The Client:

A UK-based Internet of Things (IoT) lighting, space and building control tech corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of smart luminaire products. The company was founded in 2005 and is now a leading IoT company for the lighting industry.

The Challenge:

The future of commercial lighting has grown brighter with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT). Thanks to the longevity and light quality of LED luminaires, the lighting industry is rapidly changing. As return customer sales decrease due to increased longevity of products, lighting companies have to find new ways to stay relevant to their customers. Their solution: connected lighting. With the ability to provide great value to customers beyond just illumination, connected lighting also includes networked environmental analytics, automation, space management, building systems control management and more. These value propositions are what creates the demand for smart lighting.

A smart light is a luminaire, a complete electric light unit, that is connected to a wireless smart node. This smart node includes sensors, a digital camera, and more depending on the needs for that installation environment.

The current prediction is that over 3 billion smart lights, or connected lights, will be installed by 2035. That is almost 200 million installations per year!

The current installation process of smart lights requires a manual step to associate the IoT node with a specific light. This step takes up to 15 minutes per IoT node. The effort doesn’t stop there. Next, a group of lights needs to be associated with each other for various reasons such as control of lighting scenes, light temperature, level of responsiveness to ambient light, harvesting daylight, scheduled light behavior, etc. Installing 200 million devices would take around 31,000 staff years every year. Light is an essential service. A livable, functional space such as a room or a building is not ready for occupancy until there are lights working properly, thus the setup time of the lights delays occupancy which then results in loss of revenue to the space owner.

But, what if the manual labor could be removed from this equation? How much would be saved if it can be done? Would it encourage the transition to smart lighting?

Our Approach:

Let’s consider the following high-level algorithm:

  1. Assume that the floor plan and room topology are known.
  2. Let the controller turn off all the lights.
  3. Turn on one light at a time, slowly by changing its dimming level.
  4. A sensor on every other smart node will “see” a movement since the light is changing. This movement is a direction. Each smart node will report the vector of movement that it sensed by the controller.
  5. By repeating steps 3 and 4 for every light, this will create a map of relations between the lights, which will then be overlaid on the topology map resulting in mapping the lights to the floor plan and the nodes to the lights.

This can be done without anyone present. That means 31,000 staff years are saved using this algorithm alone. The result is there are only a few common elements that connect algorithms that solve this problem. Creating a patent portfolio that captures these common elements allows the owner to license this technology to a much needed and desired marketplace.

The Results:

Multi-Innovation‘s results for this client  by developing and executing their patent strategy include:

  • Creation of a barrier to entry for their competitors.
  • Cost savings and rapid system installments.
  • The technological problem is solved and the solution is protected.
  • The establishment of a foundation for the company to scale and install hundreds of building per month.
  • Becoming an innovator and leader in the marketplace.

By tying outcomes to the value proposition of our clients we are making sure that you’re protecting your use case and not just your technology.

*Banner image credit: Skye Studios via Unsplash


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