Pedestrian-Friendly Outdoor Light with Solar Power

Period of Performance: 06/08/2015 - 03/07/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

1645 Lyell Ave Suite 140
Rochester, NY 14606
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


OLEDWorks, the only OLED lighting panel maker in the US, will develop the first outdoor OLED luminaire using solar energy for lighting pedestrian areas. This luminaire will accelerate energy savings by: Reducing energy used to light pedestrian areas through taking these areas off the grid, using solar energy for power. Demonstrating how smart controls and communication can be used with OLED lighting to accomplish energy savings made necessary by battery limitations and varied weather conditions. Increasing public awareness of OLED lighting by showcasing its properties in public places. OLED lighting needs increased market awareness in order to achieve widespread market adoption and realize its energy savings potential. The OLED fixtures and their communications will reflect a shift in paradigm from the current large, glary luminaires mounted high upon widely spaced poles, to a lower-cost design using shorter, less expensive poles that are more closely spaced to eliminate glare, and with no requirement for expensive burying of electric wires. In addition, smart controls will be used for operation e.g., responding to the detection of people and animals) and decision-making e.g., Wi-Fi for inter-fixture communication, weather forecasting, and monitoring). OLED panels are well suited for this application. In the 2013 DOE SSL Gateway study on outdoor lighting in pedestrian areas, the findings of the study all pointed to OLED as an appropriate solution for the cited problems of glare and harsh light. In addition, the desired characteristics of warmer color temperatures, lower horizontal illuminances, and the better daytime appearance all play to OLED lightings strengths over incumbent outdoor illumination solutions. OLEDWorks has designed and fabricated a first prototype outdoor luminaire with solar collector, battery, eight large OLED panels, and a motion detector. This fixture, currently in operation, is being used to collect operating data and to assess the design. During Phase I, the design of the fixture will be improved to increase its robustness, reduce cost, reduce power consumption, and improve manufacturability. In addition, the smart controls and communications will be improved to reduce power consumption and to increase the reliability of the illumination through cooperation between fixtures and use of weather forecasting to adjust operations. These same attributes of energy-efficient lighting and smart controls will also save energy in on-the-grid applications such as commercial buildings. In Phase II, the fixtures will be commercialized and sold.