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Smart Street Lighting – Business Case for Municipalities and City Corporations

Cities and towns across the globe are benefitting from the adoption of smart street lights. With only a marginal additional investment in smart lighting controls when compared to the conventional LED streetlights, municipalities and city corporations are achieving excellent benefits. Are you planning to upgrade streetlights in your city, town, village, industrial zone or outdoor parking lot? This article provides insights on why should you invest in smart lighting controls.

  • 80% Energy Savings
  • Foundation for Smart City
  • Address Climate Change
  • Lower Maintenance Costs
  • Reduced Light Pollution
  • Protect Flora and Fauna
  • Total Infrastructure Control
  • Improved Public Safety
  • Benefits from Day One

80% Lower Energy Bill

Streetlights typically account for over 40% of a City’s energy bill. Increasing energy costs, electricity tariffs and inflation – makes a huge dent in municipal annual budget.

Finding effective solutions to cut energy use is therefore becoming critical.

Return on Investment in 3 to 5 Years

Did you know that smart street lights can cut public lighting related energy use by up to 80% when compared to a non-controlled LED streetlight?

Smart street lights can be switched and dimmed automatically with different options, such as pre-defined time schedules, local astroclock timings, ambient light sensor and motion sensor – to achieve excellent energy savings. Return on investment on smart controls can be as quick as 3 to 5 years depending on the local energy and maintenance costs. Case-in-point: City of Dortmund (Germany).

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Smart Street Lights - Energy Savings
Smart Street Lights - Lower Maintenance Costs

Lower Maintenance Costs

The maintenance cost of traditional street lights can be very high. Without accurate data of where the street lights have failed and for what reasons, the truck roll, personnel and other related costs increase. Furthermore, inactive street lights compromise road safety and also give rise to public complaints.

Up to 50% Lower Operation & Maintenance Costs

With intelligent street lighting, the lighting operator gets proactive alerts/ notifications for faults, alarms and outages. This helps the operator to address the issue quickly. The result – up-to-date lighting infrastructure, longer lamp lifetime, lower public complaints, up to 50% lower maintenance costs, as well as better public safety perception on the services provided by the municipality.

Total Infrastructure Control

The lighting operator or the municipality often do not have a good overview on the working status of the traditional non-connected street lights. It is difficult to collect data on actual power-consumption and lamp failure status. Adjusting lighting levels when the road situation changes is also unfortunately not feasible.

Monitor & Control Citywide Public Lighting Infrastructure

With intelligent street lighting, or in other words, network-connected street lighting, the operator (or municipality) has complete control. They can remotely:

  • View and manage citywide street lights
  • Control light levels based on needs
  • Monitor faults from your office and address them quickly
  • Gain valuable insights, such as energy usage, savings, etc. of each street light
Total Control of Public Lighting Infrastructure
Smart Street Lights - Foundation for Smart Cities

Foundation for Smart City

Smart City begins with Smart Street Lights. Traditional street lights mainly provide night light for public safety. Smart street lights, on the other hand, opens door for multiple new opportunities.

By investing in intelligent lighting based on Open Standards and Open API, Cities can easily incorporate necessary IoT and Smart City applications to improve citizen safety and comfort.

Intelligent Lighting enables Easy Integration and Interoperation

Security systems, CCTV cameras, traffic lights, public kiosks, Wi-Fi hotspots, smart parking, EV charging, Drone placement, and more – all can interconnect and interoperate with an open networked street lighting system. Case-in-point: Smart City Helmond.

Lower Light Pollution

Traditional street lights often burn all night at full intensity – even when there is no one around. In turn, generating significant light pollution.

Light pollution is detrimental to humans and nocturnal wildlife alike. It can disrupt the circadian rhythm, in other words, the sleep-wake cycle. Some of the other consequences of light pollution include:

  • For humans – increased headache incidents, fatigue, stress, increase in anxiety, hypertension, which can lead to aggravation of cardiovascular disease
  • For ecology (organisms and ecosystems) – confuse animal navigation/ migration, change predator-prey relations, psychological harm
  • The disappearance of the night sky

Intelligent Lighting helps Curb Light Pollution

Dimming street lights is one of the easiest ways to lower light pollution. Reducing the road lighting levels during the off-peak hours with low or no traffic, significantly lowers sky glow as well as light pollution – without compromising road safety.

Intelligent Street Lights - Lower Light Pollution
Smart Street Lights and Public Safety

Improved Public Safety

Lighting streets, walkways and public spaces is important to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for the citizens. However, the brightness levels of public lighting is often designed for the peak scenarios – for example, the lighting levels needed during heavy road traffic and extreme weather conditions.

Keeping the public lights at full-brightness all night, including the low-usage off-peak hours, does not deliver any improvements in public safety. Such an approach is energy-intensive, expensive and wasteful.

Right Light at Right Place & Right Time maintains Public Safety

Intelligent street lighting helps municipality to fine tune the citywide lighting levels at individual streetlight level. Lighting levels can be adjusted based on time of the evening, local traffic situation and weather conditions. For example, the brightness level of streetlights at main roads can be reduced by 30% – 50% (with the exception of road junctions) during the low traffic off-peak hours.

This approach can be further enhanced when street light motion sensors are used.  With motion sensing in place, the streets can be dimmed as much at 60% – 90% during off-peak hours when no one is around. Such light-on-demand / adaptive lighting has proven to save up to 80% energy as well as enhance public safety perception. Independent studies show that citizens find adaptive lighting safe and pleasant.

Finally, the smart lamp controller provides immediate fault notification – enabling rapid response from the lighting operator / municipality. Correcting street light outages swiftly further improves pubic safety.

Address Climate Change

Most street lights often use electricity generated by burning fossil fuels, which is a major source of greenhouse gases, air pollution and climate change. If these street lights remain fully lit all night when roads are vacant, then it is a big waste of energy.

Intelligent Street Lights help Fight Climate Change

Smart street lights help fine-tune / dim lighting levels on a need-basis. This dramatically reduces electricity usage, and the related carbon emissions. Increasing number of municipalities and city councils are therefore adopting smart street lights as one of the key actions in their flight against climate change.

Smart Street Lights help Fight Climate Change
Smart Street Lights help Protect Flora & Fauna

Protect Flora and Fauna

Street lights that burn at full-brightness all night create light pollution and is harmful to all living organisms, including flora and fauna.

Smart Street Lighting Benefits Environment & Biodiversity

Turning street lights off is not advisable from a public safety perspective. Adopting intelligent lighting is recognized as one of the best options. Smart autonomous dimming during the off-peak hours helps lower light pollution and benefits local flora and fauna.

Furthermore, adaptive light controls help managing light timing, intensity and street light colour. This is essential in sensitive wildlife areas suitable for marine turtles, seabirds and migratory shorebirds.

Benefits from Day One

Unlike any other smart city solution, investing in smart street lights deliver benefits from day one.

Smart Streetlights deliver Multiple Benefits from Day One

By deploying smart lighting, Cities achieve multiple benefits:

  • Complete control over public lighting infrastructure
  • Up to 80% energy savings
  • Up to 50% Lower operations and maintenance costs
  • Rapid maintenance response
  • Improved lamp lifetime
  • Citizen-centric lighting
  • Improved public safety perception
  • Lower light pollution
  • Protection for local flora and fauna
  • Ability to achieve Climate goals
  • Excellent foundation for Smart City and IoT applications
Smart Street Lighting Delivers Benefits from Day One

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