WO2015125054A2 - Methods to implement automatic lighting control systems - Google Patents

Methods to implement automatic lighting control systems Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015125054A2
WO2015125054A2 PCT/IB2015/051108 IB2015051108W WO2015125054A2 WO 2015125054 A2 WO2015125054 A2 WO 2015125054A2 IB 2015051108 W IB2015051108 W IB 2015051108W WO 2015125054 A2 WO2015125054 A2 WO 2015125054A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
device
devices
group
systems
lighting
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PCT/IB2015/051108
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French (fr)
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WO2015125054A3 (en
Inventor
Srikanth RANGINENI
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Rangineni Srikanth
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Priority to IN835/CHE/2014 priority Critical
Priority to IN835CH2014 priority
Application filed by Rangineni Srikanth filed Critical Rangineni Srikanth
Publication of WO2015125054A2 publication Critical patent/WO2015125054A2/en
Publication of WO2015125054A3 publication Critical patent/WO2015125054A3/en

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Classifications

    • 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
    • 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
    • H05B37/0227Controlling the instant of the ignition or of the extinction by detection only of parameters other than ambient light, e.g. by sound detectors, by passive infra-red detectors
    • 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
    • H05B37/0281Controlling the instant of the ignition or of the extinction by timing means
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B20/00Energy efficient lighting technologies
    • Y02B20/40Control techniques providing energy savings
    • Y02B20/42Control techniques providing energy savings based on timing means or schedule

Abstract

Systems and methods to implement automatic control of electronic and electrical devices are disclosed. In one implementation, the system comprises of one or more dynamically configurable means, responsive to one or more command(s) from one or more device(s) in said monitored area for performing a task according to instructions stored in said dynamically configurable means, for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s) in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device properties, capabilities and performance.

Description

METHODS TO IMPLEMENT AUTOMATIC LIGHTING CONTROL

SYSTEMS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[001] The present subject matter described herein, in general, relates electronic and electrical devices in a monitored area, and more particularly towards a system and method of implementing automatic control of electronic and electrical devices.

BACKGROUND

[002] Users have two stage of complexity to deal with in their premises

(e.g., homes, offices, etc.). A first complexity deals with managing and controlling various electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the premises (e.g., computers, HVAC systems, lighting systems, audio components, video components, digital video recorders (DVRs), digital video players, etc.). The conventional solution to this problem has been the universal remote (that allows a consumer to control more than one component with a single remote) or occupancy sensors.

[003] A second complexity is that the user currently has no way to interactively control through the plethora of controlling mechanism various electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the premises. This problem is best explained with the example as each premise can have multiple electronic/electrical devices wherein one or more equipment in the premises (e.g., lights) can be shared by one or more people simultaneously. For example, Figure 1 describes one of the possible arrangements of lighting in offices given for illustrative purpose. In Figure 1, the circular shapes represent the lights arranged in the cubicles/workplace where people work. Each circle can be a single light or multiple lights configured to light the cubicle/workplace of a person. The lights represented by each circle is controlled by respective adjacent occupancy sensors represented by rectangles Al, A2, A3.., Bl B2, B3.., CI, C2, C3... and Dl, D2, D3.... In Figure 1, Al controls (turns On/Off/dims/brightens) light(s) represented by circle 11, A2 controls lights 12 and similarly other occupancy sensors control lights represented by circle immediately next to them. The arrows represent the direction in which the person sitting in cubicle/workplace is facing near the light(s) represented by the circle. Suppose, if only one person is seated in the office and if that person is sitting in the location corresponding to light(s) 22 then all the lights represented by circle 22 will be turned On. However, since the person is facing towards right in Figure 1, he may find it better if the other lights before him i.e., lights represented by circles 12, 13, 23, 33 and 32 are also turned On. However, if a person is just passing by that way and is not sitting near circle 22 then the lights represented by circles 12, 13, 23, 33 and 32 need not be turned On.

[004] Occasionally, a single occupancy sensor is connected to multiple lights. In Figure 2 each occupancy sensor controls (collectively turns on/off) lights represented by four circles immediately surrounding each sensor. Suppose, if only one person is seated in the office and if that person is sitting in the location corresponding to light(s) 22 then all the lights represented by circle 11, 12, 21 and 22 will be turned On. In this case once it is ascertained (by monitoring the user activity on the computer located near circle 22, or when any other occupancy sensor with range confined to region covered by circle 22 detects activity or by person's usage of telephone on the user desk or through any other means) that a user is sitting near location 22, then lights corresponding to circles 12, 13, 23, 33 and 32 may be turned on (and lights corresponding to circles 11,21 and 31 can be turned off if no occupancy is detected in the regions 11,21 and 31 as the person is not facing in that direction).

[005] There is an opportunity to define simple, intuitive, practical, and effortless means to control the various electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the premises.

SUMMARY

[006] This summary is provided to introduce concepts related to systems and methods to implement automatic lighting control systems and the concepts are further described below in the detailed description. This summary is not intended to identify essential features of the claimed subject matter nor is it intended for use in determining or limiting the scope of the claimed subject matter.

[007] In one implementation, a basic objective of the present invention is to overcome the disadvantages/drawbacks of the known art by implementing automatic lighting control systems.

[008] In one implementation, in continuation to the problem mentioned above, the lights represented by circles 12, 13, 23, 33 and 32 can be turned on (after a small time gap, if required), after confirming that a person is staying near the circle 22 and he is not simply passing by that way. This problem is solved in the present invention, by monitoring the user activity on the computer located near circle 22, or when any other occupancy sensor near circle 22 (can be B2 also) detects multiple activities in a predetermined time interval or by the activity detected from the usage of telephone on the user desk or occupancy detection through image processing or through any other means.

[009] In one implementation, the present invention provides a mechanism wherein the various electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the premises (e.g., lighting pattern in workplaces with any diverse lighting and seating patterns) are easily configured (may also be easily reconfigured unlike existing art) and controlled from a user interface.

[0010] In one implementation, the present invention is easily applied to existing art of occupancy based lighting/load circuit control and also to computer controlled lighting systems discussed in patent applications filed by the same inventor with reference numbers 5674/CHE/2013 and 355/CHE/2014 or any other existing method of automatic lighting/load circuit control.

[0011] In one implementation, the present invention facilitates to categorize the premises/ workplace into different regions viz., buildings, floors and rooms etc. as required. Each room may have electronic/electrical devices or equipment arranged in or categorized in groups. Each group comprises one controlled group and any number of controller groups as required. Controlled group contains one or more electronic/electrical devices or equipment that is controlled by the signals received or by monitoring of devices in the controller groups in the premises/workplace.

[0012] It should be noted that, the controller groups may contain group of occupancy sensors (but not limited to them) that controls electronic/electrical devices or equipment given in the controlled group or user computers corresponding to the location of electronic/electrical devices or equipment mentioned in the controlled group (as mentioned in patent application reference numbers 5674/CHE/2013 and 355/CHE/2014) or a group of day light saving sensors that control the electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the controlled group or a group of override options allowed in the group or any other mechanism installed to control the electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the controlled group or any combination of devices mentioned above. Each electronic/electrical devices or equipment (lights, computers, occupancy sensors, day light sensors etc.) in the controlled and controller group may be represented by any unique identification code(s) (may use IP/MAC address of device also).

[0013] To define simple, intuitive, practical, and effortless means to control the various electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the premise, embodiments of the present invention provide a plurality of aspects of the present application. The plurality of aspects provides a system/apparatus and method for defining simple, intuitive, practical, and effortless means to control the various electronic/electrical devices or equipment in the premise. The technical solutions are as follows:

[0014] In one aspect, a system for controlling one or more device(s) in a monitored area is disclosed. The system comprises of:

one or more dynamically configurable means, responsive to one or more command(s) from one or more device(s) in said monitored area for performing a task according to instructions stored in said dynamically configurable means, for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s) in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device properties, capabilities and performance. [0015] In another aspect, a method for controlling one or more device(s) in a monitored area is disclosed. The method comprises of:

performing, one or more dynamically configurable means, a task according to instructions stored for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s), wherein the task is performed in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), in response to the command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device properties, capabilities and performance.

For the purposes of explaining the invention in detail, example of automatic lighting control systems implementing the present invention will be sufficient to explain the concept and therefore the rest of the explanation will be based on automatic lighting control systems. For the sake of convenience, each light is put in only one lighting group and all devices (one or more) that control that light are put in the controller groups of the same lighting group.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS

[0016] The detailed description is described with reference to the accompanying figures. In the figures, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the figure in which the reference number first appears. The same numbers are used throughout the drawings to refer like features and components.

[0017] Figure 1 illustrates one of the possible arrangements of lighting in offices given for illustrative purpose.

[0018] Figure 2 illustrates an occupancy sensor controls (collectively turns on/off) lights represented by four circles immediately surrounding each sensor, for illustrative purpose.

[0019] Figure 3 illustrates an example of the lighting group that has 2 controller groups, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0020] Figure 4 illustrates an example showing if all the lights (Light 1,

Light 2, Light 3 and Light 4) are turned off then Light A will be turned on, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter. [0021] Figure 5 illustrates an example of the lighting groups formed for each and every room in the floor, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0022] Figure 6 illustrates a server(s) that is configured to receive inputs from input devices, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0023] Figure 7 illustrates an application server implemented with a combination of microcontroller/ microprocessor, reconfigurable hardware and a signaling device, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0024] Figure 8 illustrates a physical location detection of computers, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0025] Figure 9 illustrates MAC Address Bridge implemented on a reconfigurable hardware, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0026] Figure 10 illustrates lighting groups implemented on reconfigurable device, wherein the current time is compared with time of the last input received for that corresponding lighting group, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0027] Figure 11 illustrate a method wherein the values of outputs from each and every lighting group on a reconfigurable device are periodically monitored and signaled to various control circuits, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0028] Figure 12 illustrates an example wherein a hardware block on a reconfigurable device implements functionality of all the lighting groups, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

[0029] Figure 13 illustrates an example of microprocessor based implementation of application server without any reconfigurable hardware, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVNENTION

[0030] The following clearly describes the technical solutions in the embodiments of the present invention with reference to the accompanying drawings in the embodiments of the present invention. Apparently, the described embodiments are merely a part rather than all of the embodiments of the present invention. All other embodiments obtained by a person of ordinary skill in the art based on the embodiments of the present invention without creative efforts shall fall within the protection scope of the present invention.

[0031] A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the invention is provided below along with accompanying figures that illustrate the principles of the invention. The invention is described in connection with such embodiments, but the invention is not limited to any embodiment. The scope of the invention is limited only by the claims and the invention encompasses numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents. Numerous specific details are set forth in the following description in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. These details are provided for the purpose of example and the invention may be practiced according to the claims without some or all of these specific details. For the purpose of clarity, technical material that is known in the technical fields related to the invention has not been described in detail so that the invention is not unnecessarily obscured.

[0032] It will be understood that a basic minimum understanding of telecommunication, computers, and the mechanisms of communication is present with the reader in order to understand the explanation.

[0033] While aspects are described for the implementation, automatic lighting control systems may be implemented in any number of different systems, environments, and/or configurations, the embodiments are described in the context of the following exemplary system.

[0034] In the illustrative diagram given in Figure 3, the lighting group has

2 controller groups. On detecting activity in any of the computers mentioned in controller group 1 or if any of the occupancy sensors mentioned in controller group 2 detects occupancy, all the lights mentioned in controlled group (light 1, light 2) will be turned on. If there is no detected activity or occupancy in all of the computers and occupancy sensors in controller group 1 and controller group 2 respectively, then all the lights mentioned in controlled group (light 1, light 2) will be turned off. As long as there is a detected activity or occupancy in any one of the computers and occupancy sensors in controller group 1 and controller group 2 respectively, all the lights mentioned in controlled group (light 1, light 2) will remain on. This kind of lighting arrangement with lighting groups is repeated for all the lights that need to be controlled in the workplace as depicted in figure 5. In Figure 5, lighting groups are formed for each and every room in the floor. The devices and lights from device list and light list can also be dragged and dropped into lighting groups.

[0035] There can also be a Controller Group for day light harvesting sensors to turn on/off/increase/decrease the brightness of the lights in Controlled Group. However, if there is no detected computer activity or occupancy, the lights can still remain off/ dim even if insufficient day light is detected by the day light harvesting sensors.

[0036] It may be noted that light 1 and light 2 mentioned in figure 3 may not be located in the immediate neighborhood of any or all of the devices mentioned in controller group 1 and controller group 2 mentioned in figure 3 but may be located anywhere or at remote location/s.

[0037] Occasionally, the lighting control system also supports one or more overrides (occupancy sensor/any other sensor based, telephone based, switch/button based, email/message based etc.), to keep the lights On for a specified duration of time, irrespective of the occupancy/activity signals from the Controller Groups. In that case, one of the Controller Groups will have all the override options provided for the user. If any override action is detected, then the lights in the Controlled Group remain On for the specified period irrespective of the occupancy. The duration of time for which the lights will be On may also depend on the type of override. For e.g., if it is an occupancy sensor based override, then lights may be On only for the Timeout duration when occupancy sensor detects any user presence.

[0038] For the sake of better control, it may be understood that, most of the configuration is shown at Lighting Group level. However, the desired events/controls may be configured at room level or floor level or any combination of lighting group, room, floor and building levels. It may also be noted the rooms discussed in this invention may not be physical rooms separated by walls always but can also be a specific work place area the administrator wants to classify differently. Also, for the sake of convenience each type of device is shown in distinct groups within Lighting Group. However in practice different types of controlled and controller group items can be clubbed together in a single group and identified by their respective names identification codes etc at the user interface level or by the software.

[0039] Also, in the explanations given above, the interdependency between devices within a Controller Groups is logical OR i.e. if any of the devices is active the lights are On and if all the devices are inactive the lights will be turned off. However, there can also be any mathematical/logical interdependency and priorities between different devices within controller group or between different controller groups that govern whether lights represented by the controlled group need to be turned On or Off (there can also be multiple dependencies between devices within the same controller group). Apart from mathematical/logical interdependencies, the interdependencies between the devices can also be represented by any complex algorithmic flow (with time delays, if required) as well.

[0040] In one implementation, the present invention may be configured to work with the inventions discussed in patent application reference numbers 5674/CHE/2013 and 355/CHE/2014 filled by the same inventor/s when controlling the lighting corresponding to the user computer terminal based on the user activity on his computer, when an Inactive event happens, the idle time for which there is no detected user activity on user computer before sending signal to turn off the light or decrease the Idle Time of the occupancy sensor can be decreased to a predetermined value. Similarly, when an Active event happens, the idle time for which there is no detected user activity on user computer before sending signal to turn off the light or decrease the Idle Time of the occupancy sensor can be increased to a predetermined value. [0041] As explained above, each light appears in only one lighting group and all the devices that share the light are also included in that lighting group. It may be noted that a device can appear in multiple lighting groups as each device may share lights from multiple sources. However, mapping multiple devices to multiple lights can be done in many other ways. For example, in other embodiment of the invention, lighting groups can be formulated by grouping together a device with a set of all lights that should be turned on when any activity is detected on that device. In this case, each device will appear in only one lighting group and a single light can be present in multiple lighting groups. To turn off any light, the activity of devices in different Lighting Groups where the concerned light is present is monitored periodically and if all the devices are inactive, corresponding light is turned off. In this way the algorithm to represent controlling of light(s) can be depicted in multiple ways in the user interface.

[0042] Though lighting groups are shown distinctly in the Graphical User

Interface (GUI) in Figures 3, 4 and 5, they may also be represented in any lookup table, spread sheets, indexed lists or through any other method which will finally be decoded by the application to arrive at group level relationship between different devices as explained above. While the application's user interface (UI) is preferably implemented as software GUI mentioned in Figure 5, it may also be configured to read groups data from various sources including a file, spread sheet, image, speech recognition, hand writing recognition, virtual device implemented with augmented reality, virtual displays as in Google Glass, wearable computer and the like.

[0043] Occasionally, to maintain a minimum amount of lighting in the workplace even if a specific workplace is not occupied, a set of lights may be turned on when all the lights in the selected workplace/group of lights are turned off. As represented in Figure 4, if all the lights i.e., light 1, light 2, light 3 and light 4 are turned off then light A will be turned on. Light A may be turned off if any of the lights in the group light 1, light 2, light 3 and light 4 is turned on. It may be noted that any of the lights from the group i.e. light 1, light 2, light 3 and light 4 can also act as Light A. [0044] Also, there may be a case when people may not like to see the lights turning off in the offices during working hours. In such cases, the application may be configured to behave differently in working hours, non- working hours, holidays, scheduled half days, leaves, tour days etc. For example, the mechanism that turns off lights when no activity (user computer activity or occupancy) is detected can be disabled during working hours (on working days) and can be enabled during non- working hours and holidays and leave days. Since, the application allows distributing the people (by configuring corresponding user computer and sensors near user's workplace) into rooms and lighting groups, the lighting control can be configured independently at each level (floor, room, lighting group etc.). Apart from automatically turning on/off the lights based on the user occupancy, it can also be used to schedule the lighting wherein, a group of lights will be automatically turned on/off at the predetermined time, date etc. at the lighting group, room and floor levels.

[0045] When the application is about to turn off the lights corresponding to user's workplace, it may also be configured to notify the same to the user in multiple ways including turning off the user's computer screen, issue an alert message with an option to override the light(s) turn off, automatic telephone call etc. The notification messages/activities can be generated by either the application installed on the Server(s) or on the user computer also. Similarly, if the application is about to turn on the lights corresponding to user workplace, it can be configured to turn on other device/appliances viz. computers, computer monitors, HVAC, exhaust fans, TV, audio etc. as required.

[0046] Apart from lighting control in workplaces, this mechanism of dynamically grouping the sensors and a variety of other input devices to control load/control circuits may also be used in many other automation applications to control a variety of devices including but not limited to fire alarms, automation inside homes, vehicles, industries, and the like.

[0047] Apart from controlling the lights, the system and method can also control other electrical/electronic circuits/loads or any other devices viz. HVAC, fans, coolers, computers, servers though multiple Controlled Groups in a similar fashion as explained above. For e.g. if a light or a computer screen is turned off, then a message is sent to reduce the cooling of HVAC (in this case HVAC can be configured in Controlled Group of corresponding Lighting Groups or Room level Groups) in that room corresponding to the power consumed by that light or computer screen.

[0048] In one implementation, the application that runs the lighting groups may be located anywhere and/or may also exist across multiple locations. It may also coexist with other software and hardware modules in the lighting control system. In Figure 6, the Server(s) is configured to receive inputs from input devices, like Device 11 to Device MN (which may include but not limited to occupancy sensors, day light harvesting sensors, user computers, signaling devices attached to user computers or RFID / biometric / unique identification systems or any other input devices), which (inputs) may be processed to control load/control circuits. The Server(s) sends appropriate messages to the controller(s) to control the load/control circuits accordingly.

[0049] The present invention having possible user interface as shown in

Figure 6, may also be implemented in multiple ways, wherein the ways may include but not limited to:

1. The application may be located on a server(s) which is/are configured to signal to the Controller(s) to control the load/control circuits.

2. The application may be located at split locations wherein one part of the application installed on the first server facilitates user interface while the data generated from configuring the Lighting Groups in the user interface on the first server is loaded on to second server(s). As shown in Figure 6, the second server(s) interact with the devices i.e., for example, device 11 and thereby sends signal to the controller(s) to control the load/control circuits. The first server may or may not be configured (as required) to send signal to the controller(s). Each second server may be configured to control a specified number of lighting groups. In case if there is one first server and multiple second servers then instead of controlling all the lighting Groups in a building with a single second server, multiple second servers may share the load by each second server controlling only a limited number of Lighting Groups/Rooms/Floors in the entire building. The second servers may preferably be implemented (but not limited to) by a mini PC (minicomputer without a display) or integrated circuit board or a reconfigurable device. There may also be suitable indication on the application user interface or GUI (at each lighting group level, if required) to show that the changes to lighting group are affected in the second server(s). It may be noted and understood by the person skilled in the art, that the nomenclature first server and second server is used only for explanation to implement the user interface part and the lighting group functionality part separately while in practice the application can also be implemented with any multi-level server configuration.

In one of the embodiments, when lighting groups are implemented at the software level, each lighting groups may be implemented using a software Timer. If all the devices in Lighting Group indicate absence of the user a timer may be started (initiated or triggered) and at the expiry of the timer the lights can be turned off. If any device shows user presence, the timer can be stopped and light can be turned on.

3. In one of the embodiments, instead of implementing the lighting groups in application software as discussed in points 1 and 2, the groups may be implemented on reconfigurable devices like FPGA, CPLD etc. thereby increasing the response time and also resulting in lesser power consumption. The algorithms that represent the interdependency between different devices in the Controller and Controlled Groups in each lighting group may be implemented at gate level on a reconfigurable device like FPGA, CPLD etc. Once the Lighting Groups are formed in the application's (application running on the first server as mentioned above in point 2 and user interface as shown in Figure 5), the algorithms represented in each and every Lighting Group are automatically converted into HDL (Hardware Description Language) which may be synthesized and resultant bit stream may be loaded on to the reconfigurable device (second server mentioned above in point 2). The reconfigurable device may also coexist with a mini PC or other integrated circuits and/or electronic or mechanical devices as required. For e.g., in one possible embodiment of the second server given in figure 7 which illustrates a server hardware implemented with a combination of microcontroller/ microprocessor, reconfigurable hardware and a signaling device, wherein a microprocessor on the board handles the signals received from various sources (load circuits, Server(s), Controller(s), Sensors etc.) and signals to the reconfigurable device connected to it, while the reconfigurable device may implement the algorithms defined by Lighting Groups at the gate level and transmits the processed signals to Lighting Controller(s) through any protocol gateway or wired/wireless signaling mechanisms as required. In this manner, the tasks can be divided in multiple ways between the reconfigurable device and other hardware connected to it.

In one implementation, it may be understood by the person skilled in the art that the servers (including Server(s), first server, second server as discussed in point 2 and 3 of the ways of implementing the present invention above) may be implemented in multiple ways and not limited only to points 2 and 3. In one example, one of the ways include network servers, web servers, cloud servers, single or a group of computers, mobile phones, mini PCs (including android mini PC), embedded system, Integrated Circuit boards comprising ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) or microprocessors or microcontrollers or reconfigurable hardware or any other hardware or any combination of the various hardware and software modules. Also servers may support any operating system (Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Unix, Linux, Solaris, any RTOS etc. on which the application will be installed) or can also support the application without any operating system (bare metal program). The application can also be developed in any programming language or assembly language or machine language or HDL (Hardware Description Language) like Verilog, VHDL etc. or by using a combination of various languages.

[0050] In one implementation, depending on the requirement, if an office/workplace may not want to reconfigure the initially defined lighting groups, it may also work without the first server and may have only the second server(s).

[0051] In one implementation, the synthesis tool configured to synthesis the HDL generated as discussed in point 3 (of the ways of implementing the present invention) above, may be located anywhere including a computer or server or cloud server or an Android mini PC, Smart Phone etc. that may read the HDL and may synthesizes it into a bit stream that can be loaded on to the corresponding reconfigurable device. Occasionally, the synthesis program can also be implemented on an integrated circuit or a system on chip which can coexist along with the reconfigurable device and configured to read (either partially or fully) the HDL generated by the software and convert it into a bit stream which can be loaded on to the reconfigurable device. Instead of synthesizing entire HDL every time, the synthesis of only the HDL that is updated during the recent configuration is possible. In one example, the mechanism of dynamically synthesizing automatically generated algorithms or HDL and configuring the reconfigurable device based on the output of synthesis may be implemented in many other applications as well. The synthesis tool may be located on remote cloud servers or on integrated circuits or anywhere. The generated algorithm or HDL may be transmitted to the synthesis tool which generates and returns the bit stream to be loaded on to the reconfigurable device).

[0052] In another embodiment of the present invention implemented through reconfigurable device, instead of generating the HDL, synthesizing HDL and loading generated bit stream onto the reconfigurable hardware every time, reconfigurable device may be pre-configured to support maximum number of possible devices and light/load circuits in each lighting group. Similarly, a maximum possible number of lighting groups for a given workplace or building can be already preconfigured in the reconfigurable device. Whenever lighting configuration is updated in application user interface, appropriate signals may be sent to the reconfigurable device to enable or disable appropriate devices in the lighting groups or enable/disable the lighting groups as required. For e.g. if an FPGA is pre-configured to support 1000 lighting groups and up to 20 devices in each lighting group and if an office is configured into only 100 lighting groups, then remaining 900 pre-configured on the reconfigurable device may be disabled initially. In the future use, if the office expands and additional lighting groups are formed, then a required number of disabled lighting groups on the reconfigurable device may be enabled to implement the newly formed lighting groups. Similarly if the office size is reduced and number of lighting groups is only 75, then remaining 25 Lighting Groups on the reconfigurable device may be disabled. In the same manner as explained above, the number of input devices and load/control circuits supported by each lighting group can be updated by enabling/disabling devices preconfigured in Lighting Group. In the same way, the interdependencies (logical, mathematical, temporal etc.) between different devices within Lighting Group on reconfigurable device can be preconfigured to support various options and a suitable interdependency is selected from the application's user interface.

[0053] In another implementation, the lighting groups may be implemented on a reconfigurable device in multiple ways. For example in one of the possible embodiments, the current state of each of the input devices may be stored inside a register in the reconfigurable device. Inputs of these registers may be connected to the outputs of de-multiplexers whose inputs are connected to the input pins of the reconfigurable device. The outputs of these registers may be connected to lighting groups implemented on the reconfigurable device. Similarly, the outputs of various lighting groups in the reconfigurable device may be connected to a multiplexer whose outputs are connected to the output pins of reconfigurable device. Also, the changes to the outputs of lighting groups may be put in a queue whose contents (if any) can be periodically sent to the output pins synchronized with a clock. There may also be counters/timers in lighting groups in reconfigurable device to wait for a pre-determined time before signaling to turn off the lights.

[0054] In one implementation, apart from lighting groups, scheduling of different events (for e.g. all lights in office to be turned on at 10 AM and turned off at 7 PM) may also be dynamically configured on the reconfigurable device in the same manner as explained for lighting groups from a GUI interface as explained above.

[0055] In one implementation, there may also be multiple reconfigurable devices for backup purpose. Only one may be configured to work at a time.

[0056] In one implementation of the present invention discussed in this application, wherever light(s) are mentioned, it may be noted and understood that they can be replaced by any other load/control circuit(s) as well. Also wherever it is mentioned that a light is turned off it means cutting off power supply to light/load/control circuit or dimming the light or setting a predetermined color and brightness to the light or sending appropriate control signals to load/control circuits. Similarly, wherever it is mentioned that a light is turned on it mean supply of power to light/load/control circuit or brightening the light or setting a predetermined color and brightness to the light or sending appropriate control signals to load/control circuits.

[0057] In one implementation, a system for controlling one or more device(s) in a monitored area is disclosed. The system comprises of one or more dynamically configurable means, responsive to one or more command(s) from one or more device(s) in said monitored area for performing a task according to instructions stored in said dynamically configurable means, for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s) in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device properties, capabilities and performance.

[0058] In one implementation, the present invention comprises of a means, for providing said reconfiguration data in response to said command(s) to alter the properties, capabilities and performance of said other device(s). In one example, the means may be selected from remote means it can include local or remote means or local means accessible remotely.

[0059] In one implementation, the dynamically configurable means, said devices and said other devices are communicably coupled in one or more groups with a function defining a relationship between them, wherein said groups are dynamically configurable groups.

[0060] In one implementation, the groups are formed based on at least one criteria selected from a group comprising user and/or systems sharing one or more other device(s), a group of people sharing working hours or holidays or schedules, other device(s) sharing same schedules. The devices are fixed devices and/or mobile devices.

[0061] In one example, the groups are formed based on at least one criteria selected from but not limited to a group comprising any criteria including people user and/or /systems, sharing one or more other device(s), lights, people sharing AC in a room, a group of people sharing working hours or holidays or any other schedules, a person or a group of persons sharing devices/machines/systems, other device(s) sharing same schedules, one or a group of systems devices / machines / robots sharing other device (e.g. computer systems require HVAC)

[0062] In one implementation, the groups are created dynamically and are capable of being reconfigured based on location of device(s) and/or other device(s). In one example, the devices may include but not limited to computers, laptops, telephones, mobiles, tablets, virtual device implemented with augmented reality, virtual displays as in Google Glass®, wearable computers including smart watches etc., RFID tags, biometric identification systems or any other identification systems or any other electrical, electronic or embedded systems. The loads may include but not limited to lights, HVAC, fans, coolers, computers, servers, telephones and the like. Sensors may include but not limited to occupancy, motion, temperature, humidity, pressure, light, radiation, distance, height, speed, acceleration etc. or any other sensors and any combination of devices, loads and the like.

[0063] In one implementation, the physical location of laptops/desktops/other electronic hardware in the Lighting Groups may be ascertained though various mechanisms. In one method, location of laptops/desktops/other electronic hardware can be determined by the physical location of the Ethernet ports to which they are connected. In cases where electronic hardware is immobile (desktop computers, servers etc), the physical location of the device can be mapped to its MAC (Media Access Control) address. As each device will have a unique MAC address, the location of the device can be ascertained by reading the MAC address from the Ethernet packet. However, in case of mobile devices viz. laptops etc., even if device is connected to a different Ethernet port (i.e. if the location of the device changes) the MAC address remains same. It is difficult to login into a Network Switch to check the MAC address tied to each Ethernet port to ascertain the physical location of the laptop. In order to overcome this difficulty a suitable MAC address bridge or MAC address adapter can be deployed.

[0064] As shown in Figure 8 illustrates detecting physical location of computers, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter. Incoming ports II, 12, 13... In are given fixed MAC addresses and outgoing ports 01, 02... On are connected to the computer/device ports. Instead of using the MAC addresses of computer/devices, fixed MAC addresses of II, 12... In are used to detect the activity on the computer/ devices connected to 01, 02 ... On. Now it is easy to ascertain the physical location of computer/devices in office as each outgoing port can be identified by the unique MAC address given to corresponding incoming port (i.e. 01 to II, 02 to 12... On to In). The number of connections supported by MAC Address Bridge can range from 1 to any number. (It may be noted that Ethernet ports Oi and Ii are bidirectional). MAC Address Bridge can also be present on the same board as Network Switch. The MAC Address Bridge discussed above can be implemented in multiple ways including the use of Microprocessors, ASICs or reconfigurable hardware like FPGAs/CPLDs etc. or any combination thereof. Use of FPGAs/CPLDs is very beneficial as it can easily support multiple ports at very high speed and low power consumption.

[0065] In one implementation, the physical location of devices can also be ascertained by other methods viz. local (or global) positioning systems (including Indoor positioning system, Hybrid positioning system, Real-time locating system etc.) using any technique (wired or wireless mechanisms using various protocols/signaling mechanisms/frequencies/modulations/algorithms etc., devices viz. RFID, IP address, MAC) can be used to ascertain the physical location of various devices.

[0066] In one implementation, the function of said dynamically configurable group are defined dynamically and/or by a simple mathematical or logical equation or by a complex algorithm.

[0067] In one implementation, the device and/or one said other device located in said monitored areas are identified based on at least one of IP address of the devices, MAC addresses of the devices, Ethernet ports of the devices, any form of partial or complete local/global positioning systems that can identify any combination of devices or users, RFID of devices, or any other unique identifications assigned to the devices, MAC address bridge, unique identification bridges and unique id signaled/transmitted though wired and wireless mechanisms, fixed physical location of electrical/electronic devices or fixtures/holders and switches to which other electrical and electronic devices are connected in the monitoring area and any combination thereof.

[0068] In one implementation, the functioning of the groups are implemented on reconfigurable hardware selected from at least one of field- programmable gate array (FPGA), Complex programmable logic device (CPLD), single core and/or multi core microprocessors and/or micro-controllers and any combination thereof.

[0069] In one implementation, as shown in Figure 9, a MAC Address

Bridge on a reconfigurable hardware the incoming bit stream is monitored continuously. After the passage of preamble and start of frame delimiter of Ethernet packet, the source/destination MAC address may be modified as required. For, updating the MAC address in the input bit stream, each incoming bit of the MAC address in the Ethernet packet may be compared with the corresponding bit of the MAC address that has to written to the bit stream and the input bit is passed as it is or toggled and passed (if it is to be updated) to the output. In another method, the input stream is loaded into a shift register (of any length) and the value of the shift register is verified and output bits are updated accordingly.

[0070] In one implementation, apart from using Ethernet to Ethernet MAC address bridge, other forms viz. Ethernet to USB, Ethernet to HDMI, Ethernet to SPI/UART/I2C/CAN, any other protocol to any other protocol are also possible in a similar fashion.

[0071] In one implementation, in FPGA implementation discussed in

Figure 7, any logic other than the lighting group's viz. lookup tables, Gate level implementation of TCP/IP or any other logic can be implemented.

[0072] The lighting group logic may be implemented on a reconfigurable device in multiple ways. As shown in the Figure 10 whenever the wait counter reaches the maximum value (i.e. maximum allowed wait time), the output becomes high signalling to turn off the device in the controlled group of corresponding Lighting Group. Whenever, any signal is received from devices in controller group, the wait counter is reset and it starts counting again until it reaches the Maximum allowed counter value. Whenever, the value of counter is less than Maximum allowed counter value, the output will be low (to keep the devices On or to turn On the device in the controlled group of corresponding lighting group). Whenever, the state of output is toggled or the state of output is sampled during a scheduled periodic sampling process, a message is sent to appropriate communication modules to control the devices in the controlled group as per the output value. Each FPGA can have multiple lighting groups as shown in Figure 10. FPGA is programmed in such a way so that each lighting group is individually addressable and appropriate configuration values may be written to each and every lighting group or an input message received from a device in controller group or a scheduled signal generated inside FPGA for a lighting group may be routed to corresponding lighting groups.

[0073] In another implementation of lighting groups on reconfigurable device, the current time is compared with time of the last input received for that corresponding lighting group, as shown in Figure 11. If the difference between the current time and the time of the last received input of that lighting group is greater than the maximum wait time set for that lighting group, output becomes high else output stays low.

[0074] In one implementation, the values of outputs from each and every lighting group on reconfigurable device are periodically monitored and signals to various control circuits are sent.

[0075] Occasionally, there may not be a need to reset the counter or update the time of last input in lighting group for every message sent from device in lighting group. For e.g. when computer display is turned off and air cooling in the room need to be reduced corresponding to the heat released by the computer display, a message can be directly sent to the controller to reduce the cooling. Also when the computer is in locked state and computer periodically communicates with the server about its current state, then this message may not be used for resetting the counter or updating the time of last input in lighting group.

[0076] In one implementation, instead of having a dedicated gate level logic for each and every Lighting Groups, time of latest input to Lighting Group and its Wait Time Out may be stored in the memory as shown in the Figure 12. The memory may be periodically parsed from 1 to N (Lighting Group Numbers) and the time of latest input to Lighting Group is compared with current time as shown in the Figure 12. If the gap between current time and time of latest input is greater than Wait Time Out, then Output is made high for that lighting Group else Output will be low. The Output value and Lighting Group number may be signalled to appropriate communication modules. In Figure 12, while implementing the room wise schedules on a reconfigurable hardware, the settings and schedules of each and every room may also be periodically monitored as explained above and appropriate actions may be initiated as required.

[0077] In one implementation, apart from turning On/Off the devices based on the output value, other possible ways of controlling devices (viz. dimming, changing colour etc.) may also be implemented, in which case, the lighting group output may have more than one bit.

[0078] Maximum wait time/maximum counter value as discussed above may implement various functions/settings of lighting groups as required for e.g., in one instance it can represent the maximum wait time to turnoff the light after detecting last user activity on any of the devices in Controller Group or last action of any automatic stipulated schedule.

[0079] While routing the input messages to appropriate lighting group, the lighting group associated with the device from which the input message is received may be found with any appropriate algorithm and implemented on a suitable data structure. For instance, the device ids (and corresponding lighting group ids) stored in a sorted list in the memory can be found using binary search algorithm. The binary search algorithm can also be implemented on hardware.

[0080] In one implementation, the reconfigurable hardware are implemented with at least one setting associated with said group, wherein said setting is selected from a group comprising wait time out, maximum counter value, and any combination thereof. In one implementation, the setting may be implemented by any external microcontroller / microprocessor which reads individual settings from memory and writes these values to the appropriate registers in each and every group in reconfigurable hardware or a memory controller within or outside the reconfigurable hardware to read the settings from the memory and write it to the appropriate registers in each and every group in reconfigurable hardware.

[0081] In another embodiment, when one or more users are sharing one or more electrical loads like, but not limited to, lights, fans., the state of all the the electronic/electrical devices comprising computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, telephones under different users may be monitored for controlling electrical loads like lights. This is because, if a group of users are sharing one or more lights and if one of the user moves away from his workplace while other people in the group are still working on their computers, the lights in that group should remain On. In one example, the present invention may help to dynamically configure lights/loads which need to be On when all other lights/loads in a cubicle/workplace are Off.

[0082] In one implementation, if device(s) uses multiple and/or different operating systems, the present invention enables a patch to be added to the operating systems enabling the device(s) to work as signaling device, wherein the signaling device is configured to generate an user activity data or a computer event data and transmit it to the means for the generation of the reconfiguration data.

[0083] In one implementation, the method comprises of performing, using one or more dynamically configurable means, a task according to instructions stored for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s), wherein the task is performed in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), in response to the command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device properties, capabilities and performance.

[0084] Figure 13 illustrates an example of microprocessor based implementation without any reconfigurable hardware, in accordance with an embodiment of the present subject matter. All the information regarding the configuration of rooms, lighting groups, settings etc. may be stored in the server memory in sorted order. The processor may be programmed to loop through all the lighting groups periodically (preferably twice or more times per second). During the parsing of each lighting group, the processor may read the input messages to each and every lighting group based on time when message is received from different devices present in its controller group of corresponding lighting group and issue appropriate signals to control the devices present in controlled group of corresponding lighting group. In one of the possible implementations, as discussed in figure 13, the processor may copy all the information pertaining to lighting groups from Memory 1 to Memory 2 before it starts looping through all the lighting groups. Until looping of all the lighting groups is completed, the processor may access information regarding lighting groups only from Memory 2. This may be useful if any new information comes from any device in Controller Group when processor is looping through the lighting groups. The information may be updated in Memory 1 and the looping of the processor though lighting groups will not be interrupted. The processor may read the new information during the next iteration of lighting groups when it again copies memory from Memory 1 to Memory 2 and starts parsing each and every lighting group.

[0085] In case, if a multicore processor is used to implement the server functionality, then each core may handle different functionality in order to get optimized performance. For e.g., In case of a dual core processor, one core may handle I/O transactions and the other core may handle the lighting group iterations and other functions. It may be noted that there can be any number of processor cores or any number of memories used for implementing the lighting groups.

[0086] The order in which the mechanisms (system and methods) are described are not intended to be construed as a limitation, and any number of the described method blocks can be combined in any order to implement the method or alternate methods. Additionally, individual blocks may be deleted from the method without departing from the scope of the subject matter described herein. Furthermore, the method can be implemented in any suitable hardware, firmware, or combination thereof. However, for ease of explanation, in the embodiments described above, the method may be considered to be implemented in the above described system.

[0087] Although implementations for a systems and methods to implement automatic lighting control systems have been described in language specific to structural features and/or methods, it is to be understood that the appended claims are not necessarily limited to the specific features or methods described. Rather, the specific features and methods are disclosed as examples of implementations for systems and methods to implement automatic lighting control systems.

Claims

I Claim:
1. A system for controlling one or more device(s) in a monitored area, said system comprising:
one or more dynamically configurable means, responsive to one or more command(s) from one or more device(s) in said monitored area for performing a task according to instructions stored or configured hardware in said dynamically configurable means, for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s) in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device(s) properties, capabilities and performance.
2. The system as claimed in claim 1 comprises of a means, for providing said reconfiguration data in response to said command(s) to alter the properties, capabilities and performance of said other device(s).
3. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said dynamically configurable means, said devices and said other devices are communicably coupled in one or more groups with a function defining a relationship between them, wherein said groups and said functions associated, are dynamically configurable, and the functions of said dynamically configurable group are defined dynamically and/or by a simple mathematical or logical equation or by a complex algorithm, and said groups are configured to be controlled based on a predefined reconfigurable schedule and/or predefined time.
4. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said groups are formed based on at least one criteria selected from a group comprising user and/or systems sharing one or more other device(s), a group of people sharing working hours or holidays or schedules, other device(s) sharing same schedules.
5. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said groups are created dynamically and are capable of being reconfigured based on location of device(s) and/or other device(s).
6. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the devices and/or other device(s) are fixed devices and/or mobile devices.
7. The system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said device and/or one said other device located in said monitored areas are identified based on at least one of IP address of the devices, MAC addresses of the devices, RFID of devices, or any other unique identifications assigned to the devices, Ethernet ports connected to the devices, any form of complete or partial local or global positioning systems that can identify any combination of devices or users, MAC address bridge, unique identification bridges and unique id signaled/transmitted though wired and wireless mechanisms, fixed physical location of devices or fixtures/holders and switches to which other devices are connected in the monitoring area and any combination thereof.
8. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the functioning of the groups are implemented on reconfigurable hardware or non- reconfigurable hardware selected from at least one of field-programmable gate array (FPGA), Complex programmable logic device (CPLD), single core and/or multi core microprocessors and/or micro-controllers, application specific integrated circuits and any combination thereof.
9. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein reconfigurable hardware are implemented with at least one setting associated with said group, wherein said setting is selected from a group comprising Wait Time Out, Maximum Counter Value, and any combination thereof.
10. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said group(s) is/are reconfigurable using a user interface thereby reconfigures said reconfigurable hardware by dynamically generating gate level logic.
11. The systems as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein, if device(s) uses multiple and/or different operating systems, a patch is added to the operating systems enabling the device(s) to work as signaling device, wherein the signaling device is configured to generate an user activity data or a computer event data and transmit it to the means for controlling one or more other device(s).
12. A method for controlling one or more device(s) in a monitored area, said method comprising:
performing, using one or more dynamically configurable means, a task according to instructions stored for controlling properties, capabilities and performance of one or more other device(s), wherein the task is performed in response to command(s) received form said one or more device(s), in response to the command(s) received form said one or more device(s), and further responsive to reconfiguration data for altering said other device properties, capabilities and performance.
13. The method as claimed in claim 12 comprises providing, by a means, the reconfiguration data, in response to said command(s) to alter the properties, capabilities and performance of said other device(s).
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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2018219906A1 (en) 2017-06-01 2018-12-06 Philips Lighting Holding B.V. Determining a duty schedule for a group of lighting devices providing a similar lighting service

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US7322523B2 (en) * 2004-05-13 2008-01-29 Cisco Technology, Inc. Methods and devices for uniquely provisioning RFID devices
US8731689B2 (en) * 2008-05-06 2014-05-20 Abl Ip Holding, Llc Networked, wireless lighting control system with distributed intelligence

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2018219906A1 (en) 2017-06-01 2018-12-06 Philips Lighting Holding B.V. Determining a duty schedule for a group of lighting devices providing a similar lighting service

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