We are all awaiting a return to social and business normalcy after the Covid-19 vaccine is successful. Whether in a conference room, meeting room, cafeteria, or break room, all will start being used again enabling groups of people to gather to interact face-to-face. Prior to Covid-19, how many of you remember the meeting coordinator saying, "we’ve been here awhile, let's take a short break" or "I am feeling like I need a breath of fresh air"? Even working from home, how often have you found yourself taking frequent breaks to stroll around the house because you feel a bit "worn" from sitting in a closed home office?
Build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatiles expelled by human breath in these tightly closed rooms generate, in part, "unhealthy" air quality. If we could detect the decline in a room’s air quality and "warn" people or automatically turn the ventilation up, this would be a great solution. All these rooms have one thing in common, lighting. Many of today’s new lighting systems are "connected" for ease of control for color, presence and ambient light detection.
Connected lighting is expected to grow in all geographies, even expanding to older building retrofits. Since lighting modules are so pervasive, it would be logical to add a simple sensor module so they could monitor the lighting and "unhealthy" levels of gases such as CO2. Designers of a lighting system would just need to add a few extra bits of data to the already existing communications infrastructure.
Renesas’ connected lighting solution, including air quality and lighting, shows a typical connected lighting block diagram (Figure 1). The sensor array contains an HS3001 for temperature and humidity, a ZMOD4410 for indoor air quality (eCO2 and TVOC gas monitoring), and an ISL29125 for monitoring ambient light and color control. We also have a ZMOD4510 outdoor air quality sensor for entryways, streetlights, loading docks, etc. In addition, connectors are provided for optional PM2.5 sensors.
The US084 Sensor Module (Figure 2) is available and uses the standard mikroBUS™ click format, allowing it to be used or evaluated with any MCU development kit providing a "Click" socket.
The next evolution in environmental air quality is here. So, when your LED lighting system tells you to "get some fresh air", do not be surprised.
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