GB2559321A - Graphical lighting control system - Google Patents

Graphical lighting control system Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2559321A
GB2559321A GB1700392.2A GB201700392A GB2559321A GB 2559321 A GB2559321 A GB 2559321A GB 201700392 A GB201700392 A GB 201700392A GB 2559321 A GB2559321 A GB 2559321A
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Prior art keywords
lighting
lighting control
user
environment
program
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GB201700392D0 (en
Inventor
Bhamra Karam
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Hoare Lea LLP
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Hoare Lea LLP
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Priority to GB1700392.2A priority Critical patent/GB2559321A/en
Publication of GB201700392D0 publication Critical patent/GB201700392D0/en
Publication of GB2559321A publication Critical patent/GB2559321A/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05BELECTRIC HEATING; ELECTRIC LIGHTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05B37/00Circuit arrangements for electric light sources in general
    • H05B37/02Controlling
    • H05B37/0209Controlling the instant of the ignition or of the extinction
    • H05B37/0245Controlling the instant of the ignition or of the extinction by remote-control involving emission and detection units

Abstract

Methods and systems for automatically generating a lighting program 108 for use by a lighting control server 106. An image of an environment that has one or more adjustable light elements and features is displayed to a user, e.g. on a graphical user interface 112 of an end user device 110 such as a tablet computer. The user can indicate they wish a lighting program (executable by a lighting control server) to be generated that will cause the light elements to be configured as shown in the image. Such indication causes the lighting program to be automatically generated. In some examples, prior to indicating a lighting program is to be generated, the user may be able to adjust the configuration of one or more of the adjustable light elements and features, any adjustments being reflected in the image so the user can see the effect of these adjustments on the image prior to generating a lighting program.

Description

GRAPHICAL LIGHTING CONTROL SYSTEM DESCRIPTION

Background.

[0001] Before a building is built or a room is redesigned it may be advantageous to see what the building or room will look like with certain lighting effects (e.g. type, position, wattage of lights). Accordingly, techniques have been developed to show a user a visual image of a building or room with certain lighting effects. This allows a user to select desired lighting effects before the building is built.

[0002] Typically, a central lighting control server is then installed in the building and connected to the individual lights. A lighting programmer then programs the lighting control server to control the lights in the building/room to produce the desired lighting effects.

[0003] In some cases, the central lighting control server is connected to a set of labelled or unlabeled buttons. The user can then press or otherwise select one of the buttons to indicate to the central lighting server that a particular lighting program is to be implemented. The central lighting control server then controls the relevant lights to implement the particular lighting program.

[0004] In other cases, the central lighting control server may be in communication with a computer-implemented device, such as, a tablet computer. The computer-implemented device runs a graphical user interface that shows the user what the scene (e.g. room or building) will look like when a certain predefined lighting program is implemented. Typically, this comprises showing the user a picture of the scene when the particular lighting program is implemented. The user can then select one of the predefined programs to implement using the graphical user interface. In these cases, the computer-implemented device may send a command to the central lighting server to implement a particular lighting program. The central lighting control server then controls the relevant lights to implement the particular lighting program. The picture shown to the user is a preset static image.

[0005] The embodiments described below are not limited to implementations which solve any or all of the disadvantages of known lighting control systems.

Statement of Invention.

[0006] This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

[0007] Described herein are methods and systems for automatically generating a lighting program for use by a lighting control server. An image of an environment that has one or more adjustable light elements is displayed to a user. The user indicates they wish a lighting program (executable by a lighting control server) to be generated that will cause the light elements to be configured as shown in the image. Such an indication causes the lighting program to be automatically generated. In some examples, prior to indicating a lighting program is to be generated the user may be able to adjust the configuration of one or more of the adjustable light elements. Any adjustments are accurately reflected in the image (see example screenshot below) so the user can see the effect of the adjustment on the image prior to generating a lighting program.

[0008] The methods described herein may be performed by a computer configured with software in machine readable form stored on a tangible storage medium e.g. in the form of a computer program comprising computer readable program code for configuring a computer to perform the constituent portions of described methods or in the form of a computer program comprising computer program code means adapted to perform all the steps of any of the methods described herein when the program is run on a computer and where the computer program may be embodied on a computer readable storage medium. Examples of tangible (or non-transitory) storage media include disks, thumb drives, memory cards etc. and do not include propagated signals. The software can be suitable for execution on a parallel processor or a serial processor such that the method steps may be carried out in any suitable order, or simultaneously.

[0009] The hardware components described herein may be generated by a non-transitory computer readable storage medium having encoded thereon computer readable program code.

[0010] This acknowledges that firmware and software can be separately used and valuable. It is intended to encompass software, which runs on or controls “dumb” or standard hardware, to carry out the desired functions. It is also intended to encompass software which “describes” or defines the configuration of hardware, such as HDL (hardware description language) software, as is used for designing silicon chips, or for configuring universal programmable chips, to carry out desired functions.

[0011] The preferred features may be combined as appropriate, as would be apparent to a skilled person, and may be combined with any of the aspects of the invention.

Advantages.

[0012] The user of the graphical lighting control system can easily visualise the resultant effects of any input changes made to the controllable lighting parameters before effecting any changes to the stored program contained within the central lighting control server.

[0013] The user can observe the effects of any input changes from different directional views, thus enabling the userto ensure any changes are correct and are achieving the desired lighting parameters.

[0014] The user has the ability to view input changes in both daylight and night time conditions.

[0015] The user if applicable to the interior can open and close blinds/curtains and view the resultant change this may have on the viewed interior.

[0016] The graphical lighting control system allows the userto adjust the settings and view the resultant effects for luminaires with adjustable features such as focussing, diimmability, direction of aim and colour change.

[0017] The user requires only minimal knowledge to effect changes and does not require operating or programming knowledge of the central lighting control server.

[0018] This graphical lighting control system allows program changes to be made to the central lighting control server without having to use the services of a programmer with knowledge of the central lighting control server.

[0019] The user can make instant changes to the central lighting control server without having to await or book the services of a programmer with knowledge of the central lighting control server.

[0020] The user has the ability to revisit changes made to the stored program within the central lighting control server should the changes made by the user and now physically experienced, need further modification.

[0021] This graphical lighting control system offers the user continual freedom to effect changes to the central lighting control server whether these be temporary or long term but always with the ability to view the effect of these changes before implementation.

Introduction to Drawings.

[0022] Embodiments of the invention will be described, by way of example, with reference to the following drawings, in which: [0023] FIG. 1 (Drawing page 1) is a schematic diagram of an example lighting control system; [0024] FIG. 2 (Drawing page 2) is a flow diagram of an example method for visually illustrating the effect on an environment of changes to the configuration state of light elements therein; [0025] FIG. 3 (Drawing page 3 is a flow diagram of an example method for generating a lighting program.

[0026] FIG. 4 (Drawing page 4) is a schematic diagram of an example graphical user interface; [0027] FIG. 5 (Drawing page 5) is a schematic diagram of the graphical user interface of FIG. 4 where an adjustable light element is highlighted; [0028] FIG. 6 (Drawing page 6) is a schematic diagram of the graphical user interface of FIG. 5 after the user has selected the highlighted adjustable light element; [0029] FIG. 7 (Drawing page 7) is a schematic diagram of the graphical user interface of FIG. 6 after the user has adjusted the selected light element; and [0030] FIG. 8 (Drawing page 8) is a block diagram of an example end-user device.

[0031] Common reference numerals are used throughout the figures to indicate similar features.

Detailed Description.

[0032] Embodiments of the invention are described below by way of example only. These examples represent the best ways of putting the invention into practice that are currently known to the Applicant although they are not the only ways in which this could be achieved. The description sets forth the functions of the example and the sequence of steps for constructing and operating the example. However, the same or equivalent functions and sequences may be accomplished by different examples.

[0033] One of the problems with the lighting control systems described above is that once the central lighting control server has been programmed to implement a set of predefined lighting programs, the system is limited to the predefined programs. In particular, there is no ability to dynamically change or add programs without having a lighting programmer come in and re-program the lighting control server.

[0034] Accordingly, embodiments described herein relate to lighting control systems and methods for dynamically adjusting lighting programs accessible to a lighting control server via a graphical user interface running on a computer-implemented device. Each lighting program specifies a certain configuration state (e.g. on/off, high/low, dim, position) for one or more light elements in an environment (e.g. building or room). The lighting control server uses the lighting programs to places the light elements in the configuration state specified therein.

[0035] The graphical user interface displays an image of the environment including the light elements therein and provides the user with one or more tools (e.g. buttons, sliders) to adjust the configuration state of the light elements (see example screenshot below). Any changes made to the light elements and their effect on the environment is automatically and dynamically displayed to the user. The graphical user interface also provides the user with means (e.g. a button) to convert the configuration states of the light elements into a lighting program that can be implemented on a lighting control server.

[0036] This allows a user to see what the environment will look like when the light elements therein are configured in a certain way and how any adjustments to the configuration will affect the environment. It also allows user to quickly and easily amend and/or add lighting programs assessable to the lighting control server on the fly. Furthermore, since the user knows how any changes/additions will affect the environment they can implement the changes with the assurance of what the environment will look like after the changes are implemented.

[0037] Reference is first made to FIG. 1 which illustrates an example lighting control system 100. The system 100 comprises a plurality of light elements 102 in an environment 104 (e.g. building or room). Each light element 102 is in communication with a lighting control server 106. The lighting control server 106 has access to one or more lighting programs 108 that are used to put the light elements 102 into a certain configuration state (e.g. on/off, high/low, dim, position). The system 100 also comprises an end-user device 110 in communication with the lighting control server 106. The end-user device 100 comprises a graphical user interface 112 that displays an image of the environment (or part thereof) and allows the user to adjust the configuration state of the light elements in the image and see the effects on the environment of the adjustments. The graphical user interface 112 may also allow the user to cause a new lighting program to be generated for the lighting control server 106 that mimics the configuration state of the light elements shown via the graphical user interface 112.

[0038] Each light element 102 is a device that emits light through one or more lamps. Some of the light elements 102 (and the lamps therein) may only have on and off capability, where other light elements 102 may also have other configurable capabilities. For example, some light elements 102 may support dimming which allows the brightness of the lamps therein to be adjusted. Other light elements 102 may be capable of being physically remotely controlled so that the physical position of the light element can be adjusted to change the direction of the light emitted from the light element 102.

[0039] The light elements102 are situated in an environment 104, such as a building or room, which can be accurately replicated and displayed to the user via the graphical user interface 112.

[0040] The lighting control server 106 is a computer-implemented device that is communication with each of the light elements 102 so that the lighting control server 106 can control the configuration state and/or operation of the light elements 102. The lighting control server 106 may be directly connected to the light elements or indirectly connected (e.g. via one or more other devices) to the light elements. In some cases, the lighting control server 106 may be placed in the same environment (e.g. building or room) as the light elements 102. In other cases, the lighting control server 106 may be in a remote location (e.g. in the cloud) with respect to the light elements and may be in communication with the light elements 102 via, for example, a data communications network.

[0041] The lighting control server 106 has access to one or more lighting programs 108. Each lighting program 108 specifies the configuration state (e.g. on/off, high/low, dimming, position) of one or more of the light elements 102 in the environment 104. The lighting control server 106 has the ability to put the light elements in the configuration state specified in a lighting program 108. When the lighting control server 106 places the light elements108 in the configuration states specified in a particular lighting program 108 this is referred to herein as implementing the particular lighting program. Implementation of a lighting program 108 is described in more detail below. In some cases, one or more of the lighting programs 108 may be stored local (e.g. in memory) to the lighting control server 106. In other cases, one or more of the lighting programs 108 may be stored in a remote device that is accessible to the lighting control server 106 via, for example, a data communications network.

[0042] One or more of the lighting programs 108 may be associated with a schedule that specifies when particular lighting programs 108 are to be implemented by the lighting control server 106. For example, a schedule may be generated for an office building to implement a lighting program that turns off all the lights at a certain time of day. Alternatively, or in addition, the lighting programs 108 may be dynamically implemented when a command or other input is received from a user (e.g. via the graphical user interface running on the computer implemented device, or a physical button or switch) indicating that a particular lighting program is to be implemented.

[0043] When the lighting control server 106 receives an indication (e.g. via a schedule or user input) that a particular lighting program 108 is to be implemented, the lighting control server 106 reads the particular lighting program 108 and then issues one or more commands or signals to each of the light elements 102 specified in the lighting program. For example, if a lighting program 108 indicates that light element A is to be off, light element B is to be ON, and light element C is to be ON and dimmed to level 3, when the lighting control server 106 receives an indication, via a switch or other human or automatic command device, that it should implement the lighting program. The preprogrammed light program is then implemented and the control server 106 sends a command or signal to light element A to turn off (e.g. it may disable power to light element A), a command or signal to light element B to turn on (e.g. it may enable power to light element B), and a command or signal to light element C to turn on and dim (e.g. it may enable power to light element C in such a manner that it causes it to dim to the level specified).

[0044] The end-user device 110 is a computer-implemented device capable of running a graphical user interface 112 configured to show the user an image of the environment (or part thereof) and allow them to adjust the configuration state of the light elements in the image. For example, the graphical user interface 112 may highlight to the user the light elements in the image/environment. If a user then selects one of the highlighted light elements they may be provided with one or more adjustment tools (e.g. sliders, selection box) that allow the user to adjust the configuration state of the selected light element (see example screenshots below illustrating slider adjustment tools and how adjustments made are reflected in the displayed image).

[0045] The graphical user interface 112 may be configured to automatically and dynamically adjust the displayed image to reflect any changes to the lit environment that result from adjustment of a light element therein. This allows the user to easily see how changes to the configuration state of a light element will affect the environment (see example screenshot below reflecting how an office space looks with computer screens On and then Off).

[0046] Computer-generated imagery (CGI) as a representation of the environment is generated using 3D modelling software. A highly-detailed 3D model is produced based on architectural drawings (plans/elevations) of the existing or proposed environment. Photorealistic materials and finishes are applied to the model geometry based on reference information (site photographs or known materials specifications) for an existing environment or on proposed material specifications for a proposed environment. Lighting is applied to the 3D model in the form of photometric lighting data (3D scanned lighting data provided by the relevant lighting product manufactures) and based on the designed lighting scheme, product specifications and lighting layout for the environment.

The 3D model is then rendered from a suitable camera view which incorporates the necessary elements within the environment. The rendering process used is ray-tracing as this gives the most physically accurate representation of lighting and material finishes in the rendered environment. The separate lighting treatments are rendered as separate image layers e.g. down lights, pendent lights, wall lights etc. The image layers are compiled into a flash based applet where each layer is assigned to a sliding controller icon on a user interface. A screen blend filter is applied to each image to blend all the lighting treatments from each separate layer together to appear as one single image of the environment. The user can move the slider icons via the user-interface to create the effect of the individual lighting treatments being dimmed up or down.

[0047] The graphical user interface 112 may also be configured to allow the user to cause a new program that mimics the configuration state of the light elements shown via the graphical user interface 112. For example, the graphical user interface 112 may comprise a button or other input means that allow the user to specify that they wish a lighting program to be generated based on the displayed image and/or uploaded to the lighting control server 106.

[0048] In some cases, when the graphical user interface 112 receives an indication from the user that they wish the current light element configuration states to be uploaded to the lighting control server 106 as a new program, the graphical user interface 112 may cause the end-user device 110 to generate a lighting program that mimics the configuration state of the light elements in the displayed image. The generated lighting program is then made accessible (e.g. via a data communications network) to the lighting control server 106. For example, as the user ‘dims’ a lighting level for a selected lighting treatment up or down via the slider icon on the user interface, this level changes in increments of 0-100 (where 0 shows the lighting treatment fully Off and 100 shows the treatment lighting fully On). Once the user settles on a desired level of lighting level for that treatment, the selected level is translated to the lighting control server which can adjust the lighting level of the installed lighting product accordingly. This can either be a process which occurs in real-time as the user changes levels on individual lighting treatments within the image via the user interface OR as an action which is applied to the installed lighting products once the user has finished setting up all of the lighting treatments within the images to the desired levels.

[0049] In other cases when the graphical user interface 112 receives an indication from the user that they wish the current configuration state of the light elements to be uploaded to the lighting control server 106 as a new program, the graphical user interface 112 may cause the end-user device 110 to provide information on the configuration state of the light elements to another device and that device generates a lighting program that mimics the configuration states and provides the generated lighting program to the lighting control server 106.

[0050] Once the new lighting program has been generated and made accessible to the lighting control server 106, the lighting program can be used by the lighting control server to place the light elements 102 in the configuration states as specified in the program.

[0051] An example graphical user interface 112 will be described in reference to FIGS. 4 to 7.

[0052] Although the end-user device 110 is shown in FIG. 1 as being remote to the environment 104, in other examples the end-user device may be local to the environment 104 (e.g. in the same building or room). The end-user device 110 may be in communication with the lighting control server 106 through any suitable means such as a wireless or wired data communications network.

[0053] Reference is now made to FIG. 2 which illustrates a method 200 for dynamically updating an image of the environment to reflect changes made to the configuration state (e.g. on/off, high/low, dim, position) of light elements therein. All or part of method 200 may be executed by the end-user device 110. At block 202 the end-user device 110 generates an image of the environment. As described above, the image may be more than simply a picture of the environment taken with a camera. For example, the end-user device 110 may be configured to receive information on the details of the features of the environment (e.g. dimensions, type and location of objections within environment (including light elements)) and use CGI techniques to generate an interactive visual representation of the environment from the received information. Once an image of the environment has been generated the method 200 proceeds to block 204.

[0054] At block 204, the image of the environment generated in block 202 is displayed (via for example, the graphical user-interface 112) to the user. In some cases, the image is displayed to the user in a manner so that the adjustable light elements therein are highlighted to the user. For example, in some cases the adjustable light elements may be displayed in a particular colour. In other cases, a box or other identifier may pop up when the user places their cursor or other selection tool over one of the adjustable light elements. This may also include a tool for opening or closing blinds or curtains to window treatments and also selecting whether the space is being viewed during normal daylight hours or at night (see example screenshots below). The selected state for window treatments and whether being viewed during day or night time hours would automatically update the block 204 image. Once the image of the environment has been displayed to the user the method 200 proceeds to block 206 [0055] At block 206, the end-user device 110 (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112) receives an indication that the user has selected a particular adjustable light element. In some cases, the user may indicate their selection of a particular adjustable light element by clicking on or otherwise selecting an adjustable light element (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112). Once the end-user device 110 has received the user’s selection of a particular adjustable light element, the method 200 proceeds to block 208 [0056] At block 208, the end-user device 110 displays (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112) one or more adjustment tools that allow the user to adjust the configuration state of the selected light element. As described above, different types of light elements may have different configuration options. For example, some light elements may have several adjustable features namely focusing, direction of aim or brightness of the light emitted from the light elements (e.g. the light element supports a dimming feature). Furthermore, some lighting elements may contain colour changing technology whereby different colours or temperature of colour can be created. Additionally, in relation to colour changing, these effects can be both static and moving with the ability to alter the speed and intensity of these effects. Hence the adjustment tools may contain a palette displaying the available colours with a slider to set the intensity of these colours and in the case of a moving sequence a further slider to set the rate of change from one colour to the next.

[0057] The adjustment tools that are displayed to the user for adjusting a particular light element may be based on the configuration options available for the selected light element. For example, where the selected light element can only be turned on or off, the end-user device 110 may display (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112) a simple toggle tool, such as a checkbox, to allow the user to toggle the light element on and off. Where, however, the selected light element has more advanced configuration options, such as dimming and position adjustment, the end-user device 110 may display (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112) more complicated tools, such as a slider (e.g. for dimming) which allows the user to select the level of brightness. Once the adjustment tool(s) have been displayed, the method 200 proceeds to block 210.

[0058] At bock 210, the end-user device 110 receives information (via, for example the graphical user interface 112) indicating the user has changed the configuration of one or more of the adjustable light elements.

[0059] In some cases, the end-user device 110 may display, in addition to the adjustment tool(s), a confirmation button, or the like, which is used to confirm any changes made to the configuration of the light element using the adjustment tool(s). In these cases, block 210 may not be triggered until the user has clicked on or otherwise selected the confirmation button. In other cases, block 210 may be triggered as soon as the end-user device 110 (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112) receives an indication that the user has made a change to one of the displayed adjustment tools.

[0060] Once the end-user device 110 receives information indicating the user has changed the configuration state of one or more of the adjustable light elements, the method 200 proceeds to block 212.

[0061] At block 212 the end-user device adjusts the image based on the adjustments made to the adjustable light elements to show the effect of the adjustments on the environment. For example, if the user has adjusted a light element so that it is in the on state (where it was previously in the off state), the end-user device 110 adjusts the image to show what the environment would look like if that light element is turned on. The end-user also has the option to change the direction of view from that currently being viewed to a view from the left, right or rearward direction (see example screenshots below). With the image updated to show the effect of the adjustments on the environment and the direction of view, the method 200 proceeds to block 214.

[0062] At block 214 the end-user device 110 displays the updated image of the environment to the user (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112). The method 200 then ends 216.

[0063] Reference is now made to FIG. 3 which illustrates a method 300 for automatically generating a lighting program for use by a lighting control server 106. All or part of the method 300 may be executed by the end-user device 110. The method 300 begins at block 302 where the end-user device 110 receives an indication from the user (via, for example, the graphical user interface 112) that a lighting program is to be generated based on the configuration state of the light elements in the environment displayed to the user (e.g. by the method 200 of FIG. 2). For example, in some cases the graphical user interface 112 may have a button or other means for the user to indicate that they wish to generate a lighting program that matches the configuration shown in the graphical user interface 112. Once the user has indicated that they desire a lighting program to be generated the method 300 proceeds to block 304.

[0064] At block 304, the end-user device 110 obtains the configuration state of the light elements matching the image of the environment shown to the user. Once the configuration state information has been obtained the method 300 proceeds to block 306.

[0065] At block 306, the end-user device 110 causes a lighting program to be automatically generated based on the configuration state of the light elements in the environment displayed to the user. In some cases, the end-user device 110 itself translates the configuration state of the light elements into a lighting program that can be understood by the lighting control server 106. In other cases, the end-user device 100 provides the configuration information to another device (e.g. another computer) and that device translates the configuration state information to a lighting program that can be implemented by the lighting control server 106. Once the lighting program has been generated, the method 300 proceeds to block 308.

[0066] At block 308, the lighting program generated in block 306 is made accessible to the lighting control server 106. In some cases, the lighting control server 106 stores lighting programs locally (e.g. in memory). In these case the lighting program may be provided directly to the lighting control sever 106 where it is saved in memory with any other lighting programs. In other cases, the lighting programs are stored in a location remote to the lighting control server 106. In these cases, the lighting program generated at block 306 may be provided to the remote storage unit. The remote storage unit may then inform the lighting control server 106 of the new lighting program. Once the lighting program has been made accessible to the lighting control server 106 then the method 300 ends 310.

[0067] Reference is now made to FIGS. 4-7 which illustrate an example graphical user interface 112 for changing the configuration state of adjustable light elements in an environment and generating lighting programs therefrom. Reference is first made to FIG. 4 where the example graphical user interface 112 comprises a viewing area 402 which is used to display an accurate image of an environment (e.g. building or room) comprising one or more adjustable light elements 404-414. The specific environment that is currently being displayed in the viewing area 402 may be indicated by a label 416 or the like. For example, in FIG. 4 an image of the “Boardroom” is currently being displayed.

[0068] The graphical user interface 112 may also comprise an environment selection button 418 that allows the user to change the environment that is being displayed. For example, after clicking or otherwise selecting the environment selection button 418 the user may be presented with a list of environments. Where the system is designed fora building, selecting the “change environment” button 418 may provide the user with a list of rooms in the building. The user may then be able to select one of the listed environments for viewing and adjusting.

[0069] The graphical user interface 112 may also comprise a program generation button 420 or the like that enables the user to generate a lighting program to place the light elements in the configuration states shown in the displayed image. In some cases, the end-user device 110 running or providing the graphical user interface 112 is configured to generate the lighting program from the configuration state information obtained from the graphical user interface 112. In other cases, the end-user device 110 provides the configuration state information to another device that automatically generates the lighting program. In some cases, the generated lighting program may also be automatically made available to the lighting control server 106.

[0070] The graphical user interface 112 may be configured to highlight or otherwise notify the user of the adjustable light elements in the image. For example, as shown in FIG. 5 when the user places their cursor over an adjustable light element 412 a box 502 is drawn or shown around the light element 412 to indicate that it is adjustable by the user. In other examples the adjustable light elements may be highlighted or indicated in another manner. For example, they may be shown in a distinct color.

[0071] Once an adjustable light element 412 has been highlighted (e.g. by a box 502) the user may be able to select the adjustable light element for configuration by clicking on the light element 412. Alternatively, the user may be able to click on or otherwise select a light selection button 504 that may provide the user with a list of adjustable light elements in the environment from which they can select from. Once an adjustable light element has been selected for configuration by the user (e.g. by clicking on the adjustable light element 412 in the image, or by clicking on or otherwise selecting the light selection button 504) the user may be presented with one or more adjustment tools 604, 606 for adjusting the configuration of the light element.

[0072] As described above the tool(s) presented to the user for adjustment of the light element may be based on the configuration options available for the light element. For example, some light elements may simply be turned on or off, whereas other elements may have more complicated configuration options such as dimming and position adjustment. In the example shown in FIG.6, after the user has clicked on or otherwise selected the image element 412 the user is presented two adjustment tools 604 and 606. The first adjustment tool 604 is a checkbox that allows the user to turn the light element on or off. The second adjustment tool 606 is a slider 606 that allows the user to adjust the brightness of the light element 412.

[0073] In addition to displaying the adjustment tool(s) 604, 606 the graphical user interface 112 may also display a label 602 that describes the light element that is currently being adjusted. For example, in FIG. 6 the “Track Light 4” is the currently selected light. In some cases, as shown in FIG. 6, the graphical user interface 112 may also display a submit button 608 which when clicked or otherwise selected causes the configuration changes made to the light element to be reflected or depicted in the image of the environment. In other cases, the image is automatically updated after a change is made to one of the adjustment tools 604, 605 to reflect the effect of the change on the image.

[0074] For example, FIG. 7 illustrates how the image of the environment may be updated 702 to reflect the user turning on or enabling the light element 412 using the ON checkbox 604. As described above the image may be updated using CGI techniques to provide an accurate depiction of what the environment will look like when the light element is placed in the configuration state set by the user.

[0075] Once the user is satisfied with the visual image of the environment the user may cause a lighting program (which may be used by a lighting control server to control the light elements) that reflects the configuration state of the light elements in the image to be generated. As described above, the user may initiate generation of the lighting program, by, for example, clicking or otherwise selecting the generate program button 420.

[0076] In some cases, the graphical user interface 112 may also allow the user to select and/or view the lighting programs that are currently accessible to the lighting control server 106. For example, once the user has selected an environment they may be able to view a list of programs associated with that environment. From there the user may be able to select one of the lighting programs which will cause the image of the environment displayed to the user to be updated to reflect the selected program (e.g. the environment will be updated to show what it would look like when the light elements therein are configured as specified in the lighting program). Where the user can select from existing lighting programs, the user may have the option of updating or editing the selected lighting program instead of generating a new lighting program (for example the screenshots below offer an All On, All Off and Emergency recallable lighting views/programs).

[0077] Reference is now made to FIG. 8 which illustrates various components of an exemplary end-user device 800 which may be implemented as any form of a computing and/or electronic device, and in which embodiments of the systems and methods described above may be implemented.

[0078] End-user device 800 comprises one or more processors 802 which may be microprocessors, controllers or any other suitable type of processors for processing computer executable instructions to control the operation of the device in order to transmit configuration management frames, receive configuration management frames; select the topology of a group of wireless stations. In some examples, for example where a system on a chip architecture is used, the processors 802 may include one or more fixed function blocks (also referred to as accelerators) which implement a part of the methods in hardware (rather than software or firmware). Platform software comprising an operating system 804 or any other suitable platform software may be provided at the end-user device 800 to enable application software 806, such as a graphical user interface 808 or lighting program generation engine 810 to be executed on the device.

[0079] The computer executable instructions may be provided using any computer-readable media that is accessible by end-user device 800. Computer-readable media may include, for example, computer storage media such as memory 812 and communications media. Computer storage media (i.e. non-transitory machine readable media), such as memory 812, includes volatile and non-volatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EPROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other nontransmission medium that can be used to store information for access by a computing device. In contrast, communication media may embody computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a modulated data signal, such as a carrier wave, or other transport mechanism. As defined herein, computer storage media does not include communication media. Although the computer storage media (i.e. non-transitory machine readable media, e.g. memory 812) is shown within the end-user device 800 it will be appreciated that the storage may be distributed or located remotely and accessed via a network or other communication link (e.g. using communications module 814).

[0080] The end-user device 800 also comprises an input/output controller 816 which may be arranged to output display information to a display device 818 which may be separate from or integral to the end-user device 800. The display information may provide a graphical user interface. The input/output controller 816 may also be arranged to receive and process input from one or more devices, such as a user input device 820 (e.g. a mouse or a keyboard). In an embodiment the display device 818 may also act as the user input device 820 if it is a touch sensitive display device. The input/output controller 816 may also output data to devices other than the display device, e.g. a locally connected printing device (not shown in FIG. 8).

[0081] The term 'processor' and 'computer' are used herein to refer to any device, or portion thereof, with processing capability such that it can execute instructions. The term ‘processor’ may, for example, include central processing units (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs or VPUs), physics processing units (PPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), general purpose processors (e.g. a general purpose GPU), microprocessors, any processing unit which is designed to accelerate tasks outside of a CPU, etc. Those skilled in the art will realize that such processing capabilities are incorporated into many different devices and therefore the term 'computer' includes set top boxes, media players, digital radios, PCs, servers, mobile telephones, personal digital assistants and many other devices.

[0082] Those skilled in the art will realize that storage devices utilized to store program instructions can be distributed across a network. For example, a remote computer may store an example of the process described as software. A local or terminal computer may access the remote computer and download a part or all of the software to run the program. Alternatively, the local computer may download pieces of the software as needed, or execute some software instructions at the local terminal and some at the remote computer (or computer network). Those skilled in the art will also realize that by utilizing conventional techniques known to those skilled in the art that all, ora portion of the software instructions may be carried out by a dedicated circuit, such as a DSP, programmable logic array, or the like.

[0083] Memories storing machine executable data for use in implementing disclosed aspects can be non-transitory media. Non-transitory media can be volatile or non-volatile. Examples of volatile non-transitory media include semiconductor-based memory, such as SRAM or DRAM. Examples of technologies that can be used to implement non-volatile memory include optical and magnetic memory technologies, flash memory, phase change memory, resistive RAM.

[0084] A particular reference to “logic” refers to structure that performs a function or functions. An example of logic includes circuitry that is arranged to perform those function(s). For example, such circuitry may include transistors and/or other hardware elements available in a manufacturing process. Such transistors and/or other elements may be used to form circuitry or structures that implement and/or contain memory, such as registers, flip flops, or latches, logical operators, such as Boolean operations, mathematical operators, such as adders, multipliers, or shifters, and interconnect, byway of example. Such elements may be provided as custom circuits or standard cell libraries, macros, or at other levels of abstraction. Such elements may be interconnected in a specific arrangement. Logic may include circuitry that is fixed function and circuitry can be programmed to perform a function or functions; such programming may be provided from a firmware or software update or control mechanism. Logic identified to perform one function may also include logic that implements a constituent function or subprocess. In an example, hardware logic has circuitry that implements a fixed function operation, or operations, state machine or process.

[0085] Any range or device value given herein may be extended or altered without losing the effect sought, as will be apparent to the skilled person.

[0086] It will be understood that the benefits and advantages described above may relate to one embodiment or may relate to several embodiments. The embodiments are not limited to those that solve any or all of the stated problems or those that have any or all of the stated benefits and advantages.

[0087] Any reference to 'an' item refers to one or more of those items. The term 'comprising' is used herein to mean including the method blocks or elements identified, but that such blocks or elements do not comprise an exclusive list and an apparatus may contain additional blocks or elements and a method may contain additional operations or elements. Furthermore, the blocks, elements and operations are themselves not impliedly closed.

[0088] The steps of the methods described herein may be carried out in any suitable order, or simultaneously where appropriate. The arrows between boxes in the figures show one example sequence of method steps but are not intended to exclude other sequences or the performance of multiple steps in parallel. Additionally, individual blocks may be deleted from any of the methods without departing from the spirit and scope of the subject matter described herein. Aspects of any of the examples described above may be combined with aspects of any of the other examples described to form further examples without losing the effect sought. Where elements of the figures are shown connected by arrows, it will be appreciated that these arrows show just one example flow of communications (including data and control messages) between elements. The flow between elements may be in either direction or in both directions.

[0089] It will be understood that the above description of a preferred embodiment is given by way of example only and that various modifications may be made by those skilled in the art. Although various embodiments have been described above with a certain degree of particularity, or with reference to one or more individual embodiments, those skilled in the art could make numerous alterations to the disclosed embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of this invention.

Claims (1)

  1. GRAPHICAL LIGHTING CONTROL SYSTEM CLAIMS [0001] A method of generating a lighting program for use by a lighting control server, the method comprising: displaying an image of an environment, with the environment comprising one or more adjustable light elements, with each adjustable light element being in a configuration state; receiving an indication to generate a lighting program based on the configuration state of one or more of the adjustable lighting elements, and in response to receiving the indication, automatically causing the lighting program to be generated, with the lighting program being executable by the lighting control server to cause each of the one or more adjustable lighting elements to be placed in their new configuration state. [0002] The method of claim 1, further comprising: receiving an indication to adjust the configuration state of an adjustable light element and updating the image of the environment to illustrate the effect of the adjustment to the environment. [0003] The method of claim 2, further comprising: receiving an indication that a particular adjustable light element has been selected and displaying one or more adjustable tools to adjust the configuration state of the adjustable light element, wherein the indication to adjust the configuration state of an adjustable light element comprises an indication that at least one of the adjustment tools has been adjusted. [0004] The method of claim 1, further comprising to making the lighting program accessible to the lighting control server. [0005] A lighting control system to generate a lighting program for use by a lighting control server, where the system comprises an end-user device containing: a display device configured to display a graphical user interface, with the graphical user interface is configured to display an image of an environment, where the environment comprises of one or more adjustable lighting elements, with each adjustable light element being in a corresponding configuration state; a user input device configured to receive an indication to generate a lighting program based on the configuration states for one or more adjustable lighting elements; a processor in communication with the display device and the user input device, with the processor configured so as to cause the lighting program to be generated, with the lighting program being executable by the lighting control server so as to cause one or more of the adjustable light elements to be placed in corresponding configuration state. [0006] The lighting control system of claim 5, wherein the user input device is further configured to receive an indication to receive an indication to adjust the configuration state of an adjustable light element, likewise, the processor is further configured to update the image of the environment to illustrate the effect of the adjustment to the environment. [0007] The lighting control system of claim 6, wherein the user input device is further configured to receive an indication that a particular adjustable light element has been selected and in doing so, the display device is further configured to display one or more adjustment tools to facilitate the adjustment for the configuration state of an adjustable light element, wherein the indication to adjust the configuration state of an adjustable light element consists of an indication that at least one or more adjustment tools has been adjusted. [0008] The lighting control system of claim 5, wherein the processor is further configured to make the lighting program accessible to the lighting control server. [0009] The lighting control system of claim 5, further comprising the lighting control server, whereby the lighting control server in response to receiving an indication that a new lighting program is to be implemented, does indeed implement this new lighting program causing each of the adjustable light elements to be set to the new corresponding configuration state.
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US20050248299A1 (en) * 2003-11-20 2005-11-10 Color Kinetics Incorporated Light system manager
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