The lighting plays a major role in determining the quality of life in the futuristic cities

We imagine the cities of the future where intelligent lighting system is publicly accessible to their citizens.

Being empowered, personalized to the individuals, and opportunities – the intelligent lighting transforms the urban environment.

PURPOSED SOLUTION

Intelligent Personalized Lighting for the Co-working Space

The development of a intelligent lighting solution to personalized and support daily activities in the co-working space.

Partial of the thesis by Kamin Phakdurong and Yangyang Yang submitted to MIT IDM program
Partial collaboration with MIT Design Lab and Philips Lighting

Martin Trust Center, a co-working space for MIT students

FOCUS SCENARIO

Co-working Space

A shared workplace for independent professionals, startups, and freelancers. From 2006-2015, the number of co-working spaces has roughly doubled each year. It's undeniable that co-working space is more than a trend and will play a big part in the future of work.

As envisioned for futuristic caring cities and using a co-working space as the concept demonstration, we conducted secondary and primary research, introduced the Intelligent Connected Lighting System with a five-layer ruleset, and intelligent lamp designs to support the flexibility of the system.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

Methods

How can we provide the personalization for each individual in the public space where everything is shared – including lighting?

We began by observing the behaviors and activities of people who we design for at Martin Trust Center, a co-working space for students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and visited the office of Philips Lighting in Cambridge to get updated on the latest lighting technology and interview with experts.

User Observation

From observation, we could categorize 8 different activities as follows:

1. Doing paperwork
2. Working on the laptop
3. Reading from a book or smart device
4. Presentation
5. Using a whiteboard
6. Using Post-Its
7. Discussion in the meeting
8. Having a video call

Interview with the Experts

To provide a human-centered lighting experience, research on demographics, such as age, sexual orientation and identity, ethnicity, race, gender, and physical abilities and qualities are still ongoing. According to Meg from Philips Lighting, how the light should behave base on individual characteristic is an interesting topic that they are still working on. Examples like how light should be designed according to different user’s personality, what is the difference between improving the efficiency for a morning person and a night person, or should the light work against the circadian rhythm or support it are the problems they are trying to answer. Regarding the relationship between lighting and space, there are several things they are focusing on:

• Wellness: How can the workplace support people’s health and well-being?

• Adaptability: How can spaces adapt to people, not vice versa?

• Connectivity: How can spaces increase mobility, collaboration, and strong social
ties?

These questions are both challenges and opportunities for us to explore further.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

User Needs

Public workplaces like co-working spaces are extremely difficult to light well. The occupants are diverse with different agendas. Some have a group meeting while other sitting next to the strangers, working on their computer. To make sure that space is perfectly-lit for everyone, we imagine a smart lighting system that acts like a living organism, adapts the light settings based on how space is used, and support the biological and psychological well-being of occupants. But first, we need to define needs as well as the limitation.

Lighting Impact on Circadian Rhythm

To synchronize with the daily day and night cycle of the external environment, human's internal biological clock known as circadian rhythms play a major role in regulating mechanisms and hormones inside our body to match the natural cycle. The basic strategy for lighting design mostly suggests that the luminaire should imitate natural daylight as closely as possible to prevent possible disruption or desynchronization between the biological clock and natural time.

Lighting Impact from Weather

The lack of sunlight during winter induces people to sleep longer and more difficult to wake up because of the lack of natural light to suppress melatonin and no clear distinction between daytime and nighttime. Also, the lack of daylight on a gloomy day could lead to mood disorder called seasonal affective disorder (SAD.) These discoveries could help us develop a strategy for the lighting to compensate the absence of daylight from different seasonal or weather changes and help increase the quality of life.

Lighting Impact on Activities

The light scenes are suggested to coordinate with the activity. For instance, the reading light scene should protect reader’s eyes without casting the shadow onto the book, and the light above the whiteboard should illuminate the entire board without causing reflection. More details will be discussed in the section of Smart Lighting System design later on.

PURPOSED SOLUTION

Intelligent Personalized Lighting for
the Co-working Space

The intelligent system that automatically adjusts the light setting to give the personalized experience for individuals in the public space.

PURPOSED SOLUTION

Intelligent Personalized Lighting for the Co-working Space

The intelligent system that automatically adjusts the light setting to give the personalized experience for individuals in the public space.

Input


Provide personalized lighting experience that addresses needs we have mentioned. The system needs to collect contextual data from sensors, integrated service, and manual control to change the lighting settings based on the context automatically

Intelligent Connected Lighting Service Layers

With the stream of various inputs passing to the Intelligent Connected Lighting Service Layer, we can recognize the context and follow the programmable ruleset that dictates how the lighting should behave

Output


The introduction of smart lighting allows us to utilize data and program a more complex behavior for luminaries. Still, the next evolution we see requires additional control over the direction and diffusion of the light source

System Architecture

Input

Provide personalized lighting experience that addresses needs we have mentioned. The system needs to collect contextual data from sensors, integrated service, and manual control to change the lighting settings based on the context automatically

• Motion sensors to detect the occupancy
• Daylight harvesting sensors
• External service integration like the room reservation system or the wireless presentation system
• Manual control such as switches, mobile app, and voice control (i.e. Alexa, Google Home)

System Architecture

Intelligent Connected Lighting Service Layers

With the stream of various inputs passing to the Intelligent Connected Lighting Service Layer, we can recognize the context and follow the programmable ruleset that dictates how the lighting should behave

1. Time Layer

To help human body entrain to the circadian rhythm, the time layer serves as the default settings at the bottom of the pyramid in the ruleset. This level aims to create the positive biological effect on the occupants' well-being by changing the luminance and color temperature based on time of the day. With the help of weather web service API, time and timezone will be pulled to determine the scenario as follows:

DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS


Early Morning: 5:01 AM - 9:00 AM
Light Intensity: Level 3 (500 lux)
Color Temperature: 3000 - 4500 K (Warm Light)
Late Morning: 9:01 AM - 12:00 AM
Light Intensity: Level 4 (750 lux)
Color Temperature: 4000 - 6000 K (Daylight White)
Noon:12:01 AM - 1:00 PM
Light Intensity: Level 4 (750 lux)
Color Temperature: 4000 - 6000 K (Daylight White)
Early Afternoon: 1:01 PM - 3:00 PM
Light Intensity: Level 3 (500 lux)
Color Temperature: 3000 - 5000 K (Cool Light)
Late Afternoon: 3:01 PM - 6:00 PM
Light Intensity: Level 2 (250 lux)
Color Temperature: 3000 - 4000 K (Warm Light)
Evening: 6:01 PM - 8:30 PM
Light Intensity: Level 1 (150 lux)
Color Temperature: 3000 - 2400 K (Very Warm Light)
Late Night: 8:31 PM - 5:00 AM
Light Intensity: Level 1 (150 lux)
Color Temperature: 2400 -2000 K (Very Warm Light)

2. Weather Layer

Weather affects the level and color temperature of daylight directly which then influence the circadian rhythm and mood of people in the workplace. To compensate for the differences, the weather layer adjusts the values of light intensity and color temperature settings by adding the "modifier" to parameters based on the data from weather web service API like Dark Sky API and daylight harvesting sensors.

GROUP 1 – HIGH ENERGY DAY


Weather: Sunny Day
Daylight Intensity: High (10,752 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: High
Modifier: 1
Weather: Clear Day
Daylight Intensity: High (10,752 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: High
Modifier: 1

GROUP 2 – MEDIUM ENERGY DAY


Weather: Partly Cloudy Day
Daylight Intensity: Medium (1,075 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: Medium
Modifier: 1.15
Weather: Cloudy Day
Daylight Intensity: Medium (1,075 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: Medium
Modifier: 1.15

GROUP 3 – LOW ENERGY DAY


Weather: Snow
Daylight Intensity: Low (107 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: Low
Modifier: 1.25
Weather: Sleet
Daylight Intensity: Low (107 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: Low
Modifier: 1.25
Weather: Fog
Daylight Intensity: Low (107 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: Low
Modifier: 1.25
Weather: Rain
Daylight Intensity: Low (107 lux)
Level of Energy and Alertness: Low
Modifier: 1.25

3. Occupancy Layer

The goal for the occupancy layer is for energy efficiency and ease of use. With the motion sensors spread across the area, the system detects the first occupant's arrival to activate the passive mode. This will illuminate space, allowing people to navigate. However, when people occupy the area, the luminaire will transit to the active level and brighten up. The system also gets the data from optional external service like the room reservation system and automatically change to the passive mode when the reserved time come, serving as the cue for the occupants. As the last occupant left, the light turns off, saving energy by 20%-60%. 

DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS


Mode: Off
Modifier: 0.0
Conditions: When no occupants in the space
Mode: Passive
Modifier: 0.6
Conditions: The first occupant enter the area or the room is reserved
Mode: Active
Modifier: 1.0
Conditions: The space is occupied by the occupant

4. Activities Layer

Different activities need different lighting.

In the open workspace, when the motion sensor detects an occupant at the desk, the default light settings is the Paperwork Scene / Reading Scene, which illuminate the horizontal surface for working. The light will automatically transition to the Laptop scene whenever the occupant plugs the computer into the power supply / connected to the public wifi, to create a seamless personalized lighting experience based on the user's activity.

For the private room, the default settings will be the Discussion Scene which the light is equally distributed to the room, creating an collaborative environment for the group work. When the motion sensor above the whiteboard detects the presence, the light transitions to Post-It / Whiteboard Scene, allowing the occupants to shift focus to the board. The system shifts to the Presentation Scene when the HDMI or the wireless presentation system is connected. The light dims down one part of the room where the wall is projected while leaves sufficient illumination for taking notes at another part of the room. 

For the Video Call Scene, the system will detect when the video conference system like the microphone and camera system is connected. The lights are diffused to prevent hash ambient light. Also, the light sources that are visible in the camera will be turned off to prevent glare.

GROUP 1 – OPEN WORKSPACE


Paperwork
Direction: The light is casted from the back to avoid reflecting back to the eyes directly
Diffusion: Direct
Brightness: N/A
Color: N/A
Laptop
Direction: The casted light must not visible on the screen reflection or in the eyesight when looking at the screen
Diffusion: Indirect
Brightness: Dim by 10% from default
Color: N/A
Reading
Direction: The light is casted from the back to avoid reflecting directly to the eyes
Diffusion: Direct
Brightness: N/A
Color: N/A

GROUP 2 – PRIVATE ROOM


Presenting
Direction: N/A
Diffusion: Indirect
Brightness: Dim light by 80% at the projected side of the room, and 10% on the others
Color: N/A
Whiteboard
Direction: N/A
Diffusion: Indirect
Brightness: The light above the whiteboard is lit, triggered by the motion sensor on top of the board
Color: Override the color of the light located above whiteboard to cool white light (5500 K)
Post-it
Direction: N/A
Diffusion: Indirect
Brightness: The light above the board is lit, triggered by the motion sensor on top of the board
Color: Override the light above board to cool white light (5500 K)
Discussion
Direction: N/A
Diffusion: Indirect
Brightness: The lights are equally distributed in the room
Color: N/A
Video Call
Direction: The light point to the seat but is diffused to prevent hash light. Also make sure that there’s no light source appear on the screen
Diffusion: Indirect
Brightness: N/A
Color: Natural Warm White (3200 K)

5. Manual Control Layer

The Manual Control layer has the highest priority and can override other layers when used. In Open Workspace, Manual Control is not suggested as the previous layers will set the light automatically. The Private Room is more suitable for manual control as the level of consensus is high. The ruleset and permission control can be adjusted if needed by the admin control application.

List of Manual Control:

• Physical Switch 
• Voice Controlled Assistant (i.e. Alexa, Google Home) 
• Web/Mobile App for Admin Control 




System Architecture

Output

With the Intelligent Connected Lighting Service provided in the last section, for the output layer, we have developed two luminaire concept design - the circular light and the linear light - and their application, to better support different personal activities in the co-working space. 

LUMINAIRE DESIGN

Circular Light

The Circular Light is designed for operating with the horizontal work surface, including paperwork, working with the laptop, reading, having a group discussion, and brainstorming in the meeting room. In this design, Philips Hue E26 bulb is used as the light source in the Circular Light. With a high adjustability of light angle and distribution, together with the Intelligent Connected Lighting System and sensor technology, the Circular Light provides personalized lighting for people working on various tasks.

To fit in different styles of co-working space interior design, the form of the Circular Light is minimalistic, aiming at supporting necessary functions and add an elegant decoration to the scene.

The light condition is adjustable: Diffuse light can be created by changing the angle of rotatable plate and tube; focused light can be switched with the tube facing downwards; the height of the light is adjustable.

User's emotion is also a crucial factor that we have taken into consideration. The combination of wood texture and white color adds an atmosphere of Zen to space. Colors of the plate, tube, and ceiling base can be changed based on the co-working space interior design. The reflective plate, which looks like an umbrella, acting the role of guardian for users’ health. The light tube, held by the holder, spreads energy and inspiration towards the ones seating under the light. Beyond illumination, the light performs as a care provider, taking care of every individual in their daily life.

LUMINAIRE DESIGN

Linear Light

The Linear Light is designed for the tasks involving with the vertical surface, including the presentation with the projected screen, writing on the whiteboard, and brainstorming with post-it notes. Two Philips Hue LED strips are used as the light source in the Linear Light. Similar to the Circular Light, the Linear Light has the high adjustability of light angle and distribution, adding flexibility to the system.

The pitchy design with reduced industrial feeling fits different environment and meets the functional needs.

The color of the plate and the length of Linear Light can be customized base on the size of the screen, whiteboard, and the interior design in the meeting room. The skateboard shape reminds people to relax and let the inspiring ideas flow.

Installed on the wall above the screen or whiteboard, the Linear Light can not only prevent reflections on the surface and protect people’s eye, but also adjusts the light distribution according to activities. For instance, when present with a slide, the light needs to be dimmed to avoid causing the reflection and increase the contrast. At the same time, the presenter needs to be highlighted. The Linear Light is designed to that end, to provide a healthier lighting environment for the activity with the vertical working surface in the meeting room.

LUMINAIRE DESIGN

Application and Installation

"Psychological- emotional impact on people in an interior space can be created by light distribution."
– Gordon Day, Interior Lighting for Designers, 2003

People who work in the space, receiving equal emphasis from the light on all objects and surfaces will lead to the loss of contrast, which causes people to feel listless and depressed. Brightness contrast can be established by creating light patterns and shade-by selecting specific surface and objects to receive lighting emphasis while leaving others in comparative darkness. Foreground and background are developed by the emphasis. To create the emphasis, each work surface needs to be assigned an individual light source.

Application and Installation

Circular Light

Glare caused by light coming from the wrong direction need to be avoided. For paperwork and reading which require a horizontal working surface, potential approaches of veiling reflections can be avoided by reducing glossiness of work surface, adding diffuse transmitting material to increase light diffusion, and locating lighting equipment outside the reflected field of view. With the Circular Light, our suggested light location relative to task surface for paperwork and reading is shown in the figure below. Light locating above and slightly behind the user can prevent the reflected glare and also reduce the overlaying shadow.

Suggested proper desk lighting to avoid reflected glare to the eyes

For glossy vertical work surfaces: Video Display Terminals (VDTs), such as laptop, glare and reflected glare can also be avoided by installing the light at the proper location. The figure below shows the area of the ceiling that is visible when looking at a computer screen. To avoid glare, the light needs to be installed other than this area. For the reflected glare happens on the screen, as the normal range for reflection line-of-sight angles in a VDT is 65° to 110° from vertical, the light should be installed outside of this area as well.

A large area of the ceiling that is visible in the field of view when looking at a Video Display Terminal (VDT), (Day, 2003)

Normal range for reflected line-of-sight angles in a VDT (65° to 110° from vertical), (Day, 2003)

When designing the co-working space, the floor plan, the desks arrangement, and where to install the lights should be considered together. In the open working space, each work surface needs to be accompanied by at least one light source. It is possible for one light source to be shared by strategically designing the desks arrangement or for energy saving purpose. The figure below presents a paradigm how the distribution of light sources corresponds to multiple work surfaces.

Suggested installing location of the Circular Lights relative to task stations in the open space

The Circular Light can be used to illuminate a horizontal group work surface such as the table for group discussion. The object to be discussed can be highlighted with the diffused light by placing it at the center of the table. It is also possible to cast directional light on the person who is speaking. Still, whether this function is necessary (or should be implemented) is still need the discussion, as people might less likely to prefer constantly changing light during the discussion. When the table is used for individual work, directional light can also support the activities.

Suggested installing location of the Circular Light for a group work surface

Application and Installation

Linear Light

Vertical work surface such as the screen and whiteboard is illuminated from the wall above. The Linear Light is designed for this purpose. The length of the light can be customized base on the width of the surface or the interior design. The Linear Light can light up the presenter without creating reflections on the screen. Both direct and indirect light can be developed at the same time.

Suggested installation for the Linear Light installation at the vertical work surface

Conclusion

For the connected lighting designed for co-working space, we have focused on the exploration of possible impacts from environment and people themselves, and how the light can prevent the cause for negative emotion and develop a better user experience as well as well-being. According to the leading lighting technology provider, Philips Lighting, most of the existing human-centered personalized solution designed for working space is time and activities based, many of them are manually controlled. Yet, how the light should behave in a 'true' personalized way, that response to every individual’s characteristic is still under discussion. 


Our provided system architecture and ruleset serves as the foundation for the next generation smart lighting system. Still, further details need to be sorted out for the real implementation, such as the technology stack, the default settings and appropriated parameters which may differ from place to place, or the implication that may occur in different space layout.

About us

Kamin Phakdurong

Graduated from MIT. The cultural hybrid of Boston and Bangkok. A multidisciplinary technologist. Experienced in human-computer interaction and breaking things.

LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Yangyang yang

An integrated designer of interaction, experience, product, and service with comprehensive thinking style blending design, engineering, and business. Graduated from MIT.

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This website presents partial of our thesis submitted to the Integrated Design and Management (IDM) at MIT. It is also a collaborative research project with MIT Design Lab and Philips Lighting. To know more details, please download the full paper below. If you have any questions or comments, we would like to hear from you!
Download Full Paper

Intelligent Personalized Lighting for the Co-working Space
Partial of the thesis submitted to MIT IDM program. Collaborative research project with MIT Design Lab and Philips Lighting
by Kamin Phakdurong and Yangyang Yang, 2018
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thekaykay@mit.edu