Environment-aware LED lighting turns a bug into a feature

-April 27, 2010

Cary Eskow, director of Lightspeed has given examples during his EDN “Designing with LEDs Workshop keynote presentations on how proper lighting can enhance the ambiance of, say a hotel room or restaurant. While I can appreciate in theory that , yeah, tacky lighting definitely detracts from your hotel room experience, I didn’t quite see how hotels would be able to use lighting as a profit-worthy selling point - until I saw this announcement from Disney Cruise Lines on their “virtual portholes.”

Just like in land-based real estate, the pricing in cruise ship staterooms is mostly location, location, location. Being on the outside with a nice porthole to view any passing scenery and let in natural light allows the cruise line to charge a hefty premium. Disney Cruise Line has taken its window-less inside staterooms, and given them round flat-panel screens that mimic portholes by displaying a video of the outside scenery. Plus, the porthole can also sense when the room is occupied and display interactive Disney characters. In the photo shown a friendly starfish has crawled into the view to talk with young passengers. Add in LED lighting to the light network, and a room with virtual windows can mimic outside lighting, complete with dimming on overcast days, and day-to-night light cycling. Disney claims the virutal porthole staterooms are quite popular.

An excellent example of how environment-aware LED lighting can enhance the value of previously low-rent real estate.

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