• Smart Lighting
  • Smart Lighting

Smart Lighting

Technical guide


Innovative hardware and software solutions have made it possible to add intelligence to traditional lighting functions in recent years.

This has affected both the interiors and exteriors of buildings, and even public lighting systems. In this way, it has become possible to monitor and control light sources, adapting the operation of individual lamps or entire lighting systems to suit actual needs, taking into account environmental conditions and individual requirements.

This has gone hand in hand with the increasing use of Building Automation systems, of which lighting is one of the main functions, both in the residential, tertiary and industrial sectors: light is one of the factors that contributes most to the comfort of the occupants and at the same time represents one of the main uses of electrical energy.

New benchmarks

What does a Smart Lighting solution offer in comparison with a conventional system?

Smart lighting does not just "light up" - in other words, enable basic visual tasks - but actively reacts to internal and external environmental conditions, user behaviour and the changing needs of contemporary buildings, taking into account the emotional and biological aspects that lighting influences in human beings, without ever ignoring energy efficiency targets. 

Last but not least - given its native ability to communicate - Smart Lighting is best integrated with the other technical systems of a Smart Building and, in particular, with the building automation system.

Alongside the technical developments, the awareness of the great opportunities offered by lighting has grown among both end users and professionals, such as designers, architects and clients: no longer just switching on and off, but flexible and high-performance control, geared to the needs that may differ for each building and each user. For this reason too, it is estimated that the global Smart Lighting market will grow from $13.4 billion in 2020 to over $30 billion by 2025*, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%.

The main factors that are driving market growth are:

  • the transition to LED light sources
  • the pervasiveness of intelligent control systems
  • the spread of Smart Buildings
  • the increasing focus on energy saving

Smart Lighting ultimately means getting more value out of a building function that is always there, but most of the time is not exploited for its great potential.

*) Smart Lighting Report 2020, MarketsandMarkets Research Private Ltd

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Application areas of Smart Lighting

The communicating light

“Artificial lighting shapes the character and personality of rooms and plays a key role in influencing people's psychological and physical well-being."
From the very beginning, our life is a rhythmic swing between darkness and light, which makes existence surprising: inside and outside us. Man, with his intelligence, uses this combination to make his days more pleasant and more productive.
It can be argued that light is able to snatch the life behind it out of the darkness and make it visible for all to see. This is the main purpose of a Lighting Designer, to play with light and shadow, to bring life out of something lifeless. In fact, light allows us to see, but it is not enough to simply switch on lamps to ensure that an activity is carried out properly. Each moment, each instant, requires different lighting, appropriate to the environment and the precise instant we are living.

Artificial light, besides changing the visual perception of spaces and volumes, transforms the character and personality of environments and, according to recent scientific studies, plays a crucial role in influencing man's psychophysical wellbeing, modifying his state of mind and his perception of comfort. As a result, one of the most extraordinary skills a Lighting Designer must have is the ability to "shape" an environment made up of static elements. Current living trends highlight the need to adapt the lighting atmosphere to the user's needs as they change throughout the day. This adaption is possible thanks to the union between light and the management and control systems, bringing lighting to the current meaning of Smart Lighting and moving the role of the Lighting Designer to "director" at the service of personal well-being.

Architecture and light   

The Collegiate Church of Saints Peter & Stephen in Bellinzona, an important religious building dating back to the 15th century, is a structure with a highly religious and symbolic value, but also an artistic and architectural one, given the presence of valuable works of art inside. The lighting project by Stefano Dall'Osso takes into account and enhances all these aspects: on the one hand the lighting systems do not interfere with the architectonical beauty of the church, but at the same time they highlight its most important artistic elements with the use of light.


The lighting techniques adopted are:

  • direct lighting (over the nave);
  • indirect lighting (towards the vault);
  • accent lighting (used to enhance architectural details).

Moreover, to give depth and dimension to the side chapels, an indirect light element was used, towards the vault, and a direct light component towards the frescoes, paintings and statues inside. The lighting fixtures were then grouped together and divided into various lighting scenes: service, weekday, festive, ceremonial and guided tours.

Lighting Scenarios
Direct nave 100% 75% 100% 100% 50%
Direct presbytery 100% 75% 100% 100% 50%
Direct choir 100% 50% 50% 100% 50%
Direct transept 100% 50% 50% 100% 50%
Indirect nave 0% 50% 100% 100% 50%
Indirect choir 0% 50% 100% 100% 50%
Indirect transept 0% 50% 100% 100% 50%
Altar accent 0% 75% 100% 100% 50%
Altar-piece accent 0% 50% 50% 100% 100%
Painting accent 0% 0% 50% 100% 100%
Choir altarpiece accent 0% 50% 50% 100% 100%
High altar 1 accent 100% 50% 100% 100% 50%
Altar accent major 2 0% 50% 100% 100% 50%
Ambo accent      0% 100% 100% 100% 50%
Spandrels 0% 0% 50% 100% 50%
Cupola 0% 50% 50% 100% 50%
Lantern 0% 0% 50% 100% 50%
Indirect chapels 0% 50% 50% 100% 50%
Chapel shovel accent 100% 50% 50% 100% 100%
Stefano Dall’Osso
Lighting & Industrial Designer

Stefano Dall’Osso, nella sua attività professionale, si occupa di Lighting Design (consulenza, progettazione e direzione lavori di impianti illuminotecnici), Industrial Design (ideazione, progettazione, ingegnerizzazione, prototipazione e supervisione ai test di apparecchi illuminanti), LM&CS (consulenza, progettazione e programmazione di sistemi di gestione e controllo della luce), Art Direction (consulenza per il marketing strategico e operativo per aziende del settore illuminotecnico), insieme alla didattica in ambito accademico e seminari e incontri-dibattiti sul tema luce. Il gruppo di lavoro multidisciplinare si suddivide in più sedi: la principale a Paradiso in Svizzera, in Italia, a Malta e negli Emirati Arabi Uniti. È membro IALD, IESNA, APIL ed è professionista accreditato da “Q Light” da Cielo Buio.

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