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Fiat Lux: Personalized Automated Lighting Controls. Omar Rehmane, Andrew Krioukov, David Culler. Commercial Buildings. 37\% of electricity in US $107B annual energy bills Lighting is 25\% of building power. Lighting Control in Buildings.

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Fiat Lux: Personalized Automated Lighting Controls

Omar Rehmane,

Andrew Krioukov,

David Culler

commercial buildings
Commercial Buildings

37% of electricity in US

$107B annual energy bills

Lighting is 25% of building power

lighting control in buildings
Lighting Control in Buildings
  • Residential: personal control allows for energy efficient use
  • Commercial: shared space, automated system inconvenient and inefficient use
    • Schedules
    • Override buttons
    • Motion detection
sutardja dai hall
Sutardja Dai Hall

Software controllable!

3 years old

7 floors, 140k sq. feet

Collaboratories, offices, classrooms, auditorium & nanofab

7 th floor
7th Floor

Lighting Power Meter

Controller & Relays

Old Controls
  • 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM: Lights run on a schedule
  • Other times: 2 hour timer
  • Interface: Physical wall-mounted button
  • Hard to control brightness
  • Requires user action to indicate presence
  • How long to make the timer?
  • Wasted energy vs. user input demand trade off
proposed solution
Proposed Solution
  • Cross-platform system tray app, Fiat Lux
  • Automatically keeps the lights on for users
developing apps for buildings
Developing Apps for Buildings






Control Process






Fiat Lux



(and their solutions)

There are also laptop users in SDH

They might continue to keep the lights on from home inadvertently

Only allow users in SDH to keep the lights on

MAC address fingerprinting

Improving localization

Check IP address if wifi is not active

This also means that lights will automatically start if Fiat Lux is running when the user comes in

idle users
Sutardja Dai Hall has desktop users that lock their screen rather than logging out

Due to automated extending, this can keep the lights on if the user forgets to stop Fiat Lux

Stop extending the lights for idle users

Determine idle status through the system idle time (taken from OS)

Decided on 5 minutes as an appropriate idle time

Idle Users
wasted time
Timer extends to either 3 hours or 1 hour

This means the lights can be on in an empty zone/floor for up to 3 hours!

Fiat Lux extends the timer automatically, so the frequency doesn’t matter

Extend the timer to 2 minutes every 1 minute (allowing for any communication delay)

Maximum wasted “on” time: 2 minutes

Wasted Time
brightness wars
Users with conflicting brightness settings will constantly have the lights switching brightness settings

More disruptive than lights simply turning off once in a while

The web client solves this by maintaining a single brightness control per zone

Fiat Lux emulates this “most recent wins” model by extending the current setting during automatic updates

The user must manually change the setting to update brightness in the room

“Brightness Wars”
  • Automatic extension removes input demand
  • Only extends the lights for active users in the building
  • Maximum wasted time is 2 minutes
  • Eliminates energy savings vs. user input demand tradeoff
next steps
Next Steps
  • Phone version of Fiat Lux
  • HVAC controls