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Intelligent, Adaptive Lights Reduce Energy Use by 90 Percent

Researchers at MIT are working on a technology that automatically and continuously adjusts the lighting in your workspace to suit your needs.

In the future, we may not have light switches at all. Researchers in the Responsive Environments Group MIT are working on a prototype technology that automatically and continuously adjusts the lighting in a room based on how much light you need.


The system they're currently testing works like this: A small control device, about the size of a business card, sits right on your desk. Sensors on the card monitor the actual light falling on your workspace, and controls on the card allow you to adjust the intensity and color balance of the light to your preferences.

That information is used to control a surrounding network of efficient LED lights. If current sunlight is sufficient, the lights (pictured above) dim or shut off. If it isn't, they provide precisely the amount of light you want. And it's not just about convenience. In tests of the system, it has reduced the energy used for lighting by 65 to 90 percent.

Top Image (cc) by Flickr user Joel Franusic

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