Visible light communications for sensing and lighting control

Kevin Warmerdam, Ashish Pandharipande, David Caicedo, Marco Zuniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor lighting systems need to be designed to balance energy consumption and the visual comfort of occupants. Achieving this goal with multiple luminaires and sensors is, however, not a simple problem. Lighting control systems need to adjust the dimming levels of luminaires in real time based on occupancy conditions and external daylight changes. We propose a system based on visible light communication to monitor and control artificial lighting in a robust manner. In our system, luminaires modulate the emitted light to broadcast basic control information while fulfilling their main purpose of illumination. Based on the broadcasted information, luminaires use collocated light sensors to estimate the optical channel gains and daylight contributions. This information is then used in a control algorithm to determine the dimming levels of luminaires under specified illumination constraints. We provide an analytical framework, simulations, and an empirical evaluation of our approach in an office space. We compare our method with a state-of-art lighting control system that uses radio transceivers to communicate information, and thus, cannot monitor optical channels in real time. Our results show that while the radio-based system may underilluminate and even oscillate around the desired illumination due to large reflectance changes in the environment, our method provides stable illumination close to desired levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7500138
Pages (from-to)6718-6726
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • daylight and occupancy adaptation
  • light sensors
  • lighting control systems
  • Visible light communication


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