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Data Lighting: A Lighting System For KLM's Datacenter Amanda Herders

Jordano Da Silva Piloto


Amsterdam University of

NHL Hogeschool

Applied Sciences

Rengerslaan 10 8917 DD Leeuwarden The Netherlands

Primarily, to respond to KLM's request to have an adaptable and sustainable lighting system for their data center, additionally solving the same issue in other buildings in their premises, a web application has been conceptualized consisting of the Generator and the Circularity passport after researching the Smart lighting sector and in delving into the recyclability of components. The Generator generates a suitable lighting combination to answer the needs of the users, while the Circularity passport displays how the produced solution can be reclaimed.

Weesperzijde 190, 1097 DZ Amsterdam The Netherlands Aparna Udayasuriyan Université Francois Rabelais 60 Rue du Plat d'Étain, 37000 Tours,France

Shogo Takahasi Kyushu University, Shibaru 4-9-1, Minami-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Japan

Maria Alejandra Sarria Vidal University of Los Andes Cra. 1 #18a-12, Bogotá, Colombia

Author Keywords KLM; Data center; Smart lighting; Sustainability; Cradle to cradle; Generator; Circularity passport.

ACM Classification Keywords H.H.1.1 Systems and Information Theory.


License: The author(s) retain copyright. Each submission will be assigned a unique DOI string to be included here.

The KLM's Data center is a 24 year old building, the age has caused decay and damage to their lighting system. The recurring issues that arise from this scenario are that; the technology is outdated which results in frequent maintenance problems, the lighting system consumes maximum energy escalating the cost and the spatial layout does not correspond to the position of light fittings anymore causing glare to the workers.

Light as a service

Thus, a need for effectively functional lights arise for increasing the efficiency and comfort of the workers.

Light as a service is a fairly new business case in the lighting section

To tackle the problem is in line with their Winning way of working, in which the employees are important. If the work environment is optimal, the employees will be able to work at ease and at their full potential.

It is not possible to buy lamps anymore, but subscribe to them for a time period of 10 years. Each month the user pays a fixed amount of money to the lighting company, which covers for installation, energy usage and maintenance costs.

The Stakeholders The project holds a mesh of stakeholders primarily because it falls under the corporate sector. In order to handle the project with more clarity, a decision was made to focus on the three most important stakeholders KLM, Corporate social responsibility and the Data center. KLM is the Royal Airline company of the Netherlands. As the ultimate decision makers of this project, it is of utmost importance that their need is answered of reducing the energy consumption of the lighting system of the data center. CSR is a policy of KLM with its own department, which enforces sustainability, social interests and better work environments. They aspire the final system to be applicable in the many different buildings at the KLM as well as it to be sustainable and relevant for the future. The stakeholders in the Data center want the lights to be functional and user-friendly, while needing less maintenance to create a synergy between the work environment and the workers.

Figure 1: An illustration displaying the mesh of stakeholders

The current lighting of the data center The Data center consist of different rooms and corridors. For safety reasons, the spatial layout cannot explicitly be explained. However, in the high security area with servers, there are 576 compact fluorescent lamps circuited to one switch board. The total floor area of the Data center is approximately 5200 square meters. out of which high security area occupies 2600 square meters. In the connecting corridors and passages, the lights are connected with motion sensors. Rest of the rooms are operated through switches. The emergency lights are all over the building which burn 24/7. The current technology is old, which results in user-unfriendly events, such as the lights turning on behind the user after they walked past the motion sensor or the lights not being bright enough to provide enough visibility.

The process Het einde van Bezit

Het einde van Bezit is one of the episodes of the informative show Tegenlicht. Het einde van Bezit, literally translated as The end of Posession, basically tells about a newly introduced business case Light as a service.

The initial idea was to create a mobile application to control the lighting individually, which will reduce the energy consumption while being applicable to the different establishments of the KLM. However, after researching the behavior of the data center workers it would be too much of a hassle for the workers of the data center as they have to grab their phone each time they move around. After this concept was scrapped, the research continued. The theory of Cradle-to-Cradle was

Introducing this into the final solution, would become the sustainable factor which the CSR department aspires. Associating this with the current technological developments with respect to the lighting system connect to the solution with the objectives of the KLM and the stakeholders from the Data center.

Thomas Rau, the spokesperson of the episode, tells about the concept Light as a service and connects it to the Cradle-to-Cradle theory. To make sure this is applicable to the current market, the usage of a passport is required. The passport is an index of the amount of materials and the types of materials in the building

Figure 2: Creating a balance between light technology and recyclability

By connecting the lighting technology with the recyclability, it moves the solution from a linear economy to a circular economy. This idea had confirmation after watching the Tegenlicht episode Het Einde van Bezit.

Figure 3: The mobile application prototype, where users could turn on or off each individual light in the room they were present

discovered, which can be illustrated as the products are designed and manufactured in a way that everything will be recycled, inspired by nature's cycle in which everything is either recycled or returned to earth.

However, there was a bigger picture to re-think, as the interest in the project has increased and other premises of the KLM were interested in the final solution. Creating a system which would generate solutions for all the buildings could answer the needs. Thus the Generator was developed. In the earlier phases, the Generator consisted of a table in which all the lighting options were displayed. However, as more user research was carried out, it was evident that the user

The difference between reclaim, reuse, refurbish and recycle In the Circularity passport a few terms have been used which could be a tad confusing. Therefore they are explained shortly in the context of a lighting system in this section

who would consult the tool, would have little knowledge about the lighting technology. Therefore, the Generator needed to be rehashed.

Reclaim: To take back the components from the lighting systems after they have been used Reuse: To use the component again without treating or fixing it Refurbish: To repair the component or make improvements to the component to use it Recycle: To process the component to make it useable again

Figure 4: An illustration of the first phase of the Generator

The Generator The Generator, which is now the concept for a web application, is basically a survey in which the user fills in the answers based on the user context and desired lighting system of the user. Each of these solutions have their own Circularity Passport. The backend of the Generator should be updated regularly to keep up with the innovations with respect to the lighting system.

Figure 5: Questions from the current version of the Generator

The Circularity passport The Circularity passport is a record containing all the components incorporated into the lighting system. The passport specifies for each component the way the component can be reclaimed and eventually be recycled, reused or refurbished. Just like the Generator, the Circularity passport should be updated regularly when new innovations with respect to recycling, reusing and refurbishing arise to provide the best and sustainable way to make use of the system.

Figure 6: An example of the content of Circularity passport. This will be available for each component in the proposed system


VPRO. 2015. Het einde van bezit. Retrieved 8 January 2017 from k/afleveringen/2015-2016/einde-vanbezit.html


Philips. 2015. Philips provides Light as a Service to Schiphol Airport. Retrieved 7 January 2017 from 15/20150416-Philips-provides-Light-as-aService-to-Schiphol-Airport.html


Marieke Post. 2017. Light as a Service; why + how to shift to this fortunate business model. Retrieved 9 January 2017 from


Andrew Sherratt. 2013. Cradle to Cradle. Retrieved 9 January 2017 from TIM MCMANAN-SMITH. 2014. Philips delivers 'cradle-to-cradle' lighting. Retrieved 10 January 2017 from Tom Randall. 2015. The smartest building in the world. Retrieved 8 January 2017 from Frank Straver. 2016. Thomas Rau: Beschermheer van materiaal. Retrieved 8 January 2017 from detail/4393529/2016/10/11/D100-2-ThomasRau-Beschermheer-van-materiaal.dhtml

Conclusion To answer the need of a new lighting system for KLM's Data center, which should save energy, be applicable to the other buildings and create a user-friendly work environment for the Data center workers, the Generator has been conceptualized. The Generator ensures that everyone, even those with little to no knowledge of lighting technology, can generate a lighting solution for their lighting needs. Combining this with the Circularity passport, will ensure that the components of the solutions all have a destination after they have been used. Combining the technological part with sustainability is a strong feature in this concept, as it takes the future into account while providing solutions at present.

References 1.

KLM. 2015. KLM Takes Care. Retrieved 28 December 2016 from orate-social-responsibility/index.html




Research paper  

KLM Data Lighting Research paper

Research paper  

KLM Data Lighting Research paper