What is InsPIRed®?
INterconnected Solar Passive Infa-Red Energy Device
InsPIRed® is more than a solar lantern; fitted with four PIR sensors, the LEDs are triggered when a person is detected and switch from a low-level standby brightness of 2200k to maximum output at 3000K. This not only saves energy consumption but also significantly reduces light pollution for the surrounding environment and fauna.
We also go one step further; InsPIRed® is interconnected and each lantern uses radio signals to communicate with other lanterns in the scheme to notify them when a person has been detected and sends signals to the surrounding lanterns, ahead and behind, to brighten the area. Allowing us to genuinely meet P class lighting as a large stretch of road / pathway remains well illuminated when pedestrians are in close proximity.
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In the making for 10 years, InsPIRed® started as a simple concept utilising two sets of batteries, a solar array and mains connection as a backup. Over time, as technology advanced, the concept developed into an intelligent interconnected system utilising the latest battery, motion sensing and solar technologies, coupled with radio and Bluetooth connectivity to allow each lantern to communicate with each other.
During the development stages our product design team carried out extensive research on existing solar lanterns, the two main drawbacks we noticed on other systems on the market was that they seem to be designed for areas where much greater solar energy is available, ie. in warmer climates, meaning providing enough power for the LEDs in our typically British winters would be challenging. It also became apparent that only few had the capacity to replace batteries, which means at the end of their life the whole luminaires would need to be replaced rather than just the batteries, which undermines the environmental benefits of solar lighting.
As with all our product range, supporting a circular economy is incredibly important during our design process. To support this, we have ensured that InsPIRed® is made from a modular construction meaning all parts are easily replaceable and upgradable to enable a long service life. We have also ensured that each component can be fully recycled.
Solar powered lighting
One of our main concerns when designing InsPIRed® was would there be enough power to illuminate the LEDs all the way through the winter months when solar energy is limited and the nights are long.
To combat this, we conducted primary research to establish how much energy can be collected from the solar panels across several years. We used this data to make informed choices with respect to luminaire power, battery capacity and solar panel area so that the lantern could be designed to work throughout the long winters at 54 latitude
To achieve the required performance, the energy gathered by the panels through Spring, Summer and Autumn is stored in sixteen battery packs so that when there is insufficient solar energy available, there will always be enough stored energy to ensure the lantern continues working throughout the year, this means we can achieve market leading autonomy (upto 30 days).
Our product development team have also created intelligent algorithms to carefully control charging in low and high temperatures and to protect the batteries from excessive discharge and overcharge. This will ensure the maximum life of the batteries.
When the batteries do eventually need replacing, they are conveniently mounted in replaceable cassettes which can easily be changed. Old cassettes can be returned to Pudsey Diamond, helping the circular economy and sustainability through recycling.
What are PIR sensors and how do they work?
Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensors detect a change in temperature within their field of view. An output is triggered if the change is great enough (more than 4°C) and movement is also detected. InsPIRed® uses four such sensors arranged around the lantern allowing a pedestrian to be detected from any direction and from 12m away.
At dusk InsPIRed® is illuminated at a low-level standby brightness of 2200k, and only once a person is detected through the PIR sensors do the LED’s illuminate to their full brightness (20W at 3000K). This way energy usage is carefully managed, while also providing comfort for pedestrians when walking at night.
Arguably, the most impressive aspect about InsPIRed® is its ability to communicate with other lanterns in the scheme through radio signals.
Once the PIR sensors are triggered a message is broadcast via radio to the surrounding lanterns. These lanterns then brighten the pathway, both ahead and behind, providing greater comfort. The lanterns will then dim again after a pre-set period if they haven’t been triggered once more.
Which lanterns brighten and which dim is controlled by processors running decision algorithms based on time and location (all lanterns have GPS receivers) providing intelligent control across the system.
Maintenance and service life
Control and monitoring of the lanterns can be conducted remotely, and should software updates be required, this can all be done from our facilities in Hampshire without the need for a site visit.
At Pudsey Diamond Engineering, we pride ourselves on our quality standards and high integrity and InsPIRed® is no exception. Designed, developed, and manufactured in the UK by our highly skilled product development team and manufactured using the highest-grade materials. The electrical, battery & optical compartments have also been designed to achieve an IP rating of IP66, providing impressive protection against water and dust ingress. You can rest assured InsPIRed® is built to last and makes the perfect investment for greener and innovative lighting.