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Cities are growing at a staggering rate.

As per the United Nations, currently, over half the total world’s population lives in urban areas. This number is expected to jump to 68% by 2050.

With the growing population, however, new challenges are also emerging for the city administration relating to public services. To overcome these challenges, cities are considering digital transformation. In other words, they are looking to become “Smart Cities.”

What’s a Smart City?

In a nutshell, a Smart City is a city that is able to collect and analyze all sorts of data from a variety of sectors, ranging from urban planning to waste management.

In order to become a Smart City, a city needs to build and maintain a streamlined network of interconnected sensors, systems, and feature-rich software.

How can smart street lighting be the foundation for Smart Cities?

Smart street lights offer an ideal point from which
you can foster a diverse range of Smart City IoT
applications, collecting an array of data.

Intelligent street lights don’t just offer instant energy savings and maintenance cost reductions. They, in fact, offer numerous infrastructure benefits, which make them a perfect base for hosting intelligent sensors and systems.

  • Power source – Streetlight poles have access to an uninterrupted power supply. Therefore, when it comes to supplying electricity to other IoT devices, sensors, and systems, additional setups, such as generators or batteries, are not necessary.
  • Location – Streetlights are spread across the city, uniformly. They are like a nervous system of a city. In addition, the height of each streetlight pole is consistent. Both the coverage and height of street lights make them ideal for hosting all sorts of IoT sensors and systems, eliminating the need to set up ad hoc infrastructures.
  • Safe – High above the ground, street lights are normally out of the way of citizens. Without hindering people or vice versa, all the intelligent sensors and systems will remain safe at the top of the street light. In addition, due to the height, data collection (over-the-air) also becomes efficient.

The existing public lighting infrastructure with its versatile
physical and network capability makes it easier, affordable
and quicker to deploy Smart City systems.

Furthermore, the network smart streetlights use, be it LoRa, LTE-M, NB-IoT, or something else, can also be used by other Smart City systems. In short, countless Smart City applications can easily piggyback on the multifaceted foundation created by smart streetlights. It would enable rapid, effective, and economical deployments that could smoothen the process for a city administration to upgrade its public services.

Business Case for Smart Street Lighting

Upgrading to LED streetlights significantly reduces energy consumption. The addition of a smart street lighting control system, however, further adds benefits, not only in the form of extra energy savings but also reduced CO2 and light pollution.

To become smart from ordinary, streetlights need a light control system, which normally comprises of controllers, sensors and gateways. These components, via a certain wireless network, link to a central management system from where they can be controlled, monitored and managed remotely.

Deploying a smart street lighting control system has somewhat high initial upfront costs. The savings and other benefits from day one from the system, however, make the business case an attractive prospect, with a Return on Investment of between five to seven years.


  • Dynamic Dimming – More than 60% reduction in energy consumption
    Intelligent streetlight controllers help adjust light levels based on the specific times and events. When paired with streetlight motion sensors, light levels further refine based on the human presence. Dimming lighting levels based on time, event or human presence results in considerable energy savings.
  • Maintenance Optimization – Up to 50% reduction in maintenance costs
    With the intelligent street lighting, operators get the near real-time status information of each street light. The central management system generates instant notifications in case of faults or errors, enabling the operators to take informed actions and reduce the need for night patrols or frequent truck rolls.
  • Safe Circle of Light – Increased public safety
    Smart streetlight motion sensors illuminate streetlights to adequate levels only when they detect humans. This means, when a pedestrian, cyclist or car passes by, he or she will always be surrounded in a safe, warm circle of light. In the absence of a human, streetlights will burn at a low, predefined level, reducing energy wastage, CO2 emissions and light pollution. With streetlights illuminating only on human presence, the crimes also minimize (lawbreakers refrain committing crimes in well-lit areas), thereby improving the overall public safety.
  • Reduced Carbon FootprintSignificant reduction in CO2 emissions
    Production of electricity generates considerable carbon emissions. Millions of streetlights use this CO2-generating electricity. Smart street lighting helps reduce the usage of such electricity. In other words, smart streetlights indirectly help reduce carbon emissions by reducing energy wastage.
  • Lower Light PollutionBenefit nocturnal wildlife
    Predefined lighting levels based on specific times and events can considerably lower the unwanted light pollution. The addition of a motion sensor streetlight solution can further minimize light pollution. Both humans and nocturnal wildlife can benefit from reduced light pollution.

The savings from smart street lighting can further be used to
invest in other smart city applications, creating a chain reaction
of re-investment and cost reduction.

Smart Cities that begun with Smart Street Lighting

Helmond, Jaipur, and Dortmund, among other cities, chose Tvilight intelligent street lighting solution to embark on a Smart City journey.

Using Tvilight’s smart streetlight controllers, motion sensors, IoT gateways, as well as the central management system, these cities were able to minimize energy wastage, carbon footprint, and light pollution without compromising citizen safety and satisfaction.

In addition, because of the Openness of Tvilight solutions (Open API and Open Architecture), these cities were able to easily integrate third-party applications and systems, enabling them to collect all sorts of valuable data, based on which they can take informed decisions and better their public services.

Want to learn how Tvilight smart street lighting solutions can help your city become smart? Get in touch with us at