Intelligent street lighting is the best way for municipalities to create a beautiful balance between saving energy and making streets safer.
Safety is one of the top priorities for citizens as well as city administration. With limited available budget, municipalities are searching for best practices. Simply adding more cameras and put more officers on the road is not an ideal solution.
Smart street lighting is emerging as one of the best tools that is helping to make streets safer. More and more cities across Europe are adopting smart street lights. Apart from improving citizen safety perception and deterring crime, they also help cut energy waste and reduce carbon footprint.
Smart Street Lighting Makes Public Spaces Safer
The main benefit of intelligent street lights is not just saving energy – it is also making public spaces safer. Municipalities across Europe are using intelligent lighting technology as a tool to improve safety, deter crime, assist during emergencies and better serve the citizens.
Being present on every street corner in every city, street lights provide a perfect foundation to integrate smart technology into everyday public life without seeming obtrusive. An intelligent street light can host different types of sensors with different uses like anonymously tracking pedestrians or vehicular traffic, collecting air quality data or making the street safer and more pleasant.
Use Case – Belgium
The N15 bicycle path between the cities of Mechelen and Bonheiden in Belgium has benefitted by embracing smart street lights. The bicycle path is frequented by young people during the late evening hours. Due to poor lighting and dark spots, they felt a sense of insecurity.
To address these issues, the city council decided to install motion-sensor based smart street lights that could brighten as soon as a cyclist or pedestrian is detected. Not just one street light, but as soon as a human is detected, several adjacent street lights lit up to full intensity. This setup not only improved the road visibility, but also boosted the safety perception of the cyclists and pedestrians.
Furthermore, during the intervals when there was no one using the path, the street lights dim to a very low intensity, resulting in excellent energy savings. A significant reduction in carbon emissions and light pollution was also noted by the council.
Further Capabilities of Smart Street Lights
Apart from motion sensors, smart street lights can host acoustic sensors that can detect unpleasant noise in the streets, especially during the night time. Data from such sensors can help municipalities map out clamorous zones and plan safety strategies accordingly.
Smart street lights can also host built-in speakers, which municipalities can use for broadcasting announcements, in case of emergencies or simply playing nice music to create a subtle ambiance in a public space.
CCTV cameras, seismic sensors, automatic number-plate recognition systems, and many more can work in harmony with intelligent street lighting for the betterment of citizens. Smart street lights therefore beautifully combine public safety with savings for municipality. From a city council perspective, intelligent lighting is often termed as a bright solution for people, planet and profit.
- “Illuminating cities with sustainable smart lighting systems” – The Guardian
- “The Power of Smart Street Lighting in Smart Cities” – StateTech
- “How cities can benefit from smart streetlights” – asmag.com
- “Smart Streetlight” – TechTarget