Smart Lighting Prototype


BU has fabricated a new visible light communications  LED-based Smart Light prototype.

By offering these working prototypes, the team hopes to spark technological advances leading to the commercialization of Smart Lighting.

More compact, user-friendly and sophisticated than its predecessors, the current prototype, SL2 (Smart Light 2), consists of a three-by-six-inch board divided into two sections. The first section has an array of nine high-brightness, white LEDs that transmit data to other transceivers, the second section has an array of three photodiodes that receive data. By keying the light on and off at a very high speed and creating a pulsed signal, the SL2 board propagates data to laptops and other electronic devices. This prototype is easily connected to a computer using a USB cable. Future releases may vary slightly as our prototypes are constantly updated and improved.

These LED devices have been designed for indoor applications such as illuminating a room and transmitting data among laptops, printers, PDAs, thermostats and other devices, and outdoor use, such as leveraging headlights and brake lights to share road condition updates among multiple vehicles. The long term goal is to deliver enhanced electronic communication capabilities at a reduced economic and environmental cost.

“We now have a working system that’s robust enough to send to others to experiment with,” said Little, “Our industrial partners and others can use this prototype as a reference design that they can adapt to develop a commercially viable system.”