gizmag, is known as "daylight harvesting." The light points are able to detect how well lit a room is as a result of natural light from outside and to automatically raise or lower their own brightness as required.

The Clemson system tracks data from each light fixture to determine whether or not a room is occupied and detect movement using passive infrared sensors, sometimes in combination with ultrasonic sensors.

The Watt Family Innovation Center is also said to boast the largest media façade installation in the US, with 45,000 Philips iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes
The Watt Family Innovation Center is also said to boast the largest media façade installation in the US, with 45,000 Philips iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes

Both historical and real-time data is used to inform automated operation of the system. Lights can be automatically switched off, for example, at times when rooms are typically not used or can be switched on when people enter a room.

In addition, the lighting can be controlled manually using the Philips EnvisionManager console or by using any authorized smartphone, tablet or computer.

As well as the PoE LED lighting system, the Watt Family Innovation Center boasts the largest media façade installation in the US. Each of the 45,000 Philips iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes can be controlled individually in a variety of different ways. The display acts as a digital canvas upon which messages and graphics can be shown.

Source: Philips, Clemson University

4 comments
Daishi
I hope to see more people using PoE for this. Aside from an easy way to set up controllable lighting it's an easy way to network IP phones, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, motion detectors, security cameras, WiFi access points, or even Li-Fi. It's a DC feed so it can simplify the footprint of a lot of devices by not needing a rectifier for each of them. In theory for an off grid install you could use PoE switches with a DC input and avoid needing an inverter for it too.
Daniel Gregory
I'm surprised they didn't incorporate any form of daylight relay. Imagine having lights that use no electricity during the day, because they're just reflecting the light of the sun into your room.
McDesign
POE is a tough balance for lighting, because the allowable power over CAT5 doesn't allow much square footage to be powered by any one cable run back to the power source. It also has to work under Class II electrical rules. What it essentially is is a "remote driver" configuration; one driver channel powering multiple (not very many) luminaires. The cost is high, and the monitoring/control can better be done with a BlueTooth mesh network. Look at the work Target stores are doing - I did that. It can generate "heat maps" to see how long customers hang around, say, a new endcap display, as well as guide you from your shopping list to your product +/- about 1", even in the Z direction (up and down).
ClaireGeais
I agree that they could have gone one step further and diffused daylight itself rather than simply energy efficient LED lighting. Fiber optic technology enables us today to filter out heat and UVs whilst diffusing the highest quality of daylight straight for the sun. This not only reduces electricity consumption during sunshine hours, but enhances productivity and concentration for those exposed to natural light.
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