A school in the USA has been under permanent lighting for almost two years now. A total of 7,000 lamps are permanently on. However, the reason for this is not a fault in the power supply. Instead, the failure of the corresponding software is said to be to blame. A classic example of too much digitalization.
The downside of digitization
Actually, Minnechaug Regional High School in the USA wanted to make its lighting system, which was installed in 2012, a little smarter. The lighting was automated specifically for that purpose. What worked well for nine years came to an abrupt end in the summer of 2021. Then there was a software failure, the consequences of which are still being felt today. Now you might think that the lighting simply doesn’t work. But the opposite is the case. Since the problem of the lighting system with automated hardware and software, the lamps have been shining non-stop. This example probably makes it clear how important analog lifelines are in the age of digitalization. After all, one looks in vain for simple light switches in the school as is now evident from a report by NBC News.
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Plan for more digitization backfired
With the help of the modern lighting system, the company wanted to save energy and, more importantly, money. In view of a monthly electricity bill that is said to be several thousand US dollars higher than before the software failure, the plan probably backfired significantly. This should finally come to an end in February. Finally, the lighting system is to be repaired then. This is said to have been impossible for lack of suitable components over the year and a half. The local population in the US state of Massachusetts is correspondingly incensed about this. After all, the horrendous electricity costs are covered by taxpayers’ money. Somewhat reassuring, however, is the fact that these are supposed to be extremely energy-efficient LED lamps. Otherwise, it is impossible to imagine how much higher the electricity bill would ultimately be.
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Learnings from mistakes
During the year and a half, he said, the school had probably initiated several repair attempts. After being unable to locate the original installers and receiving high-priced quotes for a completely new lighting system, they tried to find the fault in the software. Experts were certain that this was the case. Nevertheless, the decision was made not to repair the software. Now, it seems, the school has finally been able to contact the original installers and ask for repairs. They want to take care of the repair and pay attention to a very crucial point. For example, the new lighting system probably also has a classic switch so that it can be turned on or off in an emergency.