Updated: May 6, 2019
Smart lighting is designed for energy efficiency, i.e. to minimize energy usage. Buildings have become more than a place in which you can settle, smart buildings of the future can “think with you”, understand your needs and make decisions based on that.
Street lights are doing more than ever in today’s smart cities. With digital networks and embedded sensors, they collect and transmit information that helps cities monitor and respond to any circumstance, from traffic and air quality to crowds and noise. They can detect traffic congestion and track available parking spaces. Those very same networks can remotely control LED lights to turn on and off, flash, dim and more, offering cities a chance to maximize low-energy lighting benefits while also improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety. With street lights creating a network canopy, those networks of data can be used by more than just lighting departments, empowering even schools and businesses via a lighting infrastructure that brightens the future of the digital city
The key benefits of smart lighting solutions are:
Huge reduction of energy and maintenance cost
Increased public safety from improved lighting
Safer traffic due to increased visibility of hazards
Measurable environmental impact due to reduced energy consumption
Through their function as a platform for smart city services, other additional opportunities can be seized are :
Mobile broadband connectivity
Traffic light controls
Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
Environmental monitoring (emissions, noise)
Public safety through video cameras
Smart lighting can be a backbone for a smart city network. However, cities should be aware of different existing systems and technologies. Compatibility, data security, and network redundancy issues should be taken into account early on. And, of course, scalability in terms of the overall network size as well as in terms of upgrades of future applications/functionality should be considered.