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Intelligent lighting ensures a brighter working environment

24.08.2005


EUREKA project E! 2929 ICOLS offers complete automatic control of lighting levels in both work and home environments. This € 300,000 project has developed an intelligent system extending the control offered by dimmer switches to all lighting sources, including fluorescent lamps. The system saves up to 30% of energy costs while providing safer illumination for work locations.



Artificial lighting is an everyday necessity, often taken for granted when readily available. It influences both visual perception and psychological wellbeing when provided at the correct levels for eye comfort. Fluorescent lamps are popular, economical and long-lived. However, they have been unsuitable for many applications because of limited control over the level of light emitted. That is, until now.

Complete control


“We have developed a system that will allow us to completely regulate all standard light sources, including fluorescent lighting, that will result in energy saving, increased comfort and environmental benefits,” says Martin Kadlec, development manager at ICOLS Czech lead partner Elko EP.

About 70% of all lighting consists of fluorescent lamps used principally in offices, factories, warehouses and other public buildings but also in private homes, mainly in kitchens and garages. ICOLS can provide individually desired lighting levels night or day, summer or winter through monitoring light levels and making any necessary adjustments.

The ICOLS system consists of a central control unit that can manage up to 64 lights from all categories. It makes use of electronic ballasts for fluorescent systems, eliminating start up delays, reducing power consumption and extending tube life. It is the use of this electronic ballast that makes it possible to vary the intensity of the fluorescent lamp.

Reduced power, better light

“The system saves up to 30% of energy costs and will repay the investment within six years. But the benefits are more than financial as it provides a safer light to work in and decreases waste materials,” says Kadlec.

For fluorescent lights, the benefits are dramatic. No starter is needed and damaging strobe effects are eliminated as lamps no longer flicker and can be adjusted to any light level. And less energy is used, extending lamp life from 12,000 to 16,000 hours.

The Austrian-Czech partners plan to market the system and supply original equipment manufacturer partners as well as to license the technology to lamp manufacturers such as Osram and Philips. Individual products will be launched to potential customers at the end of 2005.

“EUREKA’s bottom up approach is absolutely ideal for this kind of research and development ,” says Kadlec. “We had worked on the idea for some time but, when it became a EUREKA project and we started working with our partners, progress was much faster.”

Paul McCallum | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/files/:776335

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