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Motion Sensors: Part of the City of the Future

By June 27, 2019June 3rd, 2021No Comments

When it comes to smart and highly energy efficient lighting there’s no way around motion sensors. The possibilities for the technology are plenty but the market still see some hesitation in the municipalities.

Everyday millions of streetlights all over the world burn at full brightness even at times when there’s no need for it. According to the smart lighting company Tvilight, it costs Europe 27 million euros each day to power streetlights.

One of the steps towards better, smarter and highly energy efficient street lighting is motion sensors. In Europe’s leading living lab for intelligent outdoor lighting and Smart City-technologies, the DOLL Living Lab in Albertslund, where many major companies demonstrate their products, they are noticing a change in the market.

Many of the smart city solutions that have been put up most recently for demonstration in DOLL have motions sensors and we’re expecting many more to come,” says CTO of DOLL Living Lab Kim Brostrøm.

We also see more and more companies working together to create new products because motion sensors can be combined with streetlight and traffic counting just to name a few,” he adds.

Saves up to 80 percent energy

One of the companies demonstrating their products in DOLL Living Lab is the Dutch company Tvilight. According to its founder and CEO Chintan Shah, there are three major benefits by integrating motion sensors in street lighting.

First of all, motion sensors can help save quite a lot of energy, actually up to 80 percent. We regulate the light intensity during the off-peak hours, by dimming the lights when there’s no one around. As soon as any occupancy is detected, for example a pedestrian, bicycle or a car, the surrounding streetlights brightens up automatically. Instead of turning just one light on, we create a circle of light around the occupant to increase his/ her safety perception. This circle follows the occupant. So it’s like Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, but with streetlights,” Chintan Shah explains.

Secondly motion sensors reduce the maintenance cost because the light doesn’t burn at a high intensity, and finally we minimize the light pollution, that disturbs nocturnal animals and birds.”

Motion sensors support smart planning

One of Tvilight’s products is being used on over 100 train stations in the Netherlands, and the company won the contract for supplying over 350 stations with the motion sensor based smart lighting solution.

Train stations are a unique kind of public space with often very long platforms. There are hardly any people around after the peak hours. The lights must to be at a certain intensity for elderly people and people with special needs. With the motion sensor we can regulate the light intensity based on when people are there, and dim or raise the light according to that,” says Chintan Shah.

With the motion sensors, Tvilight can also create “heatmaps” over the train stations which can be used to plan and organize the station facilities like information stands and kiosks, and to tell the cleaning staff where the station needs more cleaning.

Soon the company will launch a range of motion sensors that are compatible with the Zhaga book 18 standard. The standard is developed by the global Zhaga consortium that consist of international lighting companies and aim to make specifications that allow LED light sources from different suppliers to be used interchangeably and to work with a sensing or communication module.


The article was originally published by DOLL Living Lab