Social-distancing lights make debut at UK office

The sensors use trilateration to detect both Bluetooth beacons in the badges worn by employees and visitors in the building as well as beacon accelerometers in the chairs, which show the accurate movement of the seating to within 10 centimetres.

THE INDUSTRY’S first ‘social distancing’ lighting system is being deployed at a busy office in the UK.

Sensors integrated into the LED lighting network are using Bluetooth mesh technology to detect how close people and chairs are to each other in the space. 

The sensors use trilateration – the calculation of a location by comparing distances from sensors – to detect both Bluetooth beacons in the badges worn by employees and visitors in the building as well as beacon accelerometers in the chairs, which show the accurate movement of the seating to within 10 centimetres. When people are too close, an alert is generated. 

It’s believed to be the world’s first such system to use the lighting network for this purpose.

The installation – designed and supplied by Prolojik – can also be used for Track and Trace purposes.

If an employee tests positive for a virus such as coronavirus, the system can show which of his or her colleagues have been in contact with that person in the previous weeks. 

The building deploys over 1,000 of Prolojik Proxima Bluetooth LBS (Location-Based Services) multi-sensors, which are networked through 30 Bluetooth hubs. 

The sensor network additional supports lighting management with occupancy and illuminance data, and enables insights into detailed space usage for hot desking and cleaning.

Prolojik has added additional functionality to help employers use the lighting to discharge their responsibilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Asela Rodrigo, founder and managing director of Prolojik, told Lux: ‘We’ve been using the system to track assets and equipment but we’re realised that the same infrastructure can be deployed in this current context around Covid.’

The company developed its Space Analytics software to give building managers and tenants a real-time dashboard to view employee’s occupation and their proximity to each other.

Facility managers can also review hot-spots – where most physical distancing violations occur –and foot-traffic flow to better plan the layout and walk-ways to adhere to the set policy. 

The installation is also believed to be the UK’s biggest lighting installation based on Power-over-Ethernet topology.

In all, some 6,000 luminaires are energised and controlled using Cat6 cables at the 19,000 square-metre HQ, which currently houses 1,000 staff but has capacity for 2.500.

The control protocol is DALI-2 and, as it’s all phase dimmed from a single infrastructure, it gave the lighting designers flexibility in the selection of light sources.

The sensors, switches and scene panels enable optimised occupation, illuminance and scene control with an equivalent performance to any sophisticated DALI system.

The luminaires are run at 56V, daisy-chained together and connected back to 3 KW PoE switches from Prolojik. 

Prolojik worked with over a dozen suppliers to integrate its LX-LED drivers into everything from downlighters, through office lights to linear fittings, providing both constant current and constant voltage drivers in wattages up to 60W over PoE. 

In all, some 6,000 light sources are controlled over PoE within the building.

All data cabling has been designed to ensure optimum loading.

A unique feature of Prolojik’s Lightmatrix is its ability to support emergency lighting. Working with the ICEL (Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting) approved partners LitePlan and ELP, the self-contained emergency lighting for three-hour emergency autonomous operation is automatically tested and reported on over the PoE network.

The technology allows wayfinding, meeting room booking and targeting messaging of staff in various locations.

The system directly integrates the lighting data with third-part systems. The ability to use the occupancy data to achieve both lighting energy saving, as well as share the data over BACnet/IP is one such benefit.

This optimisation halves the number of installed sensors and reduces the build cost without compromising the building functions. 

The buildings uses multiple BACnet/IP gateways to share occupancy data with the BMS over the services ICT network.

Prolojik provided its Perspective supervision platform on dedicated rack servers within the IDF rooms allowing full monitoring and control of the Lightmatrix and base-build lighting systems.

Features in include real-time feedback and control, emergency testing and monitoring, scheduling, as well as providing integration APIs for extracting space analytics data from the Proxima sensor network.

This data will be used by the client to deliver user experience mobile Apps to the building users.