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In 2017, Energy Solutions was approached by VS Energy to facilitate the design and production of a retrofit kit to upgrade an existing fluorescent fixture with an RGBW kit. The kit had to be capable of executing commands from the control system developed for the deaf and hearing impaired travelers at the Greater Rochester International Airport. The system works by controlling the light fixtures at the gates, changing their color to alert the deaf and hearing impaired travelers.

These color coded messages include; active gate, idle gate, gate change, boarding, and more. The alerts are a combination of color and sequence as lights may chase, flash, or rise and fall to get the attention of occupants and communicate as necessary. The lights may give occupants a full message and can also direct users to visual displays of more detailed information. Ultimately the user experience is improved throughout the facility for those depending on more than audio communications during their time there.

Out of this project, LightAwayTM (Patent Pending) was developed as a visual wayfinding system that VS Energy developed to carry the technology forward. LightAway can be integrated in the ambient lighting system in existing fixtures through retrofit or in new construction projects. LightAway works by changing the color of the ambient lighting in sequence to lead occupants to a desired area, or away from danger.

The possible applications of this system include schools, public buildings, offices, or any other occupied space. Some of the scenarios include fire or severe weather, active shooter situations, and active ingress or egress purposes. For fire or severe weather, the lights will direct occupants to a safe area or to the nearest exit. Gunshots can alert the system which can then lead occupants away from an active shooter or direct them to shelter in place. The system can also be used to lead occupants to a desired area, for example, during a parent teacher conference, parents unfamiliar with the school's layout can follow the lights to the necessary area.


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