A building in Amsterdam is the first with lights that communicate with workers’ smartphones, giving them control over the heating and lighting in their area

The office where the lights talk – to your smartphone

Edging towards a greener office (Image: Philips)

AS YOU walk into The Edge, Amsterdam’s greenest office building, you find all the trappings of an airy corporate edifice: the glass atrium, tastefully placed indoor trees, a gym and a vast cafe and chill-out area. But take the lift up to the open-plan office floors owned by business consultancy Deloitte, and there’s a quiet revolution taking place above your head.

The 14-storey building has become the first in the world to have LED lighting powered by a computer network, instead of mains electricity. Not only is it greener, since it reduces power consumption, it also means that the 6000 LED lights can be used for more than just illumination.

Called connected lighting, the idea comes from Philips, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. It uses a variant of ethernet – the kind of network that connects your router to …

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