The ‘Internet of Light’ combines lighting, communication and control

A team of Chinese researchers has proposed an Internet of Light network in which LEDs can be tapped as nodes with customized sensors to collect data such as light intensity, color, hazardous gas levels, and moving objects. All these nodes form a sensor network. Credit: Smart and Converged Networks, Tsinghua University Press

When it comes to efficiency and quality, light emitting diodes (LEDs) are the MVP of today’s lighting technology. A team of Chinese researchers is using recent LED improvements as a springboard to launch a more connected lighting network.

In a study they published on September 30, 2022 Smart and Converged Networksthey proposed the concept of the Internet of Light, which connects with the Internet of Things to improve human health and well-being by providing information services.

Jian Song, professor of electronic engineering at Tsinghua University, said: “As people spend more and more time indoors, it is absolutely necessary to provide a lighting network that combines information technology with communication technology and offers intelligent lighting along with information services.”

Since LED is silicon-based, it can facilitate the deep integration of lighting networks with various electronic and intelligent control mechanisms at low cost. In addition to lighting control, information and communication technology (ICT) researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of something called visible light communication (VLC), which transmits information by modulating the intensity of LED light. This form of communication can simultaneously support information services such as localization, data transmission, and even optical therapy without eye fatigue or damage.

“Rapid progress in the related fields of ICT and human science has prompted us to propose the idea of ​​the Internet of Light (IoL) as a platform and develop its core functions,” Song said.

To integrate IoL with ubiquitous lighting networks, researchers have integrated sensors, communication modules, and smart processing devices into individual LED bulbs to form a “node,” and adopted telecommunications technologies such as power line communication (PLC) and 5G wireless communication. networking.

An IoL sensor network consisting of specially designed sensor nodes can detect light intensity, color, hazardous gas level, moving objects, etc. may collect information such as

Applications of this type of IoL include “smart” nursing homes, where a resident can be accommodated for safety and security reasons, or where a gas leak in the kitchen can be detected in time. Automatic adjustments in light intensity or color can customize the comfortable environment according to the user’s preference or as a means of conducting optical therapy.

To deploy these functions effectively and efficiently, the researchers developed algorithms and conducted hardware experiments to demonstrate the system’s performance for high-speed data delivery. This includes experiments with a real-time beam alignment VLC design that can rapidly adjust the direction of the emitting light source according to the user’s position.

Researchers have investigated resource optimization under various constraints, such as communication and location services for different frequencies and power allocations, and communication and lighting to meet different lighting requirements, including intensity and uniformity.

“Since both communication and position services will be implemented by lighting networks, optimizing energy allocation is very important,” said Hui Yang, a professor of electronic engineering at Tsinghua University.

To support applications such as video transmission and real-time positioning, researchers are investigating scheduling algorithms that can adapt to the strict timing requirements of the base station and minimize latency.

Previous studies have demonstrated that light can be used to treat certain dermatoses or neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting the possibility of non-intrusive optical treatment. The team explored this possibility by designing a light stroboscopic experiment with the flickering frequency of LED light.

“The preliminary results of our research confirmed the relationship between the electrodermal activity signal and other methods of light stimulation and human response,” said Xiaofei Wang, a professor of electronic engineering at Tsinghua University. “This demonstrates that an IoL platform can regulate human emotions and brain activity by intelligently and automatically controlling the flicker frequency of a light source.”

In future steps, researchers plan to integrate personal technologies into an environment such as a nursing facility that can benefit from intelligent sensing, communication and optimization under resource constraints, according to the study.

The combination of lighting and environment creates a highly interactive, complex and dynamic system with great inconsistency and great diversity for individual people,” says Luoxi Hao, a professor at Tongji University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning. “The advantages of real-time perception, instant response and seamless information supported by IoL interaction can certainly play an important role in making the concept of human-centered lighting a reality.”

Jian Song et al, Internet Light: Technologies and Applications, Smart and Converged Networks (2022). DOI: 10.23919/ICN.2022.0018

The paper is also available on SciOpen ( by Tsinghua University Press.

Provided by Tsinghua University Press

Quote: ‘Internet of Light’ combines illumination, communication and management (2023, January 13) Retrieved January 13, 2023 from

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