Movement-triggered lights on the floor

How a general switch light work

When the user toggles the level to the ON position, the gate snaps closed, completes the circuit, and allows power to flow through the switch and onward to the light fixture. When you flip the toggle lever to the OFF position, the gateway opens up, interrupting the flow of power to the light fixture. The lights on the floor don't have a toggle, the user's actions control the ON/OFF status


The lights on the floor is a system that works as background interactions - interactions that evade the user’s attention, and in fact, may elude notice. However, it reacts to the human action (when the user go inside the room the light turn up and when nobody is there it turn off) so its proactive

Potential sensor (or in other words "how the hell does it work?!?")

PIRs sensor


After we investigated

The 370 Jay Street building lights are run on a Lutron system with Lumenetix fixtures. Lutron is designed for a lot of industrial lights, but that app (Arraya) is more useful in a non-industrial/commercial setting. After moving into this building, Tom used arraya to mess with the lights, and found out when you take control over the bluetooth app you take over the bigger system.

(video of me using bluetooth system)

On the floor, there are Motion sensors (unclear which kind) at work determining motion in different zones, combining with predefined working hours to control the lights’ on/off. There are also light panels that control the lights, some can override the bluetooth signals, others can’t (some of these panels have weaker RF signals installed in the same place with the motion sensor, allowing flexibility)

ITP floor plan:


The red dots are light panels, not motion sensors -- there are less motion sensors, but in general controls the same, slightly larger areas.

Assumption of the motion sensor placements are likely:

  1. When a person walks into a space, it senses movements around the entrance area, and lights up the path where they’re likely going (Jezzy mentioned how when she was on the floor alone she liked how the lights light up her way as she walks past)

  2. This neglects the needs for more personalized uses of the space, as well as when people just want to sit there and not move around

  3. Dave Currie recalled when he wanted to sit in the dark but people walking from the entrance would keep triggering lights in his area -- same reverse when people needed the lights to be on but it kept going off because no movements in a neighboring area.

  4. Lack of transparency / understanding of what controls where

  5. (two videos of me walking to trigger motion sensor)

  6. Assuming a lot of people would be in the space, the lights are designed to be easily off because usually when they need to be on there will be enough people on the floor moving around.

FL-LS/MS 360 II Light & Motion Sensor Flushmount 5m


Some potential challenges:

“Groupings of the space” changes constantly

Maintaining safety paths -- some lights along fire path can’t be turned off due to safety concerns

More light systems on the floor:

Hue systems for LED strips

DMX stage lights

What can we improve

The main problem with the lights on the floor is that they are suitable for general needs rather than individual needs. Because human actions control the general lights you can't do any changes for your own lights needs. Other people actions effect your lighting situations.

Potential Concept

  • Individual lights for each student, so that only the movement of the student determine the lights in their area

After reading the texts and exploring a bit I think I can define intangible interaction as communication that you can't see or touch.

My favorite project that includes intangible interaction is Untitled (Pygmies) by Pors and Rao (which are my favorite artists as well). The piece is made from a few different size boards. Behind the boards there are small figures that pop up when the room is completely quiet.

It's a perfect example for intangible interaction. The human behavior (being quiet or noisy) will effect and change the art piece.

Going inside a room and noticing that the small figures are disappearing because of you is the at-tention - attentional demand by the art piece. Then people notice that something in their behavior effects and changes the art piece. Even though they didn't press a button or did something on propose. Then they notice that their voices can affect the piece and now they intentfully cause this behavior (arereac-tive interactionstheb) and the pieces respond to their intended behavior. The relationship between human and intangible interaction as a Similar to a conversation. Its start with a cue, then the user start with an action and then he get a response. Now the user get a feedback every time he react.

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