The Internet of Light connects lighting

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 Network, proposed the concept of Internet of Light combined with Internet of Things to improve human health and well-being by providing information services.

Jian Song, a professor of electronic engineering at Tsinghua University, said, “As people spend more and more time indoors, it is imperative 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 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 intelligent processing devices into individual LED lamps 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 residents can be accommodated for safety and security purposes, or gas leaks 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 performed by lighting networks, it is important to optimize energy allocation,” said Hui Yang, 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,” said Luoxi Hao, a professor at Tongji University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning. “The benefits of real-time perception, instant response, and seamless data interaction supported by IoT can certainly play an important role in making the concept of human-centric lighting a reality.”

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation.

Other contributors include Jintao Wang, Fang Yang, Hongming Zhang, and Chao Zhang in the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University; Changyong Pan and Yongqiang Liu with the Beijing National Research Center for Information Science and Technology at Tsinghua University; and Luoxi Hao is in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University.

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


About Smart and Converged Networks

Smart and Converged Networks is an international specialized journal focusing on the latest developments in communication technology. The journal is jointly published by Tsinghua University Press and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency specializing in information and communication technologies (ICT). Smart and Converged Networks derive their name from the accelerating convergence of different areas of communication technologies and the growing influence of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

About SciOpen

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