You are now visiting the Philips lighting website. A localized version is available for you.

    The Semantic Lighting revolution: using light to connect the physical and digital worlds


    Lighting professionals around the world are waking up to one of the most exciting developments in the industry: Semantic Lighting. This revolutionary new type of lighting can adapt intelligently to different users, tasks, and environments.By giving us new ways to interact with the digital world, Semantic Lighting may change the way we live forever..

    Dr. Zary Segall, Chair Professor at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, is one of the world’s leading experts in Semantic Lighting. As an exciting preview to his webinar, which will be held on 26 March, Dr. Segall gave us the low-down on Semantic Lighting.

    The Semantic Lighting revolution

    The need for Semantic Lighting


    “Conventional lighting devices deliver static light and are agnostic to the user, the subject or the environment”, explains Dr. Segall. “Thus, such lighting devices are designed to illuminate a predefined, average illumination scene for an average user. This completely overlooks the fact that the light is perceived differently by different people and that the lighting requirements are different for each particular task.”

    Semantic Lighting is designed to bring a layer of machine-awareness to lighting. This means that the qualities, quantities and information potential of light may be intelligently modulated based on a number of real-time factors. These factors may include an individual’s eye capabilities and personal preferences, the conditions present at the location of use, the specific task, and the socio-cultural context of on-going activities.

    Recognizing that people are mobile and that the tasks and contexts important to them are similarly dynamic, Dr. Segall believes that Semantic Lighting is a way to make lighting smarter for mobile people in three areas:

    The first area is human-aware lighting, which seeks to understand and proactively respond to the physiological and psychological lighting needs of individuals. This includes tailoring illumination to an individual’s eye function.

    The second is context-aware task lighting. This takes the form of heuristic analysis for optimal contrast lighting, dynamic radiometric compression for shadow-less lighting, and other adjustments that emphasize specific qualities and quantities of light for enhancing visual perception for particular tasks.

    The third application area is semantic task-aware lighting, which adds meaning to lighting by integrating text, video, images and other sense-making media in the form of overlays, dematerialized monitors or callouts. Everything from diffuse low-density ambient information to highly focused, high-density media may be presented and modulated by task semantics, location and physical context.

    Want to find out more about Semantic Lighting? Register here for Dr. Zary Segall’s webinar on March 26, which explains how Semantic Lighting can be applied to key areas of human activity, using real-world examples.