today announced that it has been awarded a new technology patent that will enable future use of LED-based lighting systems as a means of communication through a local area network. The technology will open up new ways of applying LEDs beyond illumination and into intelligent networking for applications such as home or office automation.
The applications for this technology are wide-ranging in both commercial and residential settings. U.S. Patent number 6,548,967 covers local area networking through a lighting system that uses LEDs both to generate light and to wirelessly communicate data to external devices such as pagers, personal digital assistants, and any other device connected to the network. For example, an LED-based lighting system in an office could transmit data that triggers security systems to engage at a scheduled time; the lighting in a hospital could activate doctors' pagers in the event of an emergency; and the lighting in a residence might communicate to the owner's PDA that doors are locked or unlocked. In any application, the LED-based lighting system can provide this ancillary yet powerful capability while remaining a highly efficient and long-lasting source of illumination.
"This patent further validates Color Kinetics' leadership position in the development of intelligent solid-state lighting technologies," said George Mueller, chairman and CEO of Color Kinetics. The company's intellectual property portfolio now encompasses 16 issued US and international patents covering a broad range of solid-state illumination technologies and methods.