Newsletter issue #2

The installation of LED lighting these days is really taking off. And with good reasons as it provides a good saving in energy and maintenance costs. However there is still a margin for improvement over the conventional LED lighting systems widely available on the market today. Making use of a DC-based lighting infrastructure allows less complex electronics in the LED lamps, which leads to longer lifetimes and higher efficiencies of the LED lamps. Making use of external LED drivers and passive LED lamps further reduces maintenance costs as, on electronic's failure, only that component has to be replaced instead of the entire LED lamp. EDISON makes use of this revolutionary idea also caught by big lighting companies like Osram. In fact, they are starting to sell passive LED lamps without internal electronics.

Real life measurements in the VUB restaurant pilot show an increase of 59% in energy efficiency with the change from fluorescent lighting to DC-based LED lighting, while increasing the illuminance. This result is already impressive but more was gained by making the lighting system intelligent. By controlling the lighting system through daylight and presence sensors, a further increase to +-75% energy efficiency over the original installation has been gained.

In addition to VUB pilot first year results, the efficiency figures collected from Manoppello's pilot, during the last three months, confirm the energy saving trend observed by VUB. Indeed, by changing the lamps and adopting the Edison power supply solution an energy saving result of 60% has been reached. Also in this pilot, the contribution of ICT should give in the next month a significant extra gain.

Connecting the smart lighting system to the Internet also offers the functionality of remote control and monitoring. It would be even possible to raise an alert if a sensor detects presence outside working hours. In this way the intelligent EDISON infrastructure could function as an alarm system. It is also possible to detect a malfunctioning light from the smart-meter data. All these aspects show that the EDISON way is cost-efficient and opens up a lot of possibilities by making the infrastructure "smart".

Kris Steenhaut, Steffen Thielemans, Dario Di Zenobio


Pilot implementation

The VUB restaurant pilot consists of six lighting sections that are controlled by relays. Four of those lighting sections have motion sensors attached and one sections has a light sensor connected, as there are windows in the ceiling that allow daylight. Figure 1 is the schematic representation of the grouping of the lighting sections, the location and type of lamps, and the location and type of sensors.

Figure 1: Schematic of the VUB restaurant pilot with the lighting sections, lamps and sensors

Motion sensors

10 Lince Jolly motion sensors are being used in the restaurant. They are split up in four groups: A group of four sensors in the Bordeaux section and groups of two sensors in the green, yellow and purple sections. Several motion sensors per section are required in order to have a good coverage. The coverage is reduced by the limited view angle of the sensors of 120° and the presence of walls that block line of sight in the Bordeaux section. The layout of the restaurant ensures that the large majority passes one or several motion sensors when coming from the self-service restaurant, where they get their lunch, and going to a table, as shown in Figure 2.
There are no motion sensors installed in the red and blue sections. However with the knowledge of the path followed by the majority of the people, it is a safe assumption that there is no presence in the red and blue sections if there hasn't been any recent movement detected in their surrounding sections with motion sensors. This theory has been successfully tested and is thus implemented in the pilot. Data from the smart meter also confirms that these lighting sections are always active during the peak hours of the restaurant.

Figure 2: General paths followed from the self service restaurant to a table in the EDISON zone

The duration that the lights are activated after detecting movement is set to 10 minutes but can be easily customised for each group of motion sensors. A trade-off has to be made as a lower duration increases efficiency but could lead to a decreased user comfort.

Light sensor

The blue lighting section has skylights and is thus a good situation for using a light sensor. The lighting section is inactive in case there is enough daylight.

Figure 3: A lighting section with skylights and a light sensor

There are only skylights in one part of the area, which leaves the opposite area much less illuminated than the other parts of the lighting section. This gives the perception that it is too dark in this part of lighting section and the lighting system should be activated. However measurements taken on an overcast day show that the illuminance in this 'dark' area is still 400 lux, which is well within regulations and much better than some other areas in the restaurant where the illuminance is under 150 lux with the lights activated.

Pilot considerations

The restaurant is open for public from 11:30 until 15:45 with peak activity between 11:45 and 14:00. Afterwards the restaurant is closed for public, but the lighting remains active for the cleaning crew. The cleaning crew often only consists of one person so the cleaning process takes up to several hours and thus a considerable amount of time. The lighting of the entire restaurant (about 100 SSL lighting points and around 750Kwh of nominal power) does not have to be active during that timeframe; only the lighting section where the cleaning crew is present should be active. This optimization can lead to a large improvement in energy efficiency without comfort reduction. Some areas of the restaurant are equipped with skylights to make use of daylight. The lights in these areas will be turned off in case there is sufficient daylight capturing. The brightness sensor has been tuned to be able to define what "sufficient" should be. Light intensity measurements in the considered area have been executed to ensure user comfort.

VUB restaurant pilot: running status

Starting from Monday 27th of May 2013, the VUB restaurant pilot is controlled autonomously by an ICT system consisting of motion sensors and light sensors. Before this date, the LED-based lighting system was always active as long as the general restaurant lighting was switched on (during opening hours of restaurant + some hours afterwards for the cleaning). We can now do a comparison of the energy consumption of the Edison restaurant pilot with the LED lighting always on, compared to the Edison solution where ICT and sensors play an active role.

To have an idea of benefits obtained with the implementation of EDISON solution in the VUB Pilot, depending on the usage or not of ICT components, energy savings respectively of about 75% and 60% were observed. A more detailed analysis of these results, carried out also in other Pilots, will be object of next newsletters and will be reported in the upcoming project Workshop that will be held in Perugia on 15th October, 2013. Moreover, a web version will be available in the next months in order to address a wider audience. For announcement, please, visit the "News" section of the official project website (


Established in July 2000, TSItalia S.r.l. was founded by professionals with a common experience in the energy, telecommunications and information technologies. Despite its relatively short history, TSItalia S.r.l. has already gained a large experiences in designing and engineering of telecommunication networks, based on systems using cutting edge radio and cable technologies. TSItalia S.r.l. is an Italian WISP operator and realized wireless access networks, targeting people living in Abruzzo and Lazio regions. Particular attention was paid to radio access technologies such as Wi-Fi, Hiperlan II, WiMAX and establishment of networks of backhauling with the most modern wireless technologies (microwave and FSO). The skills developed by TSItalia S.r.l. are also focusing on monitoring & control systems. TSItalia S.r.l. acquired knowledge and developed projects in the energy efficiency field, with particular reference to lighting (SSL) and power systems based on renewable energies such as solar, geothermal and heolic and, in these contexts, is actually involved as a technological partner in European and national projects.

TSItalia in EDISON Project

TSitalia is the originator of the solution which is at the basis of the EDISON project. For this reason, the role it plays inside the Consortium is of primary importance. Thanks to the specific electronics circuit expertise, SSLs know-how as well as its experience as designer/retailer, the work carried out is mostly technical and covers both the collection of information from the Pilot sites, the selection of the ICT devices and power components (AC/DC Converter, DC/AC Inverter, etc.), until the integration of the basic components of the system and the realization of executive projects within each building involved in the Pilot sites. In addition, with the contribution of Sielte, TSitalia defined the guidelines indicating how to operate for installing and interfacing the PV systems as well as how to interact with the Electrical Utilities. TSItalia also supported Sielte in implementing the EDISON project solutions inside the buildings and contribute in proposing most appropriate modifications in the electrical infrastructure to meet the EDISON requirements.


In order to have valuable results in terms of replication of the EDISON solution, exploitation actions play a fundamental role in the direction to disseminate and validate the approach presented by the project and its benefits. Since the beginning of the Project a lot of efforts have been spent to involve as much Public Entities as possible, with the goal to develop and test new Pilots in addition to the ones planned in the project, in order to capitalize the resulting experiences gained in different countries and real life scenarios. The results of these activities, carried out without any support from the EC, have allowed to the following European Public Entities to join to the Project:

  • XIII District of Rome (more than 300000 inhabitants) with 70 schools (Italy);
  • Province of Viterbo with 3 schools and 2 buildings (Italy);
  • City of Ronciglione with 3 schools and 3 buildings (Italy);
  • Umbria Region with 2 historical Buildings in Perugia (Italy);
  • City of Etterbeek with some Administrative Offices (Belgium);
  • City of Zeist with a Mosque (Holland).
  • For more details, please, visit the project website ( in the section "News archive".

In line with the dissemination activities carried out in the first year of the project, EDISON will participate in the next future to conferences and events in the domain of ICT and Energy Applications. Hereafter, the main dissemination initiatives in which the project will be present:

  • 9th IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2013), August 17-21, 2013, Madison (Wisconsin, USA). In the technical program of this flagship automation conference of the IEEE RAS, which constitutes the primary forum for cross-industry and multidisciplinary research in automation, it will be included the presentation of the accepted paper titled "EDISON: an Innovative Lighting Architecture Facilitating Building Automation", whose primary goal is to highlight the peculiar aspects of the EDISON idea which make it an hardware architecture able to improve building automation.
  • 2nd EDISON Workshop which will be held in Perugia (Italy) on 15th October 2013. The event will be organized by the project Consortium with the goal to give evidence of the effectiveness of the EDISON solution, validated by the presentation of the first energy consumptions data coming from the activated Pilots.
  • 2013 IEEE Online Conference on Green Communications (October 29-31, 2013). The Project will be presented to the audience of the Conference dedicated to addressing the challenges in energy-efficient communications and communications for green technologies through the accepted paper titled "The EDISON Project: Enhanced Energy Saving Solution for Lighting using DC Power Supply".