As the Mid-Autumn Festival kicks off, over 800 lanterns lining Lee Tung Avenue are connected with Xicato controls allowing visitors to create a personalized “Avenue of Lights” using their mobile device. The tree-lined pedestrian walkway to Hong Kong Island is home to sidewalk cafes, gourmet restaurants, and local and overseas fashion outlets. It prides itself on its close connection with local communities, and so it’s fitting that along the 200-meter long esplanade, Xicato has enabled people to engage with the fun and functional work of art.
Part of the “Vivid Sydney: Light, Music & Ideas” festival, Under My Umbrella invites you to dream and dance under a glowing canopy as it sways gently in the wind.”
Each XIM module has its own programming. During show hours, the XIMs are programmed to respond with a unique delay and flashing rate to create the impression that the umbrellas are flashing randomly. When visitors walk underneath the canopy of umbrellas, they trigger a more organized, sequential pattern of light, which times out to a fixed lighting level before timing out again to pseudo-random flashing. This involved programming the sensor state machine in the XIM to track time of day, occupancy, delay times and fade times, and time-out periods, transitioning in highly planned ways between the 4 basic behavioral states.
What Under My Umbrella demonstrates is the power of the XIM distributed intelligence architecture. There was no central controller or hub. No cumbersome DMX wiring. All of the programming is in the lights themselves, which act autonomously in response to the various independent inputs.
Under My Umbrella was created by the Beam Collective, which includes Bettina Easton of E-Lux, Colin Shum of Medland Metropolis Engineering, Grace Tham of HASSELL Studio, and Ales Vasenda of 3S Lighting, with help from Webster Chu of Xicato. It uses 50 XIM Gen4 modules in custom fixtures (the umbrellas), activated by scheduling, 4 motion sensors, and the unique programming features of the XIM.
The existing installation was one-dimensional, and Jeroen Pijl, responsible for the exhibition lighting at The Museon, felt the 2700K color temperature used throughout had a “soporific” effect on visitors. The new lighting design was carried out by Joost de Beij, whose brief included emphasizing the architecture to a full extent, making navigation easier around the various exhibits, and maximizing a feeling of well-being among visitors. Nearly 400 track spots are mounted in display cabinets and at ceiling level, with ceiling and floor mounted wall-washing around all columns. A suspended band of colour-changing lighting snakes its way around the whole exhibition, providing its own brand of connectivity.
The XIM gen4 modules contain a wireless Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) board that can communicate with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, or with PCs using the Xicato Control Panel software. The Control Panel allows The Museon to create multiple, secure networks containing a virtually unlimited number of lights, sensors, or switches, providing simple commissioning of the various lights and lighting groups, scene creation (e.g. for cleaning or service modes), and outputs settings for each fixture and exhibit during normal operating hours.
Two electrical contractors installed and adjusted the luminaires followed by a half day to program the lighting levels, groups, and scenes. It was simple and efficient taking advantage of the XIM modules and Xicato’s lighting configuration tool, Control Panel Software.