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Gloucester firm teams up with Siemens to create event lighting of the future

Gloucester firm CORE Lighting has collaborated with Siemens to create a product hailed as the future of event lighting.

The ground-breaking Geolight lighting system uses GPS-enabled technology to create live art images across landscapes and buildings.

CORE, founded in 2008 and based in Waterwells Business Park in Quedgeley, specialises in wireless lighting solutions.

It teamed up with graduate engineers from global brand Siemens to refine an existing design as part of project Green Space Dark Skies.

It saw thousands of people light up 20 locations around the UK between April and September 2022.

The design for Geolights was based on an existing model of light CORE manufactured that was used by the event industry to light up buildings.

The new version incorporate GPS-enabled technology to provide accurate location and WiFi to communicate with the control centre

Data is transmitted using the Internet of Things MQTT messaging protocol to report the Geolight position and receive colour commands from lightshow content provider Bluman Associates.

It means each participant can remotely change the colour of the lights, effectively becoming a pixel within a coordinated image of live art. The resulting lighting displays that can be live streamed and recorded from the sky.

Phil Ion, founder and managing director of CORE Lighting, said: "This is amazing technology. Combining the skills of our engineers and technological expertise of the young Siemens engineers we have created a revolutionary innovation.

"It not only creates quite a nice picture because of the speed of processing, but you could turn it into a video image.

"Normally we produce up to 200 of these lights per month. Siemens and the project organisers Walk the Plank were asking us to make 2,000 in six months, just when the world had just gone into supply chain chaos. I nearly fell off my chair.

"The scale of the manufacturing challenge was enormous. And that was before we considered the need for significant redesign and setup of mould tooling with new local suppliers."

Engineers from CORE worked with Siemens to integrate the processing technology into its existing lights being manufactured in Gloucester.

Previously 90 per cent of the product was manufactured abroad, now 75 per cent of the new model is UK-manufactured, with the production time cut by more than 50 percent.

The weight of the lights was reduced from 2.5kg to 1.5kg to make them more accessible and plastic components swapped for recyclable aluminium and steel to reduce the CO2 footprint.

The team added a dome feature and diffuser to increase visibility and redesigned the handle so it can be attached to equipment like kayaks, bikes, and climbing gear.

Annabel Ohene and Nathaniel Fernandes were the two Siemens graduate engineers that developed the innovative GPS technology for the Geolights.

Annabel said: "Incorporating the geo-positioning technology means that the people can be anywhere, but the pattern will still be coherent - each person will become a pixel in a larger image of live art."

Nathaniel said: "Working on this project really tested what is possible when it comes to self-locating lighting systems in an outdoor environment. It has been great to work on something that has a fantastic social purpose, but also has potential applications in industries like manufacturing and logistics."

The technology means event directors can coordinate and automate displays in outdoor environments in new and interesting ways.

Mark Higham, head of process automation, Siemens Digital Industries UK & Ireland, said: "Finding practical solutions to real world challenges is at the heart of what we do at Siemens and the Geolights is proof of how we use technology to make life easier."

Phil from CORE added: "Seeing the lights used for the first time brought a lump in my throat. It was a very special moment seeing people carrying them and having a great time.

"Given everything we had been through during the pandemic it was a moment of real celebration.

"The success of the project means we can look at new markets to expand our product including home users."

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