What's so smart about Smart Lighting Control Systems?

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Justin Cathey is a M.S student in Industrial Management within the Department of Technology at Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL). He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University in December 2016. Mr. Cathey’s thesis is aimed at developing a low cost, flexible spectrometer. He is currently working for a local environmental health & safety consulting company dealing with cases in relation to human factors, safety, and health. For his undergrad he completed work on his senior design project, entitled” Spectrally Enhanced Dynamically Adjustable Lighting” (supervisors Dr. William Mills and Dr. Kevin Martin). The project involved using lighting principles and human factors to increase energy efficiency and human productively.

William Mills Co-Presenter
Assistant Professor
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb , IL 


Kevin Martin Presenter

Assistant Professor
Northern Illinois University

Dr. Kevin Martin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology, is the Director of the Building Energy Efficiency, Ergonomics, and Management (BEEEAM) laboratory at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Martin's primary research interests include human-centric building control systems with a focus on lighting technology. His research areas also include smart grid technologies, industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy systems, hydrogen vehicle infrastructure construction and modeling, as well as, development of fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Dr. Martin has been involved in research projects sponsored by ISEIF, U.S. DOE, U.S. FTA, U.S. DLA, U.S. DOT-RITA, AFRL, and Missouri DNR.

Tuesday, March 13: 3:00 PM  - 4:30 PM 
Conference Session 


The increasing adoption of LED lighting is driven by regulatory, energy efficiency and maintenance factors. At the same time advances in sensor technologies and increased connectivity resulting in the "Internet of Things" (IoT), is spurring numerous changes in building control systems (BCS) including lighting controls. Another evolving facet related to lighting is the recognition of health and productivity impacts (both positive and negative) associated with LED lighting. For LED lighting, lighting characterization based solely on using photopic photometers is no longer applicable as they do not take into account contributions from scotopic lighting which can be significant. There is a need for improved measurement and reporting utilizing spectrometers, to provide spectral power distribution (SPD) information. Improvements in spectrometer sensor technologies have resulted in cost and size reductions that offer the promise for "wearable" size lighting sensors that can communicate with lighting/building control systems and with the appropriate LED source in order to change the lighting intensity (dimming) and SPD (i.e. tunable) to optimize environmental conditions for mood, productivity, health and safety. Lighting systems are already being embedded with wireless communication beacons which can be used as part of an indoor location system in retailers, healthcare facilities, universities, and logistics centers. Personal and area sensor arrays are being developed which can incorporate sensors for numerous parameters such as lighting and other indoor environmental quality, activity. and location. In the industrial environment, these sensors can also play a critical role in managing health and safety. In particular, emergency response and security could be improved as real-time monitoring would automatically report exposure monitoring, "man down", and security mishaps. These sensor arrays utilize numerous connectivity technologies including a mixture of open source and proprietary. The different types of sensors, connectivity technologies and associated security related concerns are issues that will impact the adoption of advanced connected lighting systems. This presentation will discuss issues related to proper LED lighting measurement, sensor connectivity/interoperability and security. The presentation will include some current research from the Building Energy Efficiency, Ergonomics and Management (BEEEAM) laboratory at Northern Illinois University (NIU). go.niu.edu/beeeam


• Proper equipment and measurement techniques to characterize LEDs in order to increase insight on the impact from lighting

• Current and future trends of incorporating area and personal sensor arrays into building management systems

• The state of interoperability of connected lighting systems

• The security challenges involved in integrated smart lighting and building control systems 

Contemporary Luminaire Design Trends

Kevin Leadford Presenter
VP, Innovation
Acuity Brands Lighting

Kevin Leadford has a BS in Architectural Engineering with emphasis in Illumination from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He has nearly three decades of luminaire design experience spanning all types of products for commercial, industrial and residential application.  Kevin has held a variety of positions at Acuity Brands Lighting including Vice President of Lighting Technology and Vice President of Innovation.  He holds more than 40 US patents and is recognized for having led the conception and development of ABL’s VisualTM Lighting Design Software.  Kevin has served on the IESNA testing procedures and papers committees, and co-chaired the SPIE’s international conference on solid state lighting. 

Tuesday, March 13: 11:00 AM  - 12:00 PM 
Conference Session 

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