Tech start-up plugs into green lighting system

A Melbourne-based tech start-up has invented a green energy "plug and play" lighting system that has the potential to slash the cost of retrofitting and running lighting systems in commercial buildings.

A Melbourne-based tech start-up has invented a green energy "plug and play" lighting system that has the potential to slash the cost of retrofitting and running lighting systems in commercial buildings.

The matchbox-sized sensor nodes (pictured right) developed by Organic Response are installed inside specially designed light fittings that need no connecting wires, programming or central computer, eliminating the complicated set-up and control systems used in most modern green lighting technologies.

"The sensor node has a motion detector, ambient light sensor and an infrared receiver and transmitter so it can communicate with its neighbouring lights but each one acts independently," chief executive Chris Duffield said.

"When you step out of an elevator, the light above you comes on and it sends out a signal to the neighbouring lights that it can see someone and that signal is propagated across the floor.

"Every single light is optimised to provide just the right amount of light for the given activity below it. It also means it's almost impossible for the system to switch off while someone is there."

Organic Response claims its system is 20 to 30 per cent cheaper to install than any comparable system. It's designed to be installed during lighting upgrades, with OR-enabled light fittings now being manufactured by seven Australian and European companies.

Mr Duffield said a 56 per cent energy saving was monitored after the installation of the technology in Commonwealth Bank's Darling Park tower premises.