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RA Lighting System

Design your own home lighting

A smart lighting system that allows you to design your own home lighting.

Project Objective

This school project focused on discovering possible designs for the new technology and system thinking. I redesigned the lighting system with new interactions for using the system.

Project type

Individual Work







4 weeks


UX design

UI design



Smart home 

The Challenge

It is always annoying to adjust and distribute each light at home.

  1. have to manually change the light setting each time (day to night, different areas.)

  2. the light temperature and intensity are fixed.

  3. people have to go to a certain place to control for the light. It is annoying when they forget and have to get up again.

problem light 2@144x.png

How might we adjust and distribute our home lighting easier?

The Solution

Ra Lighting ECO-SYSTEM

The light is not operating by a single commend from the hub or the phone. They live as an eco-system. The phone, the hub, and the light are working with each other to provide the best experience for the user in any situation.

WIFI communication

Detect the light intensity around

Temperature adjustment

Intensity adjustment

Initial setups

Adjust Presets

Create Modes

For everyday use

Switch modes

On/Off all the lights

Manual adjust temperature.


Key Feature

Connect all the device in the system

The Mobile App Features


Set up a different mode of lighting so you don't need to adjust each light every time. Ra has default lighting suggestings for modes. You can select the preset and adjust the details at any time as you need it. All the modes will appear on the right side list, you can switch between each one. You can also create your own modes.

Area Select

Instead of control single lightbulb to adjust lights, Ra provides a different interaction by selecting the area you want to lighten on the map. The lightbulbs will communicate with each other and let the system decides which lightbulb should be on and the intensity of it. The user only needs to select the area and can adjust the area light intensity.

Individual Adjust

The light can also be adjusted individually. Select the individual button on the bottom, the individual lightbulbs will be shown on the map instead of the area selection.

The user can tap on the light and adjust the intensity and 

The Hub

Turn All Lights On/Off

To turn all lights off by simply press the hub. Press again, it will turn all lights on.

Light Temperature

The temperature is auto adjust by default. It will adjust according to the time of the day to match the natural light. The hub allows the user to manually adjust the light temperature as needed.

Switch Modes

The user can also control the modes by turning the hub. It is common people won't have the phone on hand all the time. When the user is ready for sleep, he can turn the hub to switch to night mode before heading to the bedroom. 



The light is not operating by a single commend from the hub or the phone. They live as an eco-system. The phone, the hub, and the light are working with each other to provide the best experience for the user in any situation.


Research is the first step in the design process. I have used various research methods such as quantitative and qualitative research, empathy maps, mental models, and personas to get as much information as I could to understand the problems and pain points users have. Based on the research result, I am able to define the real problem people have.

Competitive Analysis

In order to understand the scope better, I start with research for the smart lighting system in the market to see what kind of problem these products are focused on and how the products respond.


In the current smart light products, the ecosystem is one of the primary focus which can allow users to control the light through different medium. Home lighting is not just simply to light up the home, but more related to activities people do and different moods.


Allow devices to communicate to support people's different needs


Light temperature and intensity can effect people's moods


The light switch based on activities from wakeup to sleep. Each activity needs a different lighting setup.

Background Research

How light effects on people

1. Light Temperature

Mimic natural light throughout the day. Cancel out warm cold lighting issue. More fit to human nature. 

2. Light Sufficiency

An adequate amount of light improves mood and energy levels, while poor lighting contributes to depression and other deficiencies in the body. 

3. Indoor Time increased

We spend up to 90% of our time indoors. Yet poor lighting can affect our eyes and our task performance.

Find out People's Need

How do people think about the current lighting in their homes? How many of them thinking about using smart light? I conduct an interview with 5 people in order to understand the need for home lighting system.



A fixed light source can affect light distribution which cause partially dark or too bright.


Single light setting can not satisfy for different activities. People need different light setting for reading, watch tv and so on.


Most of the lights neglect the use in the day time and transition time during sunset. 


User need to manually adjust the lighting to distribute the light with different needs.


Light intensity and temperature change doesn't give people enough reason to purchase smart light.



After synthesizing the interviews, I found some reasons why people aren't satisfied with their current lighting system. These findings lead me to the design opportunities for the new lighting system.


The light is hard to distribute evenly due to the fixed light sources and single control of each light.


Most of people mentioned the light can not evenly lighten the entire room cause some part is dark and some part is too bright.

How Might We

How might we create a light system can allow people to adjust light that can evenly light up the room?

Most of people do different activities that requires different lighting setup at home, but they only have one lighting set up which doesn't give them the ideal light while doing different tasks.

Single light setting can not satisfy for different activities. People feel tired during reading when they don't have a right light.

How might we get people the right light for doing different activities at home?

Environmental light is always changing throughout the day, changing the light setting by turn on and off each light is frustrating and not always work.

People find the light during sunset is always insufficient even they turn on the light.

How might we give sufficient light that matches different time of the day?


Initial Concepts

I start to brainstorm as many ideas as possible. Broadly developing several concepts and try not to limit myself to the practicality at this stage. Doing quick sketches to show the proof of concepts. Among these initial concepts, I narrowed down to the finalized idea Ra lighting system. I also showed the concept prototypes to peers to get feedback.

Concept 1

Follow the movement light

The light can follow people's movement for bedtime solution.

Concept 2

Adjustable light switch

Light intensity and temperature can be adjusted.

Concept 3

Portable light

The light can be picked up and place on any surface to increase the flexibility of distributing light.

Concept 4

Central Hub Control System

All lights are connected with the central hub which is a physical button that can control the system.

Finalized Idea

We have the advance light technologies and functions, the challenge here is how to enhance people's experience with lights to the next level. So that they think it is worth to invest to make a change. I finally focused on the control system which will fundamentally change how people interact with lights. The eco-system provides people multiple ways of control under each different situation.


2. Multi-Control

Voice - Not with a phone

Phone - Detail control

The Hub - Move to a different area

1. Area Selection control V.S Single LED Control

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