LED lighting has quickly gone mainstream thanks to strong federal policy, and now manufacturers are taking it to the next level.
Terralux has developed LEDs that can "sense" how warm or cold a room is and whether there are odors and potentially toxic chemicals in the air including smoke, carbon monoxide and VOCs.
It does this by inserting a microprocessor into each fixture that integrates with a building’s management system through the cloud.
"A light is no longer simply a device that allows you to see in the dark," says CEO Steve Hane. "We are deploying a LED platform that goes beyond basic illumination. Our LEDSENSE® technologies enable a light fixture to monitor air quality in a room, detect room occupancy and provide information directly via smart phones. Technologies available in buildings today will pale in comparison to the capabilities of what will be emerging in the cloud lighting space."
LEDSENSE® makes lighting brighter when it senses people are in a room and lowers it as they leave. If it detects odors, it switches on an exhaust fan or an alarm if a dangerous gas is in the air.
And staff can remotely monitor all these issues – including energy consumption – on a computer or smart phone.
Utilities can even issue ‘Demand Response’ alerts, which automatically adjust lighting levels in a building to balance grid demand.
Terralux says these sensors can cut energy consumption in a building by 90% through simple retrofits. It’s pretty amazing that the most efficient lighting technology ever is available to everyone without an expensive overhaul.
Based in Longmont, Colorado, Terralux just raised another $11 million in venture capital after an $18 million round in 2012.
LEDs can also be programmed to create light in multiple colors that can make you feel more alert, calm or sleepy. They can be used to improve health, moods and food production by taking advantage of their ability to shift colors.