Imagine life when while moving inside of your home or the office you do not need to flip the switch to turn on any desired lights. Imagine the future when the lights in the room follow you, accommodate to your position or posture, activity and mood – all autonomously without you consciously directing that process.
Our system Tribium Lights is an attempt to render that vision into reality.
We have designed this small device to control LED lights in an highly automated, intelligent and interesting fashion. We would like to show you what it can do and how you can use it to shed more interesting light to your home or office space.
The whole system is composed of the controller unit, able to control up to 8 independent light sources (12 DC LEDs), and respond to up to 4 motion sensors, up to 4 ultrasonic distance sensors and 2 ambient light sensors (one external), and the Android or IOS App that enables easy control and programming. Power can provided either from standard DC 2.5mm power jack or directly by screwing the wires to the controller terminals. The system’s firmware can be upgraded easily via additional 6-pin connector.
The user can program the lights so they can be dimmed using various configurable programs, from the simplest ones, like fading and keeping light intensity at certain level to more advanced ones, simulating real phenomena, like flickering candle, broken neon or stroboscopic lights etc.
All the light sources can be arranged into various combinations of programs called arrangements. They are stored on the device and can be easily activated when specific conditions occur.
[Image: photo with arrangement annotations]
Lights respond to state of various sensors:
- Motion sensors
One of the choice, quite common and easy to program is the infrared motion sensors (or alternatively, radar sensors). They can trigger certain lights and programs whenever living thing (usually humans) find themselves within the range of such sensor. The sensor can have sensitivity tweaked accordingly. This functionality can be limited to specific time of day or ambient light conditions (i.e. at the dark).
- Radar sensors
Sometimes instead of PIR sensors the radar sensors may be more suitable. While the PIR sensors require person to be in direct reach and unobscured by walls or any other objects, the radar sensors can sense the motion usually without trouble within couple of meters.
- Ambient light sensors
The other option to turn LED lights when the external light levels are at specific ranges, let say when it gets dark. In such situation it is helpful to use ambient light sensors, one which is already built in into the controller, or an external one which can be attached to any suitable place. In this scenario we can also restrict the behavior by time of the day.
- Distance sensors
More advanced yet flexible method of controlling lights is while using the combinations of ultrasonic distance sensors, which can sense presence of a person at specific locations and turn different variants of lights arrangements accordingly. This feature may be used to instruct the controller to cause the lights to follow the movement of the person in the room. One limitation is that distance sensors are usually effective up to 2-3m only.
Control Using Smartphone App
All programming of the controller is made using dedicated smart phone application (Tribium Things), available in Android versions (IOS will be likely available as well) for free in respective phone app stores. Rich UI provides convenient way of controlling multiple light controllers at the same time. Connection to controllers is made through the Wifi and requires adding new controllers to your local computer network (also done from the phone app).
Types of Compatible LED Light Sources
The LED lights connected to the controller must be able to work with 12V DC voltage up to 5A (60W) current per each light source. In most use cases this is more than enough. There is plenty of LED solutions available, like:
- LED strips, of various colors and diode densities,
- LED rope lights,
- Spot lights (eagle eye),
- Closet and cabinet lights,
- 12V LED light bulbs,
- Fairy light strings, which can be hung on plants or placed in glass containers illuminating them from inside,
- LED light bars,
- And many more.
For more technologically nimble users we provide the REST API over HTTP, which can be used to directly control the lights or the sensors from their own custom application.