EMerge, Nextek Part of Team Exploring Sustainable Lighting Systems

The EMerge Alliance is part of a team of companies exploring the use of solid-state lighting systems (SSL) that feature snap-in lighting tiles that can be easily adapted as space needs change. The effort was featured on the cover of LEDs Magazine’s July/August 2012 issue. EMerge is an open industry association developing standards leading to the rapid adoption of Direct Current power distribution in commercial buildings. Nextek Power Systems, Inc. is a founding member company.

The SSL effort is headed by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) and Osram Sylvania, which are working with Paramount Pictures in one of their conference rooms. The room is powered by a 24V DC grid that is compatible with the standard promoted by the EMerge Alliance. Two-foot-by-two-foot LED tiles snap into place along the grid as needed, and do not require modification of the room’s wiring as lighting needs change. The wall tiles use the same power grid—note the backlit posters in the room photo below. EMerge is currently working on standards for the wall grid.

The luminaires along each side of the centerline include diffusers and LED arrays for ambient lighting. The color-tunable light can be set to different hues depending on needs—blue or violet during a video presentation, white during a discussion session.

The system also uses a wireless controller (the device in the center of the table) to control room lighting. The switches on the box collect the tiny amount of


kinetic energy created when a person depresses a switch and use it to activate a microcontroller, which transmits commands to the fixtures. The wireless receiver in the fixtures is powered from the DC grid.

The system frees architects and designers from the restrictions of building wiring, and creates opportunities to re-imagine lighting spaces.

The project is funded in part by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER).