LESA Research

SCULPT Light Project


As part of the LESA ( Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications ) lab at RPI, I worked on the SCULPT smart lighting project. This project aims to design and manufacture a lighting unit that can be installed in a drop ceiling and provide light to specific areas ( kind of like a spotlight ) throughout a room without any moving parts. This project is sponsored by the DoE and is going to be implemented in RPI's Smart conference room, as well as numerous other testing sites throughout the country. My main roles on this project were to assist in designing the cover for the electronics using CAD, help with electronic component selection, perform PCB design verification, and test, assemble, and install the prototype lighting fixture.

Pictured: Concept of the SCULPT light


The above images depict the final design. Cutouts in the northeast side of the case allow for networking and USB connectivity to the boards. The fixture will be responding to sensor data from occupancy and location sensors throughout the room. Thus, the networking will always be connected to the board at all times. Power is delivered to the LEDs via one main PSU supplying 36V. There are also two 5V PSUs for the PCBs that will be located along two of the sides of the housing. Finally, there is one 9V PSU for the Arduinos. An AC fan located in the center of the housing provides airflow across the tops of all the components, including the lighting modules which will be on a level below the component housing depicted above.


Cover 1_1 is the first of four parts that will need to be manufactured for the housing. All parts have technical drawings of varying sizes depending on their complexity.

These drawings were sent to a local machine shop in Troy that is manufacturing the sheet metal parts. Assembly will be done at the LESA Center electronics laboratory, however, the manufacturing shop will be installing the press-fit nuts, as outlined in the final drawing shown on this page.

For the prototype, a full batch of cables were assembled in the lab. This involved cutting, stripping, crimping, attaching connectors, and testing of the over 100 total cables in the set. Specifications for cable lengths and orientations were determined by me using the CAD designs.

The housing was eventually manufactured and assembled for the prototype. The first test layout with the Arduinos and some of the power components can be seen in the image to the right.

The final PCB can be seen on the left. It is designed to be reversible so that it can be flipped and used on the opposite side of the box.

Different stages of the assembly involved cutting and stripping power wires for the AC and DC power signals, continuing to fasten components to the base housing, running ribbon cables for the Arduino signals, and securing longer wire runs using zip ties and adhesive when necessary.

The actual light was delivered from LumiLEDS on 11/8/22, and once the unit was received we began running the wiring harness produced for the prototype.

Depicted to the left is the progress of the prototype assembly as of 11/11/2022. The wiring is complete and the light module has been installed onto the housing which I designed. Not all connections have been completed in order for testing of the prototype to be done in stages, beginning with as simple of tests as possible. 

This is the point where I left the project in order to begin my Digital Communications Engineering position at MITRE.